We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Signings
Beyoncé Signs With Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Variety)
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have worked closely for much of their careers with Jon Platt, who took the reins at the Sony Music company as chairman and CEO in 2019.
War Is Over: Spotify and Warner Chappell sign global licensing deal – including India (MBW)
Warner Chappell and Spotify have just confirmed a fresh global licensing agreement. This deal includes India – rendering all of that Bombay High Court drama over and done with.
Spirit Music Group launches JV with Latin hitmaker Rudy Pérez (Music Week)
The Miami-based JV with Pérez will enable him to identify writers and artists to sign to Spirit Miami. “Rudy is one of a kind—when you think of Latin music there is nobody more qualified,” said Jon Singer, chairman, Spirit Music Group.
Grateful Dead’s Ice Nine Signs Publishing Deal With Warner Chappell (Billboard)
Warner Chappell has entered into a global administration deal with the Grateful Dead’s publishing company Ice Nine, covering the jam band entire body of work of nearly 200 original songs.
Mandarin popstar A-Lin signs publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music (Music Week)
Born in Taiwan, A-Lin released her debut album Lovelorn, Not Guilty in 2006 and has since written and recorded eight albums and one EP, as well as releasing four compilations.
BMG Signs Deal With Sample-Library Platform Tracklib (Billboard)
“Our partnership with BMG demonstrates how established labels and publishers are getting behind our new approach to music licensing,” says Tracklib co-founder and CEO Pär Almqvist.
Primary Wave Partners With the Estate of Soul Icon Donny Hathaway (Billboard)
Primary Wave Music Publishing and the Estate of Donny Hathaway have entered into a partnership in which the company will acquire a majority stake ownership interest in the soul icon’s music publishing catalog and artist master royalty stream.
Hipgnosis snaps up catalog from Maroon 5, Clean Bandit collaborator Ammar Malik (MBW)
Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Ammar Malik’s copyright interests in this catalog, which comprises 90 songs, including publishing and writers share of income.
Sentric Music Group acquires Big World Publishing (Music Week)
Founded by Patrick Meads in 2000, Big World represents a range of funk, soul, jazz, Latin jazz, electronica, afro funk, ambient, blues and reggae music, with artists and writers including Adam Gibbons (aka Lack Of Afro), The New Mastersounds, Eddie Roberts, Wax & Herbal T and Mother Earth.
Hirings and Promotions
Downtown hires Kate Sweetsur as head of creative for UK (Music Week)
As its head of creative, UK, she will be responsible for creative support and developing opportunities for Downtown’s global roster and copyrights, as well as overseeing the signing of new artists, songwriters, and producers in the region.
Mechanical Licensing Collective Names New CEO (Billboard)
The board has selected music executive Kris Ahrend as CEO of the organization, which was designated by the U.S. Copyright Office as a new entity to license and administer rights under the 2018 Music Modernization Act.
Kanye West & EMI Near Settlement Agreement (Again) (Billboard)
Kanye West and EMI have agreed to settle their contract dispute. According to court papers filed in the Southern District of New York, a settlement between the parties has been reached and the case will be dismissed on Feb. 14.
Music Producer Says His Rights Were “Stolen” After a Stroke in Lawsuit Against Publishers (THR)
Music producer Michael Stokes is suing several major publishers in a copyright dispute that alleges his signature was forged and his rights stolen while he was incapacitated following a stroke.
Ariana Grande latest artist sued for alleged song-theft (CMU)
Ariana Grande is being sued in the US over her 2019 hit ‘7 Rings’ which, “by every method of analysis”, is a rip off of an earlier track called ‘You Need It, I Got It’ by Josh Stone. Or so says Josh Stone.
Musicologists Come to Katy Perry’s Defense in ‘Dark Horse’ Case: Verdict Is ‘Inhibiting the Work of Songwriters’ (Billboard)
Fifteen experts filed a brief claiming the jury in the case ignored court instructions and found wrongly in the plaintiffs’ favor.
Why The Song Economy Is Just Getting Started (MIDiA Research)
The Song Economy is the new music industry’s growth engine. It’s why publishing and songwriter catalogues are being acquired at multiples of between 10-20 of annual royalty revenues.
Publishing and rights: ‘Everybody needs to play ball in order for this tech to work’ (Music Ally)
Coverage of the Publishing and Rights track at NY:LON Connect 2020 in New York this week, including the keynote with Reservoir’s CEO and founder Golnar Khosrowshahi, and an update on the MLC from chair and COO of ABKCO Alisa Coleman and Regan Smith, general counsel and associate register of copyrights.
How Taylor Swift’s Outrage at Private Equity Could Shape Future Deals (Billboard)
Swift’s doubts about private equity highlight the sector’s percolating interest in publishing and recorded-music rights — and the risks involved too.
How an Obscure Sample From an Argentine Rock Band Ended Up on Eminem’s New LP (Rolling Stone)
“Eminem wants to sample our dad,” Catarina Spinetta told her siblings. It was a mid-October day and they were celebrating their sister Vera’s birthday. “We we were just surprised,” she adds.
Music Licensing Manager, Advertising and Brands – West One Music Group (Los Angeles)
In this role you will be reporting to the VP of Partnerships & Operations, driving new and existing business on the West Coast of the US and Canada.
Synchronisation Manager, Australian Artists – BMG (Sydney)
Reporting to the Director of Synchronisation, the successful candidate will be responsible for creating licensing and brand partnership opportunities primarily for a local roster.
Publishing Royalties Onboarding and Data Specialist – Synchtank (London/Los Angeles)
The ideal candidate should have significant publishing and label royalties experience on a global basis. Good financial/accounting knowledge is also essential.