We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Pershing Square buys initial 7.1% stake in UMG for $2.8bn (Music Ally)
Pershing Square boss Bill Ackman has also secured the right to buy up to 2.9% more of UMG by 9 September “through funds which he manages or in which he holds the majority of economic interest, based on the same valuation” according to Vivendi.
Fleetwood Mac Songbird Christine McVie Sells Catalog to Hipgnosis (Billboard)
Hipgnosis Songs continues its acquisition spree by snapping up the music catalog of Christine McVie, one of the principal writers and vocalists of Fleetwood Mac.
Round Hill acquires catalogue of Yes guitarist and film composer Trevor Rabin (Music Week)
The acquisition includes 3,528 film cues and songs covering tracks from across Rabin’s career as a songwriter and film score composer.
Tempo Music buys into music catalog of Twenty One Pilots’ singer-songwriter Tyler Joseph (MBW)
In addition, says Tempo, the deal sees a new “strategic alliance” launched between Joseph and long-term manager, Chris Woltman, working alongside Tempo on other potential investments.
Primary Wave Quietly Amasses Largest Single Interest in Prince’s Estate (Billboard)
Primary Wave has acquired 42% of Prince’s estate, giving the publishing company the largest single interest in the late artist’s holdings, according to court papers filed in July.
Cardi B Signs With Warner Chappell Music Publishing (Billboard)
Cardi B has signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music (WCM), Billboard can confirm, moving the hip-hop superstar’s catalog over from Sony Music Publishing.
Wise Music Group signs Smash Mouth’s Greg Camp (Music Week)
Greg Camp has signed two deals with Embassy Music Corporation, part of Wise Music Group. The first assigns Camp’s share of all Smash Mouth songs and the second is a co-publishing deal for all new compositions, co-writes and scores.
Kasey Tyndall Signs With River House Artists, Sony Music Publishing (Music Row)
Kasey Tyndall has signed a global publishing deal with River House Artists, in partnership with Sony Music Publishing Nashville.
Sony Music Publishing Signs Olivia Rodrigo To Sweet New Deal (Forbes)
Breakout music artist Olivia Rodrigo, whose critically acclaimed debut album Sour is the biggest debut album thus far in 2021, signed a global agreement with Sony Music Publishing.
S10 Publishing signs Build A Bitch co-writer David Arkwright (Music Week)
Released in May 2021, Build a Bitch has reached over 500 million streams across DSPs, almost five million TikTok video creations and approaching 300m YouTube views.
Facts & Figures
Reservoir generated $16.7m in Q2 – and paid out $6m in songwriter royalties and publishing costs (MBW)
In calendar Q2 (the three months to end of June), Reservoir generated $16.7 million, up 23% year-on-year. In that same quarter – the firm’s fiscal Q1 – it generated $12.3 million from music publishing, up 8% year-on-year, and a further $4.2 million from recorded music.
Publishers Quarterly: Sony ‘Levitating’ Atop Rankings, Silk Sonic Makes Smooth Entry (Billboard)
Sony Music Publishing regained control over both publishers rankings for the period from April 1 to June 30, after slipping to No. 2 last quarter on Top Radio Airplay.
Royalties & CMOs
Black box disorder: Ivors Academy research reveals £500m streaming data gap (Music Week)
The Ivors Academy has published a new report estimating the size of the global song streaming data gap – streaming royalties for songs that are unallocated or misallocated due to missing or incomplete data.
PopArabia launches ESMAA, a music rights entity to facilitate licensing in UAE and Gulf (Yahoo)
ESMAA works broadly with both global rights holders and regional businesses to provide Gulf markets with the ability to license music domestically for the first time.
US songwriter groups at loggerheads with government and majors over “frozen mechanicals” (Music Ally)
We’ve seen in the UK how effective a grassroots artist campaign can be with #BrokenRecord, and now another to keep an eye on is the #FrozenMechanicals campaign, which appears to be slowly picking up steam.
Warner Chappell Music opens Vietnam office (Music Week)
With the new Ho Chi Minh City base, the publisher aims to enhance the local music scene while helping Vietnamese composers and songwriters connect with writers and artists around the world.
CCS Rights Management announces partnership to push new publishing venture into the US market (CMU)
Toronto-based CCS Rights Management has announced a tie-up with LA-based radio host and music supervisor Chris Douridas to push its newly launched Daytripper Music Publishing venture into the US market.
Concord Launches Originals Division to Develop Movies, TV and Podcasts From Its IP Vault (Variety)
Concord is diving deeper into its IP vault of music and theatrical performance rights to develop movies, TV shows and podcasts through the newly established Concord Originals division.
Finance & Investment
Reservoir goes public on Nasdaq (Music Week)
The independent music company finalised its business combination with Roth CH Acquisition II, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Roth Capital Partners and Craig-Hallum Capital Group.
Hipgnosis’s Christine McVie deal exposes publishing tensions (Music Ally)
Is Hipgnosis ruffling the feathers of the industry’s biggest publishers, or are they simply keen to ensure people understand the intricacies of shared rights ownership? Or, indeed, a little bit of both.
How future proof is the current evaluation of music copyrights? (MBW)
Persona Rights IP (PRIP) is often not included in music copyright deals (nor in the rights of major music companies). Without these rights, legacy rights holders cannot benefit from new revenue opportunities in the Metaverse, mixed reality or around NFT collectables.
On The Money: Thomas St John (Music Week)
“It’s a great time to consider selling your catalogue as the number of buyers in the market has grown exponentially over the past several years,” says Thomas St John’s US director and global head of royalties Jon Payne.