We catch up on this week’s music publishing headlines, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Signings
Quincy Jones teams with Atlas Music Publishing for joint venture (MBW)
Atlas founder, Richard Stumpf, said: “My history with Quincy dates back to the mid-2000’s. I’ve never met a more inspiring and gracious person with such worldly knowledge beyond music.
Twelve6 Entertainment, Downtown Music Publishing Ink a JV Partnership (Digital Music News)
As part of the multi-faceted partnership, Downtown will provide administrative and creative services to Twelve6’s artists and songwriters, a roster that includes Jerry Flowers and Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion. The two companies will also collaborate on a joint venture that will entail both groups identifying and signing new musical talent.
Sony/ATV Extends Deal With Grammy-winning Songwriter Boi-1da (MBW)
The new agreement takes Sony/ATV’s relationship with the songwriter into a second decade and covers his entire catalog, including hits he has penned for Drake, Rihanna, Eminem, Cardi B and many other artists. It also incorporates future works.
Sony/ATV Signs King Princess to Global Publishing Deal (Variety)
Sony/ATV SVP of A&R Jennifer Knoepfle said: “Mikaela is one of the most authentic and creative artists I’ve seen debut in the last decade. She has an uncanny ability to convey her message and purpose through her wildly imaginative songwriting.”
Primary Wave acquires “More Than A Feeling” as part of Boston deal (Music Week)
Primary Wave Music Publishing has made another big acquisition. After announcing two recent, multi-million dollar deals with the Estate of Whitney E Houston and Culture Club, the publishing company has now welcomed rock band Boston to its roster.
Hirings and Promotions
BMI appoints Shirin Foroutan as Vice President, Creative, Europe (MBW)
In this role, Foroutan will work closely with BMI’s London office to expand its creative efforts throughout Europe which includes supporting the songwriters, composers and music publishers who choose to license their work through BMI in the United States.
‘Growing swiftly’: John Clifford takes top production role at BMG (Music Week)
Based in London, Clifford will report to BMG CFO Maximilian Dressendorfer, who oversees BMGPM’s provision of music services across the broadcast, film, games and advertising industries.
UMPG names Thomas Vidovic as MD, Germany and SVP, Austria & Switzerland; Diana Muñoz promoted to SVP, Finance and Administration (MBW)
Based in Berlin, Vidovic reports to UMPG COO Marc Cimino and begins his new role effective immediately. UMPG also announced that Diana Muñoz (pictured right) has been promoted to SVP, Finance and Administration, effective immediately. She will report to Vidovic.
Universal Music Publishing Group Names David Gray & Walter Jones Co-Heads A&R (Billboard)
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) announced on Monday (Sept. 9) that David Gray and Walter Jones will lead the company’s A&R department as co-heads. The two will be bi-coastal, with Gray relocating to New York City and Jones continuing in Santa Monica.
Johan Land Joins Kobalt as Chief Product Officer (Billboard)
Based in London, Land will be responsible for the next phase of the independent music company’s products and platform to “handle the rapidly increasing volume and complexity of data,” a Kobalt statement reads.
Facts & Figures
BMI claims ‘highest royalty distributions of any music rights org’ as it pays out $1.196bn to songwriters and publishers (MBW)
The United States-based performance rights organization has also reported record revenues of $1.283bn for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, up 7% over the previous year.
ASCAP & BMI Consent Decrees Review Expected to Conclude This Year While Both Sides Argue Worst-Case Scenarios (Billboard)
The U.S. Department of Justice’s ongoing review on whether the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees should be amended, sunsetted or simply left alone will likely be concluded before the end of the year, according to a comment made Aug. 13 by Makan Delrahim, the DOJ assistant attorney general for the antitrust division.
NMPA Asks DOJ to Amend Consent Decrees to Allow Publishers to Selectively Withdraw Digital Rights From Blanket Licenses (Billboard)
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) came out swinging in its comments to the Department of Justice’s ASCAP and BMI consent decrees reviews, arguing it should allow publishers to selectively withdraw digital rights from blanket licenses.
All Over the Map: Publishers, Writers, Small Towns & Apartment Owners Weigh In On Consent Decree Debate (Billboard)
While many music rights holders, songwriters and industry trade groups support changes sought by ASCAP and BMI in order to have one simplified decree to cover both performance rights organization for a transitional period culminating with its expiration, a few of the other music industry players with a big stake in the issue of consent decree reform are either silent for now or outright telling the Dept. of Justice to let the decrees stand firm.
Music Publishers Double Claims Against Peloton To $300 Million (Forbes)
On Thursday, the National Music Publishers’ Association filed a request to amend its complaint to now seek $300 million in damages after discovering an additional 1,200-plus songs that Peloton had allegedly used but not paid artists for, including Ray Charles’ recording of “Georgia On My Mind” and the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There”.
CASE Act Ready for Full Vote in Congress; Would Ease Financial Burden of Fighting Copyright Theft (Billboard)
The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee passed the CASE Act [Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act] last night, which means that with the Senate version already passed out of the Senate Judiciary committee since July 19, the law is ready for a full vote by both chambers.
More Than a Publisher: Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Talks Emerging Markets, Whitney Musical and a Boston Win (Billboard)
For Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music, the company’s latest acquisition resonates deeply. “It’s a special catalog because Boston was one of my favorite artists growing up and I think Tom Scholz is a genius,” says Mestel.
Songwriters Aren’t Getting Paid Enough and Here’s Why (MIDiA)
This is not simply a case of making streaming services pay out more; rather, this is a complex problem with many moving parts.
Apple wanted to improve songwriter pay to $0.00091 per stream. Spotify and Google weren’t keen (MBW)
Apple proposed a much simpler way of rewarding songwriters during the CRB’s decision-making process: a $0.00091 payout for writers and/or their publishers for every single stream (over 30 seconds) hosted by an on-demand audio streaming service.
Publishing’s Huge Valuations, Catalogs’ ‘Frothy’ Market Dominate at the Music Finance Forum (Billboard)
“It’s definitely the hottest market I’ve seen in my 12 or 13 years in publishing and I don’t think it’s going to slow down any time soon,” said Andrew Gould, Senior VP Downtown Music Publishing.
Production Music Association’s Morgan McKnight on This Year’s Conference and Trends in This Billion Dollar Sector (Synchblog)
We chat to the Production Music Association‘s Executive Director Morgan McKnight about the upcoming Production Music Conference and trends and areas of growth in the sector.
Music Licensing Manager – Sub Pop Publishing (Los Angeles)
Sub Pop Publishing are looking for an individual who has great interpersonal skills, is a self-starter, is detail-oriented and has the ability to work in an open group environment. Hurry – the application deadline is tomorrow (Sept 16th).
Copyright Assistant – Kobalt Music Group (London)
The primary role of the Copyright Assistant will be to support the team with managing Kobalt’s catalogue in the US by ensuring works and agreements are registered correctly.
Copyright Assistant (Italian speaking) – Kobalt Music Group (London)
The primary role of the Copyright Assistant will be to support the team with managing Kobalt’s catalogue in Italy by ensuring works and agreements are registered correctly at the local collection society.