We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Signings
Justin Timberlake sells song catalog to Hipgnosis and its $1bn-backed Blackstone fund (MBW)
Hipgnosis buys 100% of all of Timberlake’s copyright, ownership and financial interests of the Writer and Publisher’s Share of Public Performance income, and the catalog of musical compositions written by Justin Timberlake.
Sony Music Publishing and Black River Publishing Ink Global Publishing Admin Deal (Billboard)
Sony Music Publishing Nashville and Black River Publishing have entered into a global publishing administration agreement, with Sony Music Publishing providing global services to Black River’s publishing catalog.
Sony Music Publishing signs deal with BTS co-writer MAX (MBW)
With the agreement, MAX has launched Colour Vision Publishing in partnership with SMP and announced Colour Vision’s first signing, Cody Dear.
Peermusic UK signs Brian Higgins to global publishing deal (Music Week)
Peermusic UK has signed award-winning songwriter/producer Brian Higgins to an exclusive global music publishing deal. The deal encompasses future works.
Reservoir Announces Publishing Deal with Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music (Digital Music News)
The agreement includes works from Manzanera’s catalog featuring songs by Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, Tim Finn, Brian Eno, and more.
Royalties & CMOs
CISAC reports global progress on metadata and plans wider access to ISWC (Music Week)
CISAC has reported “steady progress” for the extension of the ISWC music identifier and improvements in music data reporting. It follows a major upgrade to the system completed in 2020.
Sony Music to expand unrecouped balance program to more artists and songwriter (MBW)
Going forward, SMG is expanding the program on a rolling basis, to eligible unrecouped artists and songwriters globally who have been with Sony Music for over 20 years, and haven’t received an advance in over two decades.
MMF launches $ong Royalties Manifesto at The Great Escape (CMU)
It calls for an overhaul of how songwriters are paid when their music is streamed, and proposes a three step plan for achieving that change.
GEMA’s 11 demands for a ‘fairer’ music streaming market (Music Ally)
Transparency is key to the document, with the call to “create a robust set of data for Germany and to demand more transparency in the streaming market, especially with a view to the allocation of revenues”.
Finance & Investment
Know Your Rights: Will Economic Uncertainty Slow Down the Music Catalog Boom? (Synchblog)
Higher interest rates, inflation and the war in Ukraine have prompted questions about what happens next in the music catalog market.
Does the Justin Timberlake Song Sale Price Make Sense? (Billboard)
A look behind the financials of Hipgnosis’ reported $100 million acquisition of the pop star’s publishing catalog.
A $200 million music investment fund will scour industry for artist, tech deals (Bloomberg)
After selling his last company, Songs Music Publishing, for about $160 million, Matt Pincus started making new deals across the record industry. The more he did, the more he realized there were few companies focused solely on music investments. So he started another one.
Dave, Little Simz, Inflo, Sam Fender, Laura Mvula & Ed Sheeran honoured at Ivor Novello Awards 2022 (Music Week)
In the 67th year of The Ivors, 21 songwriters and composers collected Ivor Novello Awards across 14 categories, in recognition of outstanding achievements in songwriting and composing for screen.
Sony Music Publishing bosses toast new era after Music Week Awards win (Music Week)
Sony Music Publishing’s UK leadership duo Tim Major and David Ventura have told Music Weekthat the culture they’re creating at the company is leading to a new wave of success.
Facts & Figures
The Top Music Publishers Of 2021 Ranked (Billboard)
The song-catalog buying spree of the last three years has enabled independents such as Hipgnosis and Primary Wave to make inroads in a business traditionally dominated by the majors.
Sony generated $1.99bn from recorded music and music publishing in calendar Q1, up 13.5% YoY (MBW)
In monetary terms, Sony’s overall music rights operation (recorded music plus music publishing) generated approximately $237 million more in calendar Q1 2022 than in the prior year quarter.
Publishers Quarterly: ‘Heat Waves’ Singes Both Song Charts as Sony Tops Rankings Again (Billboard)
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” helps lift Walt Disney Music Company into the publisher rankings for the first time since 2008.