We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Concord buys Downtown’s owned music copyright catalog for around $400m (MBW)
The catalog includes hits and works performed by the likes of Adele, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, David Bowie, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Sam Smith, Stevie Wonder, and The 1975.
Blackstone is buying Death Row Records and eOne Music for $385m (MBW)
Hasbro has confirmed it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) to entities controlled by Blackstone for USD $385 million in cash.
Sony Music Publishing partners with Stockholm-based company The Very Good (MBW)
The deal will, says Sony Music Publishing, will see it provide support for the latter company’s catalog and expand global opportunities for its roster of songwriters.
Warner Chappell signs Ari Lennox (CMU)
“Ari and I have known each other for a while now, and it’s been incredible to see her progress as both a songwriter and a performer”, says Warner Chappell Music VP Of A&R Wallace Joseph.
Tinie’s publishing company Imhotep signs Dantae The Kid (Music Week)
London-based songwriter, artist and producer Dantae Johnson, performing under the name Dantae The Kid, has signed to Tinie’s publishing company Imhotep.
Anderson .Paak Opens Door to Worldwide Deal With Warner Chappell Music (Billboard)
The agreement covers the current Silk Sonic single and .Paak’s new music moving forward, as well as the four-time Grammy winner’s full catalog.
Launches & New Ventures
After selling catalog to Concord, Downtown launches new services division led by Mike Smith (MBW)
Going forward, Downtown will focus exclusively on the music services sector – i.e. being a partner to copyright holders large and small, rather than owning copyrights itself – in a plan that it says will support “the extraordinary growth of the independent music economy”.
Music Credit Fund launches with Alison Wenham and Tim Clark as advisory board members (Music Week)
A music finance company aimed at helping artists and content owners to raise funding while retaining the rights to their music or intellectual property has launched with two high-profile industry executives forming its advisory board.
Meddling’s new songwriter discovery tool is for publishers (Music Ally)
Meddling launched in 2015 as an A&R tool for labels, to help them spot emerging artists by crunching data from music consumption across the world. Now it’s trying to do the same thing for publishers with songwriters.
Japanese Music Group Avex Launches US Operation (Billboard)
Japanese music and entertainment giant Avex Group is expanding into North America with the launch of new recording and publishing arm Avex USA, the company announced Wednesday (April 28).
Facts & Figures
The financial company has this week released the latest update to its Music In The Air paper, which has been obtained by MBW.
Finance & Investment
Money Moves: Sherrese Clarke Soares on the Enduring Value of Entertainment IP and Investment with a Conscience (Synchblog)
The former Tempo Music CEO on entertainment IP as an asset class, thinking differently, and putting diversity and inclusion at the forefront of any culture she creates.
Music is a hot new Wall Street asset (Axios)
Phones and streaming platforms have turned music rights into something like a digital annuity that more investors have become interested in buying.
For Music-Rights Deals, the Hits Keep Coming (WSJ)
Tempo Music Investments, a private-equity-backed investment firm launched in 2019 in partnership with Warner Music Group Corp. , has quietly bought up music rights from the Jonas Brothers, Florida Georgia Line, Wiz Khalifa and some top producers.
Reservoir Releases Financial Statements Ahead of Becoming Publicly Traded (Billboard)
Reservoir Media earned $11.5 million in net income on $64 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, according to financial details in an investor presentation for the company’s plans to become publicly traded later this year.
Royalties & CMOs
World Mapped: The Future of Music Royalties on a Global Scale (Synchblog)
As the music industry deals with royalties on an increasingly global scale, we examine the need for more multi-territory and global licensing.
Songwriters Are Getting Drastically Short-Changed in the Music-Streaming Economy, Study Shows (Variety)
With most areas of the business looking at streaming as a if not the primary generator of income, the songwriter’s plight is more dire than ever, according to “Rebalancing the Song Economy,” an authoritative new report by industry analysts Mark Mulligan and Keith Jopling of Midia Research.
PRS For Music’s Andrea C Martin on the ‘tough year ahead’ as collections slump (Music Week)
“It was a hard year, a hard year for all of us,” PRS CEO Andrea C Martin told Music Week. “We had a record distribution, despite having public performance [income] being down 61% and live being down almost 80%.”
BMG is speeding up payments for over 20,000 songwriters (which is also good news for KKR) (MBW)
The company says the move is “part of [our] program to ensure established clients are not left behind by changes in the industry”. It will see songwriters paid within 60 days of the close of a royalty period rather than the 90 days specified in their contracts.
Harry Fox Agency Can’t Dodge Lawsuit From Eminem’s Publisher (Billboard)
A judge rules Eight Mile Style can move forward on a claim that HFA aided Spotify’s infringement of songs including “Lose Yourself.”
Synchtank’s IRIS has already processed hundreds of millions of dollars. Now it’s being made available to music publishers large and small (MBW)
Three of Synchtank’s senior execs discuss IRIS’s genesis, its power and its unique advantages, as well as the impact of the mind-melting, system-straining data that has enriched but engulfed the business of music.
Synchtank Report – Drowning in Data: Royalty Accounting and Systems in the Digital Age (Synchblog)
Our comprehensive new report examines the challenges music publishers are facing with regards to rights, royalties and payments in the digital age.
The Big Clean Up: How Do We Improve Music Rights Data? (Synchblog)
We examine the progress being made with regards to cleaning up music rights data and look at industry-wide solutions and initiatives.
Pay It Again, Sam: We Still Need New Publishing Infrastructure (Guest Op-Ed) (Billboard)
“We don’t need to figure out how to optimize the current publishing infrastructure,” says Meddling founder Travis Rosenblatt. “We need a new one for the world we live in now.”
Jodie Ferneyhough’s CCS Rights Mgmt Celebrates 10th Anniversary (FYI Music News)
Jodie Ferneyhough’s CCS Rights Management turns 10 at the end of the summer. FYI spoke to Ferneyhough about his 10-year milestone and plans for the future.
Who Needs an Album? Just Keep Remaking the Song! (NY Times)
Recent hits by SpotemGottem and Lil Nas X show the power of extending the life of a single track, album be damned.
Music Rights and NFTs: What should we (realistically) expect? (Music Tomorrow)
This NFT-powered future seems like a breath of fresh air for a lot of people in the post-streaming, post-COVID industry — but is it at all realistic? Let’s find out.
4 Music Publishing Revenue Streams, Explained (DJBooth)
Words and music authored by songwriters and composers form the foundation upon which virtually everything else is built. That foundation leads to revenue generated primarily by four revenue streams.
Data, Rights & Royalties Summit – May 12th
Catch speakers Merck Mercuriadis, Milana Lewis, Michael Lau, Vickie Nauman and more at Synchtank’s free Data, Rights & Royalties Summit on May 12th.
Music Publishing Jobs
Senior Financial Analyst – Spirit Music Group (New York)
The Senior Financial Analyst will be uniquely positioned to help drive key business decisions, contribute to strategic initiatives and process improvements, and influence all aspects of financial reporting.
Assistant Manager, Writer & Publisher Relations – Kobalt Music Group (Miami)
Kobalt are seeking a fluent Spanish speaking Assistant Manager with strong customer service and administrative skills to join their Writer & Publisher Relations team in Miami.
Sync Licensing Assistant – Erased Tapes Music Publishing (London)
Erased Tapes Music are currently seeking a creative and organised Sync Licensing Assistant to support the company’s Head of Publishing in a wide variety of tasks.
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