We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Luis Fonsi sells catalog to Sherrese Clarke Soares’ HarbourView Equity Partners (MBW)
HarbourView Equity Partners has acquired the publishing catalog of latin music superstar Luis Fonsi, the artist known globally for his megahit Despacito with Daddy Yankee.
Wise Music Group acquires Italian indie publisher Baby Angel Music (Music Week)
Wise Music Group has acquired Italian indie publisher Baby Angel Music (BAM). The BAM catalog contains over 15,000 songs, and has been built over a period of 25 years by Max Moroldo.
Reservoir Acquires Publishing & Recorded Music Catalog of Country Star Travis Tritt (Digital Music News)
The deal inked with Tritt includes shares of Tritt’s entire body of work, up to his most recent album – Set In Stone. Travis Tritt has seven Platinum-certified albums with more than 30 million career album sales.
Hipgnosis and Blackstone acquire 80% of Kenny Chesney’s recorded music royalties (MBW)
Hipgnosis Song Management has acquired 80% of Kenny Chesney’s recorded music royalties, covering his discography from his 1994 debut In My Wildest Dreams through 2017’s Live in No Shoes Nation.
Bob Dylan Sells Recording Catalog To Sony—One Year After He Sold Songwriting Catalog (Forbes)
Bob Dylan’s catalog of past and future recorded music was sold to Sony Music Entertainment, over a year after the legendary musician’s songwriting catalog was sold to Universal Music Publishing Group.
Sony Music Publishing UK Launches Second Songs Joint Venture (Billboard)
Sony Music Publishing UK has teamed up with creative executives Caroline Elleray and Mark Gale to launch Second Songs, a joint venture publishing and songwriter management company.
Brandon Silverstein’s S10 Publishing Expands Partnership With Avex USA (Billboard)
After launching S10 Publishing in late 2020, Silverstein tells Billboard he has extended the division’s joint venture with Avex USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese music company Avex. Inc., with a multi-year deal.
Elvis Costello inks exclusive worldwide music publishing deal with BMG (MBW)
Legendary UK songwriter Elvis Costello has signed a worldwide, exclusive music publishing deal with BMG to represent his life’s work.
BMG signs Grammy-nominated songwriter Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman (Music Week)
Songwriter and producer Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman has signed a global publishing administration agreement with BMG for his catalogue and future works.
Royalties & CMOs
Spanish competition regulator launches new investigation into collecting society SGAE (CMU)
The Spanish competition regulator, the CNMC, has launched new proceedings against the country’s big song rights collecting society SGAE following another complaint submitted by rival rights management organisation Unison.
Regard Music joins independent licensing agency IMPEL (MBW)
US-based music publishing administrator Regard Music has joined IMPEL for pan-European licensing of its represented works. Regard Music is a publishing services company founded by Sean O’Malley.
Three judges decide what Spotify, Apple, and YouTube Music pay songwriters in the US. One of those roles is now up for grabs. (MBW)
Based in Washington DC, this person will need to be an attorney in good standing with at least seven years’ legal experience and must at least five years in adjudication, arbitration, or court trials.
Finance & Investment
Investment giant Pimco eyes music copyrights with BMG (Music Ally)
BMG is fast becoming the music industry partner of choice for huge investment companies wanting to get into music copyright ownership.
Massarsky Consulting, which valued music assets worth over $6.5 billion last year, has been acquired by Citrin Cooperman (MBW)
The New York-headquartered firm has played an integral role in a spate of headline-grabbing acquisition deals in recent years.
Prince estate valued at $156.4m at end of long legal battle (Guardian)
Remaining heirs and publishing company Primary Wave settle case with US tax agency, with estate valued at twice original appraisal.
At least $5 billion was spent on music rights acquisitions in 2021. Could 2022 be even bigger? (MBW)
Could there be a bigger individual artist catalog deal in 2022? And could the massive total amount spent on catalogs in 2021 be surpassed this year
Ari Gelaw named Vice President, Creative at Sony Music Publishing (MBW)
As Vice President, Creative, Gelaw will be responsible for advancing songwriter development across Sony Music Publishing’s US roster. She will also foster creative collaboration with global territories and support songwriter discovery initiatives.
Songtrust makes raft of new executive hires and promotions (MBW)
Virginie Berger has been named SVP, Global Publishing & Society Relations, at global publishing administration service Songtrust. John Levy has also joined Songtrust as SVP, Technology, while Darren Briggs has been promoted to the role of EVP, Rights Administration, Product, & Technology.
MPA Futures Group launches podcast for aspiring publishers (Music Ally)
Launched by its Futures Group, the ‘MPA Futures Group Podcast’ will interview senior figures from the publishing industry, and dig into key market trends.
Streaming Subscriptions Grew 26% in 2021, With YouTube as Fastest Growing DSP in the West (Variety)
While YouTube made strides to start catching up with market leaders Spotify and Apple, the biggest gains were among services operating only in China.