We catch up on this week’s music publishing headlines, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Signings
Ludovico Einaudi extends partnership with Music Sales Group (Music Week)
Ludovico Einaudi has signed a deal to commit his music publishing future to Music Sales Group. The streaming-friendly Italian composer and pianist has agreed a new, exclusive long-term publishing contract with Chester Music Limited, part of the Music Sales Group.
Hipgnosis Picks Up 93 Songs by Songwriter-Producer Benny Blanco in Latest Catalog Acquisition (Billboard)
The deal includes a 100% share of Blanco’s copyright ownership in hits including Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and Major Lazer’s ‘Cold Water.’
Warner Chappell Music Inks a Stone Temple Pilots Worldwide Publishing Deal (Digital Music News)
Warner Chappell Senior VP, A&R, U.S. Greg Sowders pointed to an ongoing legacy, which bodes well for publishing representation. “Their work has left an impact on American culture that continues to resonate today,” Sowders relayed.
“We’re already bringing them into writing camps”: Warner Chappell Music signs the creators of smash musical Six (Music Week)
Warner Chappell Music has confirmed it has signed the writers and producers of Six – the smash hit musical which set the lives of the wives of English monarch Henry VIII to music performed by an all-female cast and an all-female band.
Tencent in talks to buy up to 20% stake in Universal Music Group (Music Ally)
UMG’s parent company announced that it has entered into ‘primary negotiations’ with Tencent Holdings to buy a 10% stake in Universal Music, with a ‘one-year call option’ to buy another 10% at the same price and terms.
Dominican Artist Vicente Garcia Signs Publishing Deal With Warner Chappell Music (Billboard)
The Dominican singer-songwriter debuted his solo album Melodrama in 2011, which includes collaborations with Ximena Sariñana and Cultura Profetica. His sophomore album, A La Mar, nabbed Garcia best new artist, best singer-songwriter album, and best tropical song for “Bachata En Kingston” at the 2017 Latin Grammy awards.
Ashley Gorley’s Publishing Venture Enters New Territory With Avenue Beat Debut (Billboard)
Avenue Beat marks the first joint venture label deal for Tape Room, a publishing company founded by ace songwriter Ashley Gorley (“Dirt on My Boots,” “Living”) in 2011. If this expansion into new territory follows suit with Gorley’s history, it would be the beginning of something big.
Hirings and Promotions
Amber Davis named head of A&R at Warner Chappell UK (MBW)
Amber Davis has been named Head of A&R at Warner Chappell Music UK, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group. In her time at the publisher she has signed songwriters including Dave, J Hus, Raye, Skepta and Stormzy to its roster.
Tuff Morgan promoted to VP of A&R at peermusic (MBW)
In his new role, Morgan will lead peermusic’s A&R efforts in the Pop and Urban genres for the company’s US offices. He steps up from his previous role as Senior Director of A&R, peermusic.
Lady Gaga Sued For ‘Shallow’; Copyright Lawsuit Trend Continues (Forbes)
This suit comes as the latest in a string of music copyright lawsuits, beginning with the “Blurred Lines” case, that has the music industry on edge as artists, producers, and publishers adapt to a changing legal landscape.
Copyright Chaos? ‘Dark Horse’ Verdict Could Lead to New Wave of Lawsuits (Billboard)
Now publishers and songwriters are beginning to worry that juries might hear copyright infringement in an increasing number of hits, boosting the likelihood of future lawsuits and the possibility that more songwriters and publishers could be forced to share royalties with rights holders of older compositions.
A Coalition of ‘Free Market’ Organizations Urges the U.S. Department of Justice to Maintain Its ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees (Digital Music News)
Several free-market-focused lobbying groups and organization have asked the Department of Justice to keep consent decrees that regulate ASCAP and BMI.
Facts and Figures
Publisher’s Quarterly: UMPG, Sony/ATV Post Strong Results as Lil Nas X and Jonas Brothers Dominate (Billboard)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing was the No. 1 music publisher of the top 100 radio songs for the seventh quarter in a row, improving its market share to 24.07% in the year’s second quarter from 22.52% in the first, with a share of 52 of those 100 tracks, down from 58 last quarter.
Warner Music Streaming Revenues Surge Above $500m In Last Quarter, But Publishing Slides 4.5% (MBW)
On the upside, WCM’s revenue grew in digital due to what Warner called “the ongoing shift to streaming and in synchronization due to higher activity”.
How a Swedish saxophonist built Kobalt, the world’s next music unicorn (TechCrunch)
Combining a technology platform to better track ownership rights and royalties of songs with a new approach to representing musicians in their careers, Kobalt has risen from the ashes of the 2000 dot-com bubble to become a major player in the streaming music era.
Society Relations Assistant – Kobalt Music (London)
Kobalt Neighbouring Rights is seeking a hard-working and motivated people-person to support their successful team managing their performer client roster at neighbouring rights societies around the world.
A&R Admin – one77 Music (New York)
The ideal candidate has experience confirming song splits, tagging audio, and familiarity with publishing administration software.
Junior Publishing Coordinator – Cooking Vinyl Publishing (London)
Relaunched last year with a fresh focus and renewed ambition, Cooking Vinyl Publishing are now looking to expand their team and seek a Junior Publishing Coordinator.