FOOTPRINT MUSIC – HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Footprint Music was founded in July 1994 by Paul Kempton at a time when the development of satellite TV channels was burgeoning. The choice of corporate name reflected the common use of the word “footprint” in the context of the geographical area in which a satellite TV’s signal could be received.
Paul’s vision for Footprint Music was that it should be a specifically music branded consultancy, providing a complete range of professional services to help TV broadcasters and content makers obtain the music rights licences they needed for their businesses. At the core of this business there would be a strong ethos of deal-making that would be underpinned by a real understanding of the clients’ businesses and the challenges they faced.
The perceived need for this was fuelled by Paul’s previous experience working with multi-territorial satellite and cable TV channels, either as part of the senior management teams or as an independent legal & business affairs consultant, where one of his responsibilities was to negotiate music licences with collecting societies around Europe. One of these channels was Music Box, a music video channel that was a European forerunner to MTV, with shareholders including Virgin. The combination of music channel and new satellite technology meant that this was very much part a pioneering era for television. By the time that Paul founded Footprint Music, the landscape was more settled but no less vibrant. With emerging distribution mechanisms, new channels coming into the market and existing channels expanding their distribution into new territories, the challenge of obtaining the relevant rights and negotiating the best deals was still very much a real one ….. and it still is.