Have You Heard the News? 

by David Jahnke, Senior Vice President of National Sales, Hal Leonard

It started with a press release:

MILWAUKEE – Hal Leonard, the world’s largest publisher of printed music, announced that they have acquired Sheet Music Plus, the leading e-commerce website for music publications.

Sheet Music Plus will continue to operate as an independent business led by CEO Jenny Silva and her existing team in the Emeryville, CA, office. Founded in 1997, Sheet Music Plus currently sells music from hundreds of publishers from throughout the world in both paper form and digital formats.

Hal Leonard will use their new relationship to develop the ability for consumers to order from the SMP website and pick up their products at their local music store. In addition, they will also launch a Retailer Partner Program that will feature the ability for retailers to order products using SMP’s online platform.

“This next chapter will bring many advantages for our customers,” said Sheet Music Plus CEO Jenny Silva. “We have worked closely together with Hal Leonard for years and I know that their team has a deep appreciation for the great service that Sheet Music Plus provides to musicians. We look forward to sharing our strengths to provide even more services to the greater music community as well.”

There you have it…any questions?  We thought so!

I’ll guess you’re thinking, “Why would a dealer-centric company like Hal Leonard purchase an ecommerce music retailer?”  The answer might actually surprise you.  We believe Sheet Music Plus is good for the print music industry – publishers and retailers alike.

Ecommerce is an important, growing market but it’s not an easy one for the majority of traditional retailers to get involved with.  SMP has spent the past 20 years defining and refining how to promote and sell print music on-line.  They have amassed an amazing database of titles, the proof of which is retailers telling us that SMP is their “go-to” website for product availability and information.

The team at SMP also understands the importance of music retailers and the valuable part traditional retailers play in creating more music makers.  Music retailers offer consumers touch points that ecommerce retailers will never be able to do.  It’s this personal interaction with the product and the store that is absolutely essential to the success of print music for everyone.

Our decision to purchase SMP was not only based on our long history of working together.  It was also with the intent to create innovative programs designed for the wellbeing of our market.  Concepts like “click and collect” where consumers can select titles from the Sheet Music Plus website and pick them up at the music store of their choice.  Or “white label” websites which give retailers the ability to personalize a website that is powered by SMP’s content and fulfillment engine.  We believe there are a lot of creative ways that we can work with the team at Sheet Music Plus to help us support our music retailer accounts.

I know you may still have questions so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.  I also invite you to visit us at the RPMDA convention in Atlanta, April 26 – 29.  Working together we can make a difference because print matters.