News and Analysis
A Music-Publishing CEO Seeks Higher Fees for Songwriters (WSJ)
Jody Gerson arrived at Universal Music Publishing Group as chairman and CEO in 2015, just as streaming became key to the music industry’s viability. The second-largest music publisher’s revenue has risen 30% since then. But Ms. Gerson wants to push that number higher – by getting streaming services to pay songwriters more to license their music.
BMG revenues top $290m in first half of 2018, with recorded music making up over a third of sales (MBW)
BMG is once again on course to turn over in excess of $500m in a calendar year, after posting its half-year 2018 results today (August 30). Hampered by unfavourable currency exchange rates, Bertelsmann-owned BMG’s total turnover across publishing and records was up 3.3% in H1 2018, to €241m ($292m).
The Long Tail and the Short Fail: The Give and Take of Music Publishing in the Age of Streaming (Synchblog)
With famous musicians and industry executives continuing to express their discontent over the current streaming royalty rates for songwriters, Eamonn Forde takes a look at the situation and explains why the solution is not as simple as it appears.
CD Baby now publishers over a million songs – and says it’s ‘helping solve the industry’s publishing problem one songwriter at a time’ (MBW)
The music industry has gotten used to describing CD Baby as a “distributor” over the past 20 years, but the Oregon-headquartered business has grown far beyond this core service – as a new milestone handsomely proves.
Spotify now displays songwriter and producer credits for iOS users (The Verge)
Spotify first added the option to check out a track’s songwriter and producer credits back in February — and now, the feature is being rolled out onto iOS.
Sentric Music acquires Black Rock (M Magazine)
Black Rock, which was co-founded by former Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) chief executive Mark Lawrence, provides artist publishing, neighbouring rights representation and record label rights management services for electronic artists and companies.
Round Hill acquires Eric Carmen catalog, including ‘All By Myself’ (MBW)
Round Hill Music raised $263m to acquire copyrights earlier this year – and it’s continuing to write significant checks out of this warchest. The New York-HQ’d publisher has just acquired the catalog of hit singer/songwriter Eric Carmen – including hits such as “All By Myself” and “Hungry Eyes”.
Concord has spent over $1bn on acquisitions in 14 years. Meet the exec sniffing out the deals (MBW)
The music business was forever changed on June 2 last year when Concord Music announced that it had swooped for historic European publisher Imagem in a deal valued at comfortably north of $500m. Since then, Concord has made several more lucrative acquisitions, led by executive Steve Salm.
Downtown Publishing Acquires Film/TV Catalogs for ‘Kardashians,’ ‘Project Runway,’ More (Variety)
Downtown Music Publishing has added three catalogs to its substantial roster of film music, which includes such composers as Hans Zimmer, Atticus Ross, Marco Beltrami, Trevor Rabin, Heitor Pereira and the late Sir George Martin: Note Republic, Court TV, and Indian Paintbrush.
Production Team The Stereotypes, eOne Partner on New Publishing Venture (Variety)
Grammy-winning production team The Stereotypes, best known for working on Bruno Mars’ hit album “24K Magic,” has signed a joint venture music publishing agreement with Entertainment One (eOne). As part of the partnership, Stereotypes members and songwriters Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves and Ray Charles McCullough II will work with eOne to sign and develop new talent.
‘Our catalogue is in the hands of loving music fans’: Soundway partners with Third Side Music (Music Week)
Founded in 2005, Third Side Music is an independent synchronisation licensing and copyright administration company. Soundway will now be joining Third Side Music’s roster including artists such as Courtney Barnett, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Kurt Vile as well as their catalogues which include The Clyde Otis Music Group, Studio One/Jam Rec and Galt MacDermot.
Norway’s Arctic Rights inks sub-publishing deals with BMG and Kassner (MBW)
Independent Norwegian publisher Arctic Rights Management has inked two new sub-publishing deals to strengthen its global presence. The company has recently enjoyed worldwide chart success with Dua Lipa’s New Rules (video pictured) – co-written by Arctic Rights’ signing Caroline Ailin. Arctic Rights has now signed an agreement for the world outside the UK and Ireland with BMG, its co-publisher on New Rules.
MelodyVR inks deal with Sony/ATV (M Magazine)
Leading virtual reality music content creator MelodyVR has signed an agreement with Sony/ATV, EMI Music Publishing and Solar Music Rights. The multi-year agreement licenses the virtual reality distribution of Sony/ATV songwriters’ music and increases MelodyVR’s library of original content across Europe.
Universal Music Publishing Group inks global deal with Lionsgate Entertainment (MBW)
The administration deal covers Lionsgate’s musical compositions and scores. Under the administration agreement, UMPG will also administer Lionsgate’s music rights, including licensing, revenue collection and accounting.
‘We aim for the stars’: Futurekind partners with Disciples’ Nathan Duvall (Music Week)
Futurekind has been busy expanding since Music Week first reported on its publishing JV with Sony/ATV. As revealed in the latest issue, the music and entertainment company has now formed a co-publishing venture with Outcry, which was founded by Disciples writer and producer Nathan Duvall.
Facebook secures music licensing deal for Australia and New Zealand (Music Ally)
The deal with APRA AMCOS (the Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society), which represents, 95,000 songwriter and publisher members, will ensure remuneration for use of their copyrights on the tech company’s assorted platforms.
Sony/ATV bolsters UK team to capitalise on streaming growth (Music Week)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has bolstered its European digital and international business affairs team to capitalise on the growth in streaming. The raft of appointments will enable the company to work more closely with international affiliates and digital service providers.
‘We operate in a fast-paced industry’: Mark Coltman upped to UMPG technology role (Music Week)
Universal Music Publishing Group has promoted Mark Coltman to EVP, information technology. Coltman will continue to be based in London and will report to UMPG’s CFO, worldwide JW Beekman and EVP, global administration John Reston.
Downtown hires Peter Rosenthal as general counsel (Music Week)
Downtown Music Publishing has announced the appointment of Peter Rosenthal as general counsel. Rosenthal will oversee worldwide legal and business affairs for Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, and Downtown Music Studios.
PRS for Music announces senior appointments (Music Week)
PRS for Music has announced three key hires and an internal promotion, bolstering its leadership team. Claire Jarvis joins from Sky, taking up the position of director of membership and Sami Valkonen joins from Google, as director of international. Rachael Naylor, who has been with the organisation for eight and a half years, is promoted to the newly-created role of director of operations and distributions, while Barney Hooper joins from AEG in the equally new position of director of communications and marketing.
Bucks Music Group hires Adam Soffe to sync team (MBW)
Soffe joins the UK-based independent publisher having worked at Ministry Of Sound for the last three years where he was responsible for sync across both publishing and recorded divisions.
Sony/ATV promotes Lou Al-Chamaa and Nick Bral in company’s A&R team (MBW)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has promoted Lou Al-Chamaa to Vice President, A&R and Nick Bral to Director, A&R, both based in the company’s Los Angeles office.
BASCA elects new board, moves to the Ministry in South London (MBW)
The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) has announced the results of its recent Board and Committee elections. Over recent weeks BASCA members have been electing representatives across Classical, Jazz, Media and Songwriting genres, with a number of new faces joining those committees and the board.
Peermusic Signs Linda Perry to Global Publishing Deal (Variety)
Peermusic, the 90-year-old independent publishing company that’s home to over a half million titles, has signed Linda Perry as a songwriter to a global publishing deal. In addition, the company announced a joint venture with We Are Hear Music, the record label, publishing and management company run by Perry and her business partner Kerry Brown.
David Guetta Signs Worldwide Publishing Deal With Kobalt Music (Billboard)
Kobalt Music has signed a worldwide agreement with hitmaking DJ-songwriter-producer David Guetta that covers publishing administration — including global synch and creative support services — for the French superstar’s catalog going back more than 15 years.
Downtown signs worldwide publishing deal with Chase & Status (MBW)
Downtown has signed a worldwide deal with British dance act Chase & Status. The futures deal covers the multi-platinum duo’s upcoming release, Return 2 Jungle, as well as their external third-party writing.
Reservoir signs deal with Stone Temple Pilots frontman Jeff Gutt (MBW)
Reservoir has signed Stone Temple Pilots frontman Jeff Gutt to a worldwide publishing deal. The deal includes global rights to Gutt’s entire catalog of titles, including Stone Temple Pilots’ self-titled 2018 release, plus future works.
UMPG signs Danny Shah (Music Week)
Within the last 18 months, Shah has become a rising hit-maker with credits on two No.1 albums with The Vamps as well as five tracks on Kylie Minogue’s chart-topping Golden. Shah has also written for artists including including David Guetta, Hrvy, Loren Gray, Zak Abel, Oliver Heldens, Sigma, Sigala and Kaiser Chiefs. His songwriting spans rock, metal, pop and R&B.
Octavian signs to Sony/ATV (M Magazine)
Drake-endorsed UK rapper Oliver Godji, aka Octavian, has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV and Stellar Songs. The 22-year-old South Londoner has only released only a handful of singles, but he’s already been cited as the UK’s next big rap star by the likes of Pitchfork and Noisey.
Concord Music signs producer and songwriter Alex Metric (Music Week)
Alex Metric – real name Alex Drury – has worked with artists including Robbie Williams, Charlie XCX, Avicii, Busted and The Infadels, and has remixed songs for Foals, Madeon, NERD, Daft Punk, Gorillaz, Depeche Mode and Bloc Party.
“He is a true talent”: Bucks Music Group signs singer/songwriter Tom Joshua (Music Week)
Bucks Music Group has announced that it has signed rising Teeside-born singer/songwriter Tom Joshua to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal.
UK music industry launches #LoveMusic campaign ahead of EU vote (Music Week)
The campaign, organised by UK Music, has the backing of AIM, BASCA, the BPI, the FAC, MMF, Music Publishers Association, MPG, Musicians’ Union, PPL and PRS For Music.
‘Songwriters need and deserve this bill’: Music Modernisation Act compromise reached (Music Week)
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), and SESAC announced they have agreed to work together to support the bill.
Warner goes legal over Frank Sinatra songs and an often forgotten British reversion right (CMU)
Warner/Chappell has gone legal in a dispute with a company called Bourne Co over the rights in works composed by Jimmy Van Heusen, probably best known for the hits he wrote for Frank Sinatra, which included ‘Love And Marriage’ and ‘Come Fly With Me’. The dispute centres on reversion rights and the differences between US and UK law. Though not in the way you probably think.
BMG accepts ‘substantial’ settlement from Cox Communications, ending legal battle with ISP (MBW)
BMG has settled in its long-running copyright infringement case against the third biggest ISP in the US, Cox Communications, for a “substantial” sum. BMG North America General Counsel Keith Hauprich, said, ‘Other ISPs should take note that the law gives protection to the work of artists and songwriters. We will not hesitate to take action where necessary.’
We Shall Overcome publisher handed $352,000 legal bill after song declared public domain (CMU)
The company that claimed to own the copyright in the song ‘We Shall Overcome’ has been handed a legal bill of $352,000 after conceding earlier this year that the work was, in fact, public domain under American copyright law.
IMPALA lodges concerns with European Commission over “seismic” impact of Sony’s EMI deals (CMU)
IMPALA, the organisation that represents the independent music community in Europe, has made a pre-emptive strike as Sony Corp begins the process of seeking approval for its bid to take complete control of the EMI Music Publishing catalogue.