Bilde av gate i los angeles Los Angeles, United States – December 18, 2013: View of Hollywood Boulevard at sunset. In 1958, the Walk of Fame was created on this street as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry.

TONO Launches New US Initiative

TONO, Norway’s music rights organization, is now establishing a presence in Los Angeles on a trial basis to act as a resource for Norwegian songwriters, composers, and lyricists living and working in the United States. TONO also aims to simplify the process for Norwegian music creators to venture into the U.S. market and to strengthen Norwegian music exports.

 / 16/01/2024 /

The U.S. and Los Angeles hold a dominant position in the global music market. Here, music is created that resonates around the world, and LA also attracts Norwegian songwriters, composers, lyricists, and producers seeking an international career.

“Norway has many talented music creators across all genres who deserve to reach an international audience. We see significant potential in expanding the international reach of Norwegian music rights. In light of this, we are establishing a strategic presence in Los Angeles to actively support Norwegian songwriters as they navigate and enter the American market,” says Karl Vestli, CEO of TONO.

Advisory Services, Meeting places and Other assistance

It’s a long way from TONO’s offices in Oslo to the American West Coast, but now Norwegian songwriters residing there and elsewhere in the U.S. will be able to meet with TONO in person.

There is a need among our members in the U.S. for a local TONO representative. We will offer advisory services, member support, and establish TONO meeting places, similar to what we provide in Norway. Our first TONO gathering in Los Angeles, held in October 2023, was met with great ehthusiasm. Such meeting places are important for fostering connections, which in turn stimules the creation of new music, fulfilling one of TONO´s core objectives,” says Vestli.

The TONO representative in Los Angeles will also represent TONO in meetings with organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and Australian APRA AMCOS, among others, with a focus on both regular member-related issues and potential new collaborative projects.

“There is a need among our members in the U.S. for a local TONO representative. We will offer advisory services, member support, and establish TONO meeting places, similar to what we provide in Norway”, says Ceo of TONO, Karl Vestli. (Photo: Stig Jarnes/Saycheeze)

First in the Nordic Region

TONO is the first Nordic CMO/PRO for songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers to establish continuous presence in the United States. British PRS for Music, Canadian SOCAN and Australian APRA AMCOS have had a presence in the U.S. for many years.  APRA AMCOS has been a valuable brainstorming partner for TONO in the U.S. initiative leading up to this moment.

TONO’s representative in Los Angeles is Erik Steigen. Originally from Bergen, Norway, he has been working in the American music industry since the late 1990’s after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has been the music rights director for business management teams representing artists and songwriters such as Lionel Richie, Mötley Crüe, Sheryl Crow, Pearl Jam, Blondie, and Brian Wilson, as well as songwriters who have written for Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand, Demi Lovato, Pitbull, Jason Derulo, and Eric Clapton, among others. Today, he is a manager and consultant. He also leads the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, NorCham LA. Steigen will not be an employee of TONO, but will be hired on a consultancy basis.

“I am very impressed by TONO’s commitment to expansion. Only the larger PROs, or ‘TONO companies,’ in the world are already represented in the USA, so this makes TONO stand out. I am very pleased to be able to work for TONO and Norwegian music creators who are venturing into the United States. I will share experiences, knowledge, and network to support TONO’s members, and in this process, hopefully help to bridge the distance to Norway. LA is a unique meeting point where creative souls from all over the world come together and create music for potential clients from film, TV, gaming, tech, and the music industry, so there are many exciting opportunities here,” says Erik Steigen.

Bilde av mann som smiler og ser i kamera.
“Erik Steigen has been working in the American music industry since the 1990s. He is now engaged as TONO’s representative in Los Angeles and the USA. (Photo: Arne Ristesund/Bergensavisen)”

Desire to Strengthen Norwegian Music Exports

It is important for TONO to be close to its members, both here in Norway and abroad.

“We want to provide good service, be a resource for our members, and meet the expectations they have for a modern copyright society. This means that in addition to being close to our members in Norway, we must also follow up and be present for Norwegian songwriters who are venturing into other countries. We are dedicated to increasing income from the international use of our members’ music in the years ahead,” says Vestli.

Members who have questions about TONO’s work in the USA, or who wish to contact TONO’s representative in Los Angeles, can send an email to

About TONO

TONO, the Norwegian CMO/PRO was founded in 1928 and is a non-profit cooperative owned and managed by composers, lyricists, and music publishers, managing the economic copyrights of their musical works. TONO grants permission to use protected music on radio, TV, the internet, concerts, cinema, etc., in exchange for payment, and transfers its financial results each year to rights holders in music that has been performed publicly. TONO has more than 40,000 members but also works for millions of authors and music publishers from around the world. TONO provides music creators with an economic foundation to create new music and collects and simplifies licensing of protected music for music users. TONO had a turnover of 864.6 million Norwegian kroner in 2022, equivalent to EUR 81,95 million.

Media inquiries:
Willy Martinsen, Director of Communications, willy.martinsen (a), 909 65 254