Independent music publishing company Kobalt has announced that it will be launching, in its own words, "the first global, direct, digital mechanical and performing rights society." This follows the company's acquisition of collection society, American Music Rights Association (AMRA).

The service, which is based on a direct, global collection structure, will offer two main services to clients: licensing of AMRA publisher members' UK/US repertoire to digital service providers in multiple territories; collecting the writer's share of public performance money on behalf of AMRA writer members. Licensing and collecting, all in one.

This announcement arrives at a something of a crucial juncture in music industry issues of writers' rights, licensing, and breakage in our finally-recognised digital age – last week a leaked memo from UMPG boss Jody Gerson aimed to dispel "misrepresentations" of direct licensing, for instance.

"With AMRA, we are now able to fully execute our original Kobalt vision of trust and technology for creators and rights owners on a global scale," says Kobalt CEO, Willard Ahdritz. "AMRA allows us to offer service unlike anything ever seen before in royalty collections. The industry can no longer afford to spend $5 collecting $1 – the efficiency and transparency of AMRA is the future."

COO James Fitzherbert-Brockholes added:

"AMRA's unique strategy to license directly to the global multi-territorial DSPs (e.g. Apple, Spotify, YouTube, etc.) is the most efficient way to handle the 'high volume/low transactional value’ of music repertoire in a streaming world. The traditional model of individual licenses across 100 local territories for one major DSP does not promote transparency, efficiency or economies of scale in today’s digital business."