Performance rights group ASCAP announces a new digital team

There’s a new digital team at the American of Society of Composers, Authors, and Performers.

ASCAP is a nonprofit organization that helps songwriters track and get paid for performances of their work. (It says it has 585,000 members, with 2015 revenues topping $1 billion.)

The organization hasn’t exactly ignored the online world before this — for one thing, it hired digital strategist Alice Kim to be its chief strategy and development officer last year. But Kim told me that by creating this new team, ASCAP is “centralizing the innovation and also broadening the skillset.”

“This is like the kernel, and we expect that over time, that type of discipline and that type of skillset permeates through the organization,” she said.

The digital team is really two groups — the Digital Product & User Experience Group (led by Dena Fletcher, previously vice president of product development at Advance Digital) and the new Data Strategy & Business Intelligence Group (led by David Frigeri, previously senior vice president of services and consulting at machine learning startup ColdLight Solutions).

Kim said there are four general areas on ASCAP’s digital roadmap — modernization, “big data with a heart” (“all the initiatives around the data, at the end of the day, are really meant to benefit the members”), transparency and automation. Modernization has been the big focus thus far, most notably with the revamp of ASCAP’s public database ACE, a revamp that Kim said has already resulted in a sixfold increase in the number of user sessions.

Next up, is a full relaunch of the ASCAP website at the end of this year. In addition to providing a better online experience for members, Kim said ASCAP is working to find more ways to automate its tools and to “make our data much more readily available via intelligent APIs.”

“If I have to think about what is the one goal of our digital team at ASCAP, it is to, simply put, use technology to expand services for members and then to put more money in their pockets,” Kim said.