President & CEO
Michael Prommer is Founder and CEO of Defend Music, a music publishing company based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2004, Defend provides worldwide rights management and a full slate of creative services to visionary songwriters and catalog owners across the globe.
Deeply embedded in the worlds of music, media, and entertainment, Michael specializes in the creation and management of rights-heavy, content-driven properties. Having worked shoulder to shoulder with artists from the very beginning of his career, Michael approaches everything with an artist-first mentality, weaving artist advocacy into everything he does. Michael’s early career saw him at the helm of XLR8R.com, an online music publication, as co-owner and COO. While leading XLR8R, he founded a music distribution company, Prommer Inc., with a focus on European electronic music and American hip hop. Through his work with artists at XLR8R and Prommer Inc., he soon identified the need for rights management services. In 2004, Defend Music was born to meet this need, and Prommer Inc. was scaled back as streaming services began to rise. Michael moved Defend to Los Angeles in 2009 while leading the sale of XLR8R to Spin Media. Soon after, Michael was tapped by Vice Media and Live Nation to spearhead the launch of Live Nation TV as General Manager. Today, Michael’s focus is solely on Defend Music and the team he’s created to operate it, maximizing company growth and adding client value.
He is a member of AIMP, a founding member of A2IM and an advisor to the Recording Academy Board of San Francisco. Raised in Munich, Germany, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, riding his bicycle, fundraising for the Pablove Foundation to cure childhood cancer, and advising non-profit Boards. Michael graduated Magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Economics. Prior to entering the music industry, he was a consultant with the private equity group at Bain & Company, where he advised Fortune 500 companies.
Los Angeles native Russell is a trained trumpet player who has many years experience in copyright, licensing and creative services, with a prior stint at Wixen Music Publishing looking after the catalogs of several iconic songwriters. In the summer of 2016 Russell solo hiked the famed John Muir Trail in California.