We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Joni Mitchell Strikes Global Admin Deal With Reservoir Media (Variety)
Fast-rising independent music company Reservoir Media has announced a deal with legendary singer-songwriter and eight-time Grammy winner Joni Mitchell that will see the company becoming the worldwide administrator of her publishing catalog.
Round Hill Music Royalty Fund buys catalog from British producer and songwriter Tim Palmer (MBW)
The catalog includes 30 songs covering tracks from the Pearl Jam album Ten, and producer and publishing royalties for Ozzy Osbourne’s album Down to Earth.
Gin Blossoms Take Root at Primary Wave (Hits Daily Double)
Primary Wave assembled a string of deals with the estate of Doug Hopkins, the principal songwriter on many of the band’s early hits, and the estate of former producer John Hampton, plus current members Robin Wilson, Bill Leen, Jesse Valenzuela and Scotty Johnson and former drummer Phil Rhodes.
Vivendi sells additional 2.9% of Universal Music Group to Pershing Square for $1.15bn (MBW)
Today’s news follows Pershing Square’s acquisition of 7.1% of Universal Music Group for $2.8 billion (USD) earlier this month, and brings Pershing Square’s ownership to a total of 10% of UMG’s share capital.
Sony Music Publishing UK extends deal with James Vincent McMorrow (Music Week)
James Vincent McMorrow said: “Sony Music Publishing has been my home since I was literally a kid on Myspace uploading songs, the first people to believe in my songwriting.”
Relative Music Group & Sony Music Publishing Sign Nick Donley (Music Row)
Originally from Ohio, Donley began writing songs in college and started his career writing commercials for radio. He moved to Nashville in 2006 to pursue his career as a professional songwriter.
Facts & Figures
The €296 million haul – up 5.2% on a reported basis – represented a €14 million jump on the €282 million that BMG generated in the same six-month period of 2020.
Royalties & CMOs
BMI reveals $1.34bn of distributions in its fiscal 2021 (Music Ally)
Digital played its part in the strong figures: BMI’s digital licensing revenues grew by 47% year-on-year to $448m. Ad-supported TV, subscription video services like Disney+ and Netflix, and direct-to-streaming film premieres on the platforms of Apple, Amazon and YouTube contributed to that growth.
Split Decisions: Olivia Rodrigo Has Given Up Millions in Publishing Royalties (Billboard)
Here’s what it costs the “good 4 u” singer to share credits with Taylor Swift, Hayley Williams and others.
SESAC acquires royalty collection platform Audiam from SOCAN (MBW)
The acquisition of Audiam by SESAC brings the former company into the same stable as the Harry Fox Agency, the rights licensing platform that was acquired by SESAC from the National Music Publishers’ Association in 2015.
Brazil’s SOCINPRO partners with Unison for Pan-European collection (MBW)
This collaboration agreement mandates Unison to collect digital publishing rights, both mechanical and public performance, on behalf of SOCINPRO for these territories.
Music publishers and labels urge Croatian government to change its proposed copyright bill introducing extended collective licensing (Creative Industries News)
The signatories of the letter argued that, as such, the proposed text would “seriously harm the development of the Croatian music market and Croatian and European music performers.”
Finance & Investment
UMG’s Valuation Is Rising Fast Ahead of Public Listing — Here’s Why (Billboard)
Since Tencent agreed in late 2019 to buy 20% of Universal Music Group at a $33 billion valuation, estimates of the company’s worth keep rising. The latest? JP Morgan’s $62 billion.
Why This Is the Right Time to Sell Your Catalog (Billboard)
The window may be closing soon for musicians hoping to maximize their returns on what’s likely their most precious asset.
Bill Ackman: Universal and Warner are both under-valued… but UMG’s the right bet for us (MBW)
What does Ackman think about UMG and WMG? In short, he thinks they’re both under-valued – but that, out of the two, UMG’s the better bet.
Hipgnosis Songs Fund – Finance Specialist (London)
Hipgnosis Songs Fund is looking for several driven finance people with a background in the music space to join the fastest growing and most transformational business in the song management industry.