We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Hipgnosis Songs Fund buys huge catalog from Kobalt in $322.9m acquisition (MBW)
The deal includes catalogs from hit writers such as Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Winwood, the B-52s, 50 Cent, Savan Kotecha, Skrillex, Nelly, Bonnie McKee, George Benson, Christina Perri, and Walter Afanasieff (including Afanasieff’s cut on Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You).
Tencent Music Entertainment Group and peermusic strike exclusive digital licensing deal in China (MBW)
Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) and peermusic have signed an exclusive digital licensing deal to promote and distribute peermusic’s publishing catalog in China.
Warner Chappell Music renews deal with Chinese superstar David Tao (MBW)
‘His evergreen songs have been very influential to the development of Asian music,’ says Monica Lee, President, Warner Chappell Asia Pacific.
Former Syco A&R boss Anya Jones signs songwriting deal with Spirit Music Group (Music Week)
Jones is well known for her career as a label exec, including 12 years at Syco, where she was ultimately head of A&R.
Sony/ATV Signs Producer-Songwriter Johnny Goldstein to Co-Publishing Deal (Variety)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has announced the signing of producer and songwriter Johnny Goldstein to a new co-publishing deal, in partnership with Artist Publishing Group (APG).
BDi Music signs singer-songwriter AJ Wander (Music Week)
BDi Music owner and MD Sarah Liversedge said: “It’s like finding a rare gem when a demo submission jumps out at you as AJ Wander’s did to me during lockdown earlier this year.”
Steve Dorff Heads To Demolition Music Publishing (Music Row)
Songwriter Steve Dorff has inked an exclusive deal with Demolition Music Publishing. Previously based in Los Angeles, Dorff was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018 and has earned more than 40 BMI honors during his career.
Facts & Figures
Why the Major Music Companies’ Profits Are Soaring in the Year of Chaos (Rolling Stone)
Universal, Sony and Warner appear to have curbed their spending in 2020 while boosting profits. But what happens when record labels need to ramp expenditure back up next year?
The State of the Music Industry in 2020 (Toptal)
The music industry has experienced a dramatic turnaround over the past five years. Technological advances driven by streaming have ushered in a period of growth.
Finance & Investment
Money Moves – Round Hill CEO Josh Gruss Talks Doubling Down on Country and Rock, and the Growing Music Royalties Investment Market (Synchblog)
In the next instalment of Money Moves, Josh Gruss discusses Round Hill’s key interest in country and rock and the development of the music royalties investment market.
The growth of the Hipgnosis fund comes as it faces competition from a new rival in Round Hill Music Royalty fund, an investment company deriving an uncorrelated income stream from music royalties that is set to list this month.
Music Investors Don’t Stop Believin’ in Streaming (WSJ)
Investors backing musical heavy hitters such as Adele, Bon Jovi and Journey are profiting this year as homebound listeners tune in to music-streaming services, boosting the value of song catalogs and the royalty payments they generate.
Hirings & Promotions
Warner Chappell France boss Caroline Molko to exit, succeeded as MD by Matthieu Tessier (MBW)
Caroline Molko is set to move on after 18 successful years as the company’s Managing Director. She will be succeeded by respected executive Matthieu Tessier, who has served as Warner Chappell’s Head of A&R in France for the last five years.
Robert Bennett Joins SOCAN as Chief Financial Officer (SOCAN Magazine)
“Robert Bennett’s more than 20 years of financial expertise will serve SOCAN well,” said SOCAN Interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “His impressive financial management, revenue reporting, and strategic financial planning experience make him an excellent addition to the executive team.”
Royalties & CMOs
Canada’s SOCAN Reports Growth In 2019, Distributions Shrink Due to Tech Rollout (Billboard)
SOCAN, the Canadian performance right organization, reports that in 2019 its total collections grew 8.2% to C$405.6 million ($308 million) from C$375 million ($285 million), citing 37.6% growth in digital royalties to C$86.1 million ($65 million) from C$62.6 million ($47 million).
Australian collecting society Apra is the latest PRO to quantify the effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on its collections, and thus on its payouts to songwriters and publishers.
Music Publishers Ask CRB to Set Interim Rates, Saying Further Delay May Lead to ‘Free-for All’ (Billboard)
The motion asks the Copyright Royalty Board to take steps to “avoid significant confusion and disruption in the mechanical licensing market.”
ONErpm partners with Unison for pan-European and pan-African collection (MBW)
Global distribution, label services, and rights management company ONErpm has partnered with Barcelona-based Independent Management Entity (IME) organization Unison for pan-European and pan-African collection of publishing copyrights.
PRS for Music publishes Gender Pay Gap Report 2019 and 2020 (PRS for Music)
PRS for Music has made progress since its first gender pay gap report in 2017 and is committed to doing more to close the gap and to champion diversity and inclusion at every level of the organisation.
Spotify is letting record labels influence personalized recommendations… so long as they pay for it in royalties (MBW)
“Labels or rights holders agree to be paid a promotional recording royalty rate for streams in personalized listening sessions where we provided this service.”
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.
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.
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