We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Acquisitions
Hipgnosis becomes a fully-fledged publisher, buying Big Deal Music to form Hipgnosis Songs Group (MBW)
As well as bringing 4,400 copyrights into Hipgnosis – including cuts on hits by the likes of Shawn Mendes, Panic! At The Disco and One Direction – the deal also sees Hipgnosis acquire Big Deal Music Group’s US-based publishing admin business, Words & Music.
Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde Sells Catalog to Hipgnosis Songs (Variety)
Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Hynde’s music publishing catalog of 164 songs, including publishing and writer’s share (PRS) from the Pretenders and her other projects.
‘Truck Yeah’: Spirit Music Group Acquires Some of Tim McGraw’s Master Recordings (Billboard)
While master recording deals are rare for publishers, Spirit also represents both masters and publishing rights for a portion of the catalog of T. Rex via Marc Bolan as well as the masters and publishing for most of Ingrid Michaelson’s catalog.
Quincy Jones Returns to Warner Chappell Publishing in Exclusive Worldwide Deal (Variety)
Warner Chappell Music announced today that it has entered into a global publishing agreement with the legendary Quincy Jones. The administration deal covers Jones’s genre-crossing songwriting catalog, as well as all current and future material.
Downtown signs deal to represent Wu-Tang Clan catalog (MBW)
The deal will see Downtown represent the iconic hip-hop group’s interest in songs from its back catalog of classic albums — as well as select works co-written or produced by individual Wu-Tang Clan members for solo releases, affiliates and other artists.
Craig David Signs Worldwide Publishing Deal With Round Hill Music (Billboard)
The new arrangement includes all of David’s catalog, including his U.K. chart-topping debut album Born to Do It, and a futures agreement that will see all his new music administered by the independent music publisher.
My Life Story and Mute Song ink worldwide publishing deal (Music Week)
The agreement includes last year’s World Citizen album, their first for 19 years, as well as the rights to much of the band’s back catalogue from the Britpop era, formerly held by Universal Music Publishing.
Sony/ATV Nashville Signs Jay Brunswick to worldwide deal (Music Week)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has announced it has signed country music songwriter/producer Jay Brunswick to a worldwide publishing deal.
Empire vows to ‘revolutionize’ music publishing via new division led by Al ‘Butter’ McLean and Vinny Kumar (MBW)
The company has launched EMPIRE Publishing, led by Al McLean and Vinny Kumar, and says it plans to “build out [our] proprietary system to revolutionize the publishing industry, similar to what was done with music distribution in 2010”.
Facts & Figures
Music streaming revenues on course to grow by over $1bn in the US in 2020, despite everything (MBW)
There’s a trend emerging in the global record industry in 2020: streaming-fuelled growth in some of the world’s biggest music markets, in spite of the pandemic.
Hirings & Promotions
Ted Cockle and Amy Thomson join Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund (MBW)
The arrival into the music publishing world of two marketing specialists who’ve each managed blockbuster success in the modern record business (and in Thomson’s case, the modern live business) will certainly get the global industry talking.
BMG promotes Allegra Willis Knerr to SVP, synch licensing (Music Week)
LA-based Willis Knerr is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and direction of BMG’s US and Canada based synch licensing business. Previously, she served as VP, film & TV Licensing.
Jin Jin, Tom Gray and Daniel Kidane join The Ivors Academy Board (Music Week)
Janée Bennett (aka Jin Jin), Gomez’s Tom Gray and Daniel Kidane have today (September 11) been confirmed as the newest members of the board of directors at The Ivors Academy.
Music industry leaders appointed at royalty tech firm Audoo (BusinessCloud)
Audoo, a start-up that uses tech to accurately count songs played in public, announces the appointments of Alexi Cory-Smith, Cliff Fluet and Adam Parness to its expert-led advisory board.
Royalties & CMOs
BMI Announces Record Revenue of $1.31 Billion (Variety)
Despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, BMI closed its fiscal year (which ended June 30) with record revenue and royalty distributions.