IMPF Covid-19 Response

What we did during Covid

IMPF Covid-19 Medium to Long Term Recovery Plan

The biggest challenge of our time can only be solved through collaboration



As the scale and nature of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to evolve, our industry faces one of the most significant challenges we have ever encountered.

With high levels of self-employment and scant access to social benefits, any loss of income directly threatens the very existence of not just thousands of authors, composers, and performers, but publishers and the rest of the music chain, many of whom struggle to earn a living even under normal circumstances.

The music sector has been among the first and hardest hit by this unprecedented crisis. The global lockdowns have affected concerts, music festivals and shows and cancelled the travelling opportunities for a sector that relies on being particularly mobile.

As the hub for independent music publishers internationally, IMPF continues to respond to the crisis by assisting our members, especially some of those who run smaller micro-businesses that may well feel isolated at this time. The wellbeing of members of our forum is our duty of care and we try to ensure that there is a rolling outreach to each other at this time so we can offer support as needed.

Economically, losses due to Covid-19 will impact music publishers throughout 2021.

But this is about more than just economic losses. It brings into focus other geo-political considerations, such as governments seeking to strengthen their protectionist policies and thus creating more risk for global business as a result of the virus. Added to that, reduced tax-returns, dwindling economies and massive spikes in unemployment rates will result in governments struggling to justify continued support of the arts and culture. This, despite the fact people across the world now, more than ever, need access to music and entertainment.

The main objectives of the IMPF Covid-19 Medium/Long Term Recovery Plan are;

  • to liaise with members on the impact to their music publishing business
  • to enable members preserve their livelihood and continue investing in talent and their businesses
  • to promote members companies
  • to encourage a strong climate of collaboration throughout our membership and the music chain, including regulators, politicians, streaming services, and other stakeholders


1. Economic assessment of Covid-19

Having reliable forecasting of the impact of Covid-19 enables members to update their budgets to better serve the creators they represent.  IMPF offers information to members on the financial impact of the lockdowns.  IMPF undertook the first of its kind global study on the state of independent music publishing which helps our sector assess the losses due to Covid-19 and provides focus on where help is most needed to boost recovery (see Point 10).

2. Enhancing member collaboration

Smaller, independent businesses need to work together to compete with larger companies. Collaboration is key, and even more so during this period of great change and uncertainty. One of the consequences of Covid-19 is an aversion to global business and globalisation by some governments. It is crucial for our members to continue investing and developing business worldwide.

The IMPF website will drive traffic to individual member sites. We have set up a “Company of the Month” initiative on the site, where visitors can explore an individual company and browse their offering of genres and artists. The ‘Company of the Month’ focus is supported across all our social-digital channels.


3. Resource Education

IMPF provides members with information on the resources available to deal with the impact of Covid-19, including what other organisations are doing worldwide.  The IMPF website promotes best practices among members by informing you of steps taken by others in dealing with the crisis and showing examples of measures that can be adopted and adapted.

4. The Opportunities

The dangers and negative impacts of this pandemic are very real and very concerning. However, within a crisis are the seeds of opportunity. The cancellation of live performances and the worldwide lockdown have led to fresh licensing opportunities; DJ sets, the use of master recordings on live streaming, the increasing use of services such as Zoom and other platforms for entertainment purposes, off-site ticketing and subscriptions where the offering is music content (live or recorded), making the most of the advertising revenue on those licensed platforms now offering more and more online entertainment. IMPF engages with industry bodies to discuss potential new and mutually beneficial approaches to licensing models.

5. Indie publishers and composer supports

IMPF continues to coordinate and support projects relevant to composers and music publishers. IMPF has set up an ‘ideas bank’ where all members can contribute, with topics chosen for a series of meeting roundtables via webinar. The ‘ideas bank’ offers the opportunity for members to discuss any concerns or questions about global, national, or business-related issues.

6. Industry relations

IMPF considers cooperative and collaborative relations between music publishers and collective management organisations (CMOs) of vital importance. It is of utmost importance to conserve the highest levels of transparency and smooth information exchange, in each territory so that communication is as seamless as possible for the benefit of all our members.

IMPF is actively addressing what streaming services make off the back of creators’ work and the gross disparity and inequality of what they pay out. Streaming services need to better support, pay-up and pay fair, composers and authors for their work.

7. Coordinated response

IMPF will continue liaising with other likeminded organisations in the creative sector and supports and echoes those organisations that are making similar calls for a coordinated response across member territories and where there has been direct approach to governments.

8. Advocacy

IMPF engages with policy and decision makers unilaterally and via broader creative industry coalitions. It is important to ensure that specific cultural crisis funds are put in place at national, regional, and international levels to assist the smaller actors.

At European level, it is of utmost importance that the Copyright Directive is transposed and implemented by Member States as this will ensure an essential source of revenue for all rightsholders. IMPF also drives deeper engagement with national governments via our members to ensure that the value of copyright, culture and music is not undermined during this period.

9. Structural changes and measures

As governments implement long-term recovery plans for the broader economy, we will be working on issues long under discussion, such as specific loan guarantees; increased licensing rates; vat rebates; the creation of new revenue streams (e.g., online concerts); interest free loans to micro-businesses, and any other relevant matters.

10. Study on Indie Music Publishing

IMPF has carried out a study of existing data and statistics on independent music publishing. These figures also help policymakers to better understand the economic significance of protecting our rights. 

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