We catch up on the latest publishing news, from acquisitions to facts and figures, new hires and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Downtown takes Next Era global (Hits Daily Double)
Downtown Music Publishing will represent the Next Era catalog worldwide for administration and collection, excluding South Korea and China.
Pulse Music Group forms Supermoon Songs JV with Dan Wilson (MBW)
Los Angeles-based PULSE Music Group has formed a music publishing creative joint venture with Grammy-winning songwriter/producer/recording artist, Dan Wilson.
Muse Group acquires sheet music publisher Hal Leonard (MBW)
Muse Group, a company that specializes in music creation tools and software, has acquired Hal Leonard, a publisher of sheet music and educational content.
CTM Outlander inks global publishing deal with Sam Hunt (Billboard)
CTM has signed singer-songwriter Sam Hunt in a go-forward publishing deal for his future works, in addition to acquiring his publishing catalog.
Riot Games and BMG expand partnership and publishing deal (Music Ally)
BMG and Riot Games have extended their global publishing administration deal while launching what BMG described as a “new strategic partnership”.
Kane Brown sells ‘select publishing assets’ to HarbourView (MBW)
Investment firm HarbourView Equity Partners buys select publishing assets from Kane Brown marking the expansion of its already profound footprint in the country music space.
PROs, CMOs and Royalties
The MLC has paid out $1.5B in streaming royalties to songwriters and publishers (Billboard)
The MLC has distributed $1.5 billion in total royalties to date to songwriters and publishers, up by about $500 million from March.
CD Baby unveils CDB Boost feature to help indie songwriters get paid (MBW)
CDB Boost includes royalty collections facilitated by the MLC and SoundExchange, and participation in CD Baby’s sync licensing program (powered by Synchtank).
WIPO-backed ‘CLIP’ platform to educate creators on IP rights (Music Ally)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is working with the Music Right Awareness Foundation to launch a platform called ‘Creators Learn Intellectual Property.’
BMI sells to New Mountain Capital (Billboard)
The buyer announced that as part of the deal BMI’s current shareholders will allocate $100 million of the sale’s proceeds to songwriters and publishers affiliates.
Credits Due toolkit aims to boost music metadata campaign (Music Ally)
Credits Due is the initiative launched in 2021 by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus to encourage musicians to make accurate metadata for their work at the point of creation.
Peermusic renews with ICE after 60% annual royalties growth (Music Ally)
ICE and peermusic have been working together since 2018, resulting in an average year-on-year growth in royalties of more than 60% over that time.
Carin León signs global deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (Billboard)
The Sonora-born singer-songwriter has established himself as one of Mexican music’s most versatile and eclectic artists today recording in norteño, banda, R&B and pop.
Concord Music Publishing signs hitmaker Victor Rådström from Neiked (Music Week)
Victor Rådström from the multi-platinum selling Swedish producer and artist duo, has been signed to Concord Music Publishing.
Warner Chappell Music signs catalog deal with Dido (MBW)
Warner Chappell Music has announced a new deal with iconic singer-songwriter Dido, covering both her upcoming music and her catalog.
Angel Sandoval signs With Kobalt for publishing (Billboard)
Up-and-coming Mexican singer/songwriter Angel Sandoval has signed a multi-year global publishing agreement with Kobalt.
Pitbull extends global publishing partnership with BMG (Digital Music News)
Pitbull has renewed his global publishing partnership with BMG, extending his longtime relationship with the company.
Funding, Facts & Figures
Music’s a $40bn business – global value of music copyright ramps up 14% to $41.5bn in 2022 (Pivot)
Labels made up most of the 2022 stack, with an adjusted $26bn, and publishers directly licensed $4.1bn; but the real story this year is the CMOs, whose collections topped $11.4bn.
HarbourView ups credit facility by $100m to buy more music rights (MBW)
Under the amended facility, HarbourView’s credit facility capacity has been increased by $100 million to $300 million (from $200m).
Reservoir Media revenues were up 15% year-on-year in Q3 (Music Ally)
The company’s revenues grew by 15% year-on-year to $38.4m, although organically (i.e. not including acquisitions) they were up 10%.
BeatBread to offer songwriters up to $3m in publishing advances (Music Ally)
The company will now offer advances of up to $3m to songwriters. That’s advances against their publishing rights, covering both existing catalogs and as-yet-unreleased songs.
Tracy Chapman, Oliver Anthony make history breaking into the top publishers rankings (Billboard)
Chapman finished Q3 as the top songwriter on all three charts, propelling Purple Rabbit Music to No. 5 on Top Radio Airplay and No. 6 on both Hot 100 Songs and Country Airplay.
Publishers file for preliminary injunction against Anthropic (Music Ally)
Publishers including Concord and UMG subsidiaries have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction focused on lyrics and the input (and output) of Anthropic’s Claude chatbot.
Hipgnosis seeks new auditor as it faces legal action (Financial Times)
Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the troubled music rights owner, is searching for a new auditor after PwC refused to reapply for the job.
Björn Ulvaeus: transparency rules are ‘pre-requisite’ for EU AI Act (Music Ally)
Cisac president, Björn Ulvaeus, lays out his thoughts on the EU AI Act, stating that “The EU AI Act must lay down transparency obligations on AI operators.”
Swiss digital licensing org targets Twitter for copyright infringement (Billboard)
The suit alleges that music compositions controlled by SUISA Digital are found on the platform, and that the company has made no effort to license them or remove them.
Hipgnosis Song Management appoints Daniel Pounder and Jon Baker to leadership roles (Music Week)
Daniel Pounder has been appointed chief financial officer, and Jonathan Baker has been appointed to the newly created role of general counsel.
Sony Music Publishing UK makes key promotions across A&R team (Music Week)
Felix Canetty-Clarke has been upped to VP, UK A&R Strategy & International Research; Sarah Gabrielli to Senior Director A&R, UK & Europe; & Saul Fitton to Senior Director A&R, UK.
NMPA: Generative AI is ‘the greatest risk to the human creative class that has ever existed’ (MBW)
The NMPA’s submission to the US Copyright Office regarding AI and copyright, dated Oct 30, 2023, pulls no punches in calling out the significant threat posed by AI.
How does Spotify’s new royalties model affect songwriters? (Billboard)
Even if Spotify’s new royalty model won’t pay artists’ whose tracks don’t hit 1,000 streams in a year, songwriters will still earn money from those plays — for now, at least.
3 observations on…the sale of BMI (and Google’s entrance into music rights management) (MBW)
MBW on BMI’s fraternizing with CapitalG (aka Alphabet’s fund), plus a windfall for radio broadcasters, and $100 million of money going to songwriters and publishers.
How AI is revolutionizing music discovery and unlocking more value from catalogs (Synchblog)
The importance of AI-powered search and discovery solutions and how anyone working with music – on the buy or sell side – can harness them to streamline their day-to-day lives.
Music catalog values rose slightly in 2023 – but a leveling out is coming (Billboard)
Higher interest rates pulled valuations down while streaming and publishing growth pushed valuations higher, according to a report from Shot Tower Capital.
The music economy creator – the rise of music publishing in India (EY)
Music generates INR12,000 crore of revenues per year, which is approximately 6% of the Indian Media & Entertainment industry.