We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Sony Music Publishing teams with Australia’s Alberts to rep AC/DC, Vanda, Young & Wright catalogs (MBW)
One of the most influential bands of all time, AC/DC’s hits include Highway to Hell, Back in Black, Thunderstruck, You Shook Me All Night Long, and TNT. The deal brings the band’s publishing and recording rights together under the Sony banner for the first time.
Lyric Capital Group Acquires $130 Million Music Catalog (Mergers & Acquisitions)
The acquisition, a single-artist catalog, is a masters, publishing, and video portfolio built by a singer, songwriter, and producer whose works span over 20 years.
Songwriter J.R. Rotem’s Catalog Acquired by Swiss Investment Entity MusicBird AG (Billboard)
Though MusicBird AG’s purchase of Rotem’s catalog is the entity’s first foray into song catalog acquisition, company chairman Jonas Anker promises the new deal is just the beginning for his team.
Warner Chappell signs new deal with the Cab Calloway estate (CMU)
“Cab Calloway had an enormous influence on the course of modern music, from the swing era of the 30s to the hip hop of today”, say Warner Chappell CEO Guy Moot and COO Carianne Marshall in a joint statement.
UK rap star Wretch 32 inks worldwide publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music (MBW)
The agreement covers future works, plus his “influential” back catalog, says the company. Wretch 32 gained mainstream attention in 2011 with his single Traktor from his second studio album Black and White.
Reservoir Signs BTS’ ‘Butter’ Co-Writer Rufio Hooks to Global Publishing Deal (Billboard)
The K-pop phenomenon’s second English-language single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a spot it’s held for seven weeks and counting.
Blue Raincoat and Reservoir sign producer and PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish (Music Week)
Producer, composer and artist John Parish has signed a global deal with Blue Raincoat Music Publishing and Reservoir encompassing all his work across a 25-year career.
Sentric Music Group’s Black Rock inks co-publishing deal with Electric Ibiza (MBW)
As part of the partnership, Electric Ibiza’s new publishing operation will benefit from Black Rock and Sentric’s administration infrastructure, as well as the company’s award-winning creative and sync team.
Concord Music Publishing signs DJ and producer Imanbek (Music Week)
Collectively his streams from across his releases are in excess of two billion. Earlier this week, he entered the Top 100 most streamed artists on Spotify at No.95.
Royalties & CMOs
Copyright Office Recommends MLC’s Distribution of Unmatched Royalties Not Occur for 5 Years (Billboard)
While applauding the new recommendation, songwriter advocacy organizations argue the Copyright Office “did not address the inherent dangers of conflicts of interest present” on the MLC board.
Portishead test SoundCloud ‘fan-powered royalties’ with Abba cover (Music Ally)
The system calculates royalties by how much fans listen to artists “relative to all of their listening time in a given month” as well as how many ads they consume, and whether they have a paid subscription.
Universal Music Publishing Group Opens Office in Israel (Music Week)
UMPG will be the only major music publishing company with an office in Israel, providing dedicated on-the-ground support for its roster of songwriters. It will also aim to discover, sign and develop Israeli music creators.
Finance & Investment
Hipgnosis Songs Raises Another $215 Million, Spent $1.1 Billion on Catalogs Last Year (Variety)
According to the statements, the company’s net asset value has risen 11.3% to $1.68 per share, year over year, with total return since the company’s launched on the LSE rising to 40.7%.
Shamrock just raised $196m to loan music and entertainment rights-holders money
The Shamrock Capital Debt Opportunities Fund I (“SCDOF I”) will, says Shamrock, be used to target rights-holders “across film, television, music, games, sports [and] media” as well as “other content sectors”.
Actually… Universal spent nearly $3 BILLION on catalog buys and artist advances last year (MBW)
According to Vivendi’s annual financial report, UMG spent some €2.54 billion ($2.87 billion) on catalog acquisitions and artist advances last year. That figure was up 71% on the €1.48 billion UMG spent on the category in 2019.