We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Hipgnosis buys 50% stake in Rick James catalog, including master rights (MBW)
In addition, Hipgnosis has acquired a 50% stake in James’ neighboring rights income, collected via SoundExchange.
Sony/ATV signs publishing deal with Baby Shark creators Pinkfong (MBW)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed an agreement with SmartStudy, the global entertainment company behind children’s brand, Pinkfong, to publish their entire catalog of children’s songs, including the world-famous pop culture phenomenon Baby Shark.
Sentric signs Don Broco to exclusive songwriting agreement (Music Week)
Sentric Music Group has confirmed it has signed Don Broco to an exclusive songwriting agreement that covers future works.
Concord Music Publishing Signs Donovan Woods (Music Row)
The Ontario native has had his songs recorded by Tim McGraw (“Portland, Maine”) and Charles Kelley (“Leaving Nashville”), and as an artist, his catalog has earned more than 200 million streams to date.
Sony/ATV Signs ‘Girls Like You’ Co-Writer Jason Evigan to Publishing Admin Deal (Variety)
Evigan’s credits include Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” ft. Cardi B and “What Lovers Do” ft. SZA, Dan + Shay’s latest, “I Should Probably Go To Bed,” Ellie Goulding’s “Hate Me,” ft. Juice WRLD, and Dua Lipa’s “Physical.”
Facts & Figures
Kanye West was the biggest songwriter in the US in Q3, with 39 certifications (MBW)
The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has announced the top songwriters for Q3 2020, including the top songwriter for the period.
Finance & Investment
Round Hill royalty fund raises $282 million in IPO (Music Week)
All investor applications were met in full. The $282m raised is below the initial issue target of a $375m, with 375m shares issued at $1 each.
Larry Mestel: ‘I was shocked the majors let me into the business.’ (MBW)
Is Larry Mestel about to raise a billion dollars? Don’t bet against it. Mestel’s Primary Wave has raised over $800m in the past four years via two IP funds: a $300m fund in 2016, backed by Black Rock, and a further $500m-plus fund launched last year.
After Hipgnosis’ Purchase of 33,000 Songs, What’s Next for Kobalt Music Group? (Billboard)
Does the sale of its Copyrights Fund I with 33,000 songs to Hipgnosis Songs for $323 million suggest that the company might be sold piecemeal?
Spirit Music Group On Its 25th Anniversary & the Pursuit of a $1 Billion Valuation (Billboard)
Spirit Music Group chairman Jon Singer and his team have a mantra: “250,000 song copyrights and a valuation of $1 billion.” As the company celebrates its 25th anniversary, it is on a solid path to reach those goals.
Big-Money Music Deals Could Explode Before 2020 Ends, Thanks to Joe Biden (Rolling Stone)
Superstars and music execs are celebrating the Biden/Harris win — but they’re also keeping a close eye on how proposed tax plans could affect the current copyright acquisition frenzy.
Event: Valuations In Today’s Marketplace And Beyond – November 19 (AIMP)
Our distinguished panel looks at music IP catalog acquisition and valuation from a buyer, a seller, to a valuation expert & lastly, from the debt financing side.
Hirings & Promotions
Sony/ATV promotes Veronica Vaccarezza to SVP, business development, US Latin (Music Week)
Vaccarezza is based in Sony/ATV’s Miami office and reports directly to Sony/ATV president and CEO, Latin America & US Latin, Jorge Mejia.
Royalties & CMOs
PPL PRS confirms licensing payment holiday for businesses during lockdown (Music Week)
PL PRS has decided to implement a payment holiday for customers again during the latest lockdown across England, while many businesses are unable to open until at least December 2.
5 Key Quotes From The Mechanical Licensing Collective Webinar (Grammy)
With the forthcoming changes to the digital mechanical royalties landscape happening in 2021, the Recording Academy hosted a special webinar to explain how the MLC will benefit creators
Donald Trump Tries ‘Fair Use’ Defense in ‘Electric’ Copyright Lawsuit (Billboard)
Donald Trump still thinks he can win this one. We’re of course referring to the lawsuit that was filed against his presidential campaign for using the 1983 hit “Electric Avenue” in a campaign video.
20 Songs That Would Result In Copyright Lawsuits If They Were Released Today (Stereogum)
Plagiarism’s been a sticking point in popular music ever since money got involved, with everything from hip-hop sampling to Weird Al parody to stylistic homage coming under fire from whatever quarters generally feel concerned about these kinds of things (i.e. labels, mostly).
Are rights holders missing the point with Twitch? (MIDiA)
Just like the music industry still hasn’t grasped the full potential of YouTube, it may be making a similar mistake with Twitch.
Warner Chappell Music’s Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall On a Global Future and Competing With ‘Fund Guys’ (Billboard)
The publishing executives talk international priorities and why it’s not just about big catalogs anymore. “I encourage people to think about it almost like they’re record collecting — go and find those songs because you’re passionate about them.”
Podcast Overlords: Spotify only works for the stars (The Baffler)
In many ways, the $50 billion company is treating podcasters similarly to how it has historically treated musicians, with a system that privileges the already moneyed and powerful.
Nashville’s Powerhouse Indie Publishers On ‘Hustling’ In a Tough Year (Billboard)
When Beth Laird was preparing to launch her Nashville independent publishing company, Creative Nation, in 2011, she turned to publishing veteran Carla Wallace, co-founder of fellow Nashville indie Big Yellow Dog Music.
Change of tune: Japan music fans moving from CDs to streaming services (Reuters)
Japanese music enthusiasts, loyal to CDs long after the rest of the world went online, have begun reaching for the eject button and switching to streaming services as artists cancel in-store events and fans stay home because of the pandemic.
Hit-Boy and WondaGurl on producers’ new power — & why their pub deals still need to get better (Billboard)
The coronavirus pandemic may have forced much of the music industry to pause, but it hasn’t stopped WondaGurl and Hit-Boy — two of hip-hop’s most prolific and inventive producers — from working nonstop.
State of Play: the rise of in-game concerts (DJ Mag)
In our new monthly column, State of Play, Cherie Hu explores the fast-growing intersection of music and gaming: how these worlds are coming together to create new experiences, for gamers and music fans alike.
Music Publishing Job Spotlight
Systems & Asset Administrator – Warner Music Group (Los Angeles)
This is a fantastic opportunity to join the innovative and highly sought-after IT team at Warner Chappell Production Music.
Sales/Licensing Rep – DL Music (Los Angeles)
LA based DL Music seeks experienced Sales/Licensing Rep for their extensive background instrumental, song, new artist catalogs & original music creative services.
Director of Music Catalog Analysis – Vezt (Los Angeles)
Qualified candidates should have a music publishing or PRO/finance background with experience in valuing music catalogs internationally, across all income streams.
Check out more available positions here or get in touch to post a free job listing.
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