We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Neil Young Sells 50% of His Song Copyrights to Hipgnosis (Variety)
In its third major acquisition of the week, Hipgnosis Songs has acquired 50% of Neil Young’s worldwide copyright and income interests in his entire song catalog, which comprises 1,180 songs.
Hipgnosis fully acquires Lindsey Buckingham song catalog, including 100% writer and publisher share of Fleetwood Mac hits (MBW)
Today’s news means that the majority of publishing rights for songs penned by two of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest songwriters – Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks – are now owned by modern, highly acquisitive, rights management firms.
Jimmy Iovine Sells Producer Catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund (Billboard)
The deal gives Hipgnosis 100% of Iovine’s worldwide producer royalties across 259 songs, as well as his film production royalties for two films he co-produced: 8 Mile starring Eminem and Get Rich or Die Tryin’ starring 50 Cent.
Primary Wave signs catalogue deal with Adele co-writer and Semisonic member Dan Wilson (Music Week)
Along with his own work as an artist, the songwriter’s credits include Adele’s One And Only, Don’t You Remember and Someone Like You. Wilson has also written with The Chicks, along with co-writing credits on songs by Taylor Swift, John Legend, Dierks Bentley, Pink, Josh Groban, Chris Stapleton and Leon Bridges.
Mr. Probz inks multi-year publishing partnership with Warner Chappell Music (MBW)
Dennis Princewell Stehr, better known as Mr. Probz, is a Dutch producer and singer-songwriter with several worldwide hits. Mr. Probz’ career started in the hip-hop community with independent collaborations in the Netherlands and the United States.
Launches & New Ventures
Daniel Glass launches Connection Music Publishing (CMU)
Glassnote founder Daniel Glass and the label’s CFO Chris Scully have announced the launch of new company Connection Music Publishing. Their first hire is Jackie Post, as Head Of Publishing.
Facts & Figures
New report Shows Music Streaming Set New Record in 2020, With 17% U.S. Increase Led by Huge Lil Baby Tally (Variety)
Among the big winners of the year in MRC’s study: Taylor Swift’s album sales, Roddy Ricch’s blockbuster single, country music streaming, Latin pop and the vinyl boom. To the surprise of many, the pandemic seems to have ended up being a boon for streaming.
Audio streaming volume grew by its biggest EVER amount in the UK in 2020, as Brits turned to music during pandemic lockdown (MBW)
Annual growth in music streaming volume in the United Kingdom was widely expected to slow down in 2020. Instead, driven by the pandemic lockdown, it sped up – in a big way.
Nearly a third of all streams in the US last year were of Hip-hop and R&B artists (as Rock beat Pop to second most popular streaming genre) (MBW)
Over 30% of all on-demand audio and video streams in the United States last year were of tracks recorded by R&B and hip-hop artists.
Finance & Investment
Money Moves – Lyric Capital’s Ross Cameron on Spirit Music’s Big Plans and Combining Private Equity Investment with Asset and Legacy Preservation (Synchblog)
In this edition of Money Moves, Ross Cameron, who came into the music world from a finance background, speaks about Spirit’s past, future plans and financial focus with a “human touch” which is a critical part of their offering.
Hipgnosis Gets Another £200 Million for Acquisitions (Billboard)
The board of directors of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, the acquirer this week of Neil Young and Lindsey Buckingham’s catalogs, have approved an increase in its debt facility by £200 million ($272 million) to £600 million ($815.8 million).
Music’s Big Deal Maker: David Dunn of Shot Tower Capital on Shepherding Sales in a Hot Market (Billboard)
In addition to its role as the Jackson estate’s financial adviser, Shot Tower — which employs seven bankers and an assistant — has been involved in some of the decade’s biggest publishing deals, including the 2012 acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, its 2018 sale, the 2017 sale of Imagem to Concord and Big Deal’s sale to Hipgnosis earlier this year.
Why Artists Are Selling Their Music Catalogs (with Karl Fowlkes) (Trapital)
A recording of the Why Artists Are Selling Their Music Catalogs webinar from December 19. We broke down the reasons why so many artists sold their catalogs in 2020, the companies that want them, and where this trend is heading.
Hirings & Promotions
Jackie Post to Head Up Connection Music Publishing, New Company From Glassnote’s Daniel Glass and Chris Scully (Forbes)
Post was most recently at Kobalt, where she was first involved in client relations and then in business development, seeking catalog acquisition and administration opportunities.
Sony/ATV promotes Brad Levin to senior finance role (Music Week)
Reporting to global chief financial officer Tom Kelly, Levin’s new responsibilities include financial reporting and analysis, technical accounting research, providing guidance and support on deal negotiations, and other finance-related projects.
Downtown Names Dewayne Ector to Lead Digital Licensing, Royalty Collection (Billboard)
The post, announced Thursday, places Ector in charge of negotiation and maximization of revenue from digital licenses across Downtown’s business units.
Michèle Domi joins Warner Chappell Music France (Music Week)
Domi will be based in Paris office, reporting to its managing director Matthieu Tessier. She joins the present A&R team at Warner Chappell Music France, which is comprised of Joris Auffret, Valentin Zucca and Jerôme Brucker.
John Ozier Named AIMP National Chair; Initial 2021 Events Announced (Music Row)
He succeeds Teri Nelson-Carpenter, who remains the President of the Los Angeles Chapter. AIMP National Chairs are selected from the three chapter presidents by the Executive Committee, and serve one two-year term.
Royalties & CMOs
The Mechanical Licensing Collective Begins Full Operations As Envisioned By The Music Modernization Act Of 2018 (Broadway World)
Starting today (Jan 02), The MLC will officially begin administering this new blanket license established by the MMA.
Songview in Review: Test-Driving ASCAP and BMI’s New Shared Data Platform (Variety)
The music licensing community was intrigued by the Dec. 21st launch of Songview, a new one-stop platform presented by performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI combining both databases for easier searchability.
Danish collecting society puts the spotlight on the gender imbalance in songwriter earnings (CMU)
Danish collecting society Koda published a new report just before Christmas that puts the spotlight on the imbalance in earnings between male and female songwriters and composers.
Recoup, There It Is: An Artist’s Guide to Royalty Hunting (Billboard)
With 2020 finally behind us, but also looking forward to a very slow touring year, now is the time to focus on the business of collection – namely, identifying and collecting all the streams of revenue available to you as a songwriter, recording artist, performer, producer and/or musician.
Tracy Chapman Wins $450K in Copyright Suit Against Nicki Minaj (THR)
The cost of taking another songwriter’s work without permission and illicitly leaking a remade version is $450,000. That’s what Nicki Minaj will be paying Tracy Chapman to satisfy her copyright infringement claims over “Sorry,” a derivative of “Baby Can I Hold You.”
Music Publishing Job Spotlight
Royalties Co-Ordinator – The Music Royalty Company (London)
The Music Royalty Company are seeking a hungry and dedicated royalty assistant looking to gain experience and insight at a fast growing company.
Primary Wave are looking for an enthusiastic colleague with a dedicated work ethic and a sharp mind who is eager to explore all aspects related to music-related royalties.
Data & Systems Analyst – Primary Wave Music Publishing (New York)
Primary Wave are looking for an enthusiastic colleague with a dedicated work ethic and a sharp mind who will be responsible for compiling and analyzing all royalty transactional and contract data.
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