Richard Conlon is a long-time leader and innovator in the effort to build the global ecosystem for the monetization and management of rights across analog and digital platforms. As Principal at Rights Management Holdings, he provides strategic consulting services to the owners of entertainment rights and properties and invests in emerging technologies serving the entertainment rights economy.
Prior to founding RMH, he served as Senior Vice President Corporate Strategy, Communications & New Media at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) where he launched the corporate strategy and digital business units. At BMI he charted overall corporate direction, grew revenues from traditional sources and led the digital division from start up to one of the largest digital copyright licensing businesses in the industry. The business generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue licensing the rights to more than 8.5 million musical works. His approach to the market centers on aligning the needs of the creative, media, data, public policy and technology communities to create integrated, marketplace based solutions to drive commerce.
Conlon spearheaded key initiatives including the negotiation of the first digital copyright licensing agreement in 1995. He designed and launched the Digital Licensing Center, the music industry’s first online interface offering click-through copyright licensing. In one of the earliest efforts to size the online music market he led the creation and deployment of MusicBot, a distributed computing webcrawler which was featured on CNN and MSNBC. To help meet demand for global licensing solutions, he worked on the multi -national committee which framed the Santiago Agreements, providing one stop multi-territory rights clearance for digital services. A creative and effective deal maker, Conlon led negotiations with industry leading digital properties ranging from YouTube to Spotify, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and MP3.com, to Apple’s iRadio and Pandora. Under his management, licensed properties grew to more than 10,000 sites and digital income consistently drove corporate revenue growth.
He is an active participant in the global dialog surrounding digital entertainment and rights issues, speaking recently at events including MIDEM, Dubai Music Week, The Trigger Creative Conference in Sweden and the CISAC World Creators Summit. He developed an integrated strategy to shape the public policy landscape for strong copyright protection around the world. He has been widely quoted on the rights marketplace by media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The International Herald Tribune, and is a frequent guest on Fox Business News, CNN and other television outlets. Prior to BMI, Conlon managed the efforts to drive consumer revenues at Viacom’s Pay- per-View TV unit and served as Vice President Affiliate Sales at The Learning Channel (TLC), part of the team which positioned the network for its sale to Discovery Networks.
He earned his Masters Degree in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California where he was awarded an Annenberg Grant and holds a B.A. in English from Boston College.