We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Signings and Acqusitions
Reservoir acquires 16,000 copyrights by bringing Shapiro Bernstein into its portfolio (MBW)
Those copyrights include songs recorded by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Edith Piaf, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Elton John, and many more.
Downtown acquires Good Soldier Songs, publishing home of The 1975 (Billboard)
The deal adds more than 350 songs to the Downtown arsenal, including the “Chocolate” combo’s full catalog, as well as rights to music by Biffy Clyro, Billy Lockett, Colouring and The Him, among other artists. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
peermusic signs London-based producer Hoost to exclusive global music publishing deal (Music Week)
peermusic has today (May 15) announced it has signed London-based producer Hoost – real name Justin Tailor – to an exclusive global publishing deal. The news was revealed by Nigel Elderton, president, Europe & managing director, PeerMusic UK and Mike Sault, head of A&R.
Doja Cat producer Yeti Beats joins Warner Chappell Music in global publishing deal (MBW)
Warner Chappell Music has entered into an exclusive administration agreement with breakthrough producer Yeti Beats, covering all new and existing work.
UMPG signs Surfaces to exclusive, global co-publishing deal (MBW)
Surfaces is best known for their hugely popular single Sunday Best. The song is certified RIAA Gold, has more than 200m plays on Spotify and nearly 54m views on YouTube. Sunday Best is currently No.16 on Top 40 US Radio.
Sony/ATV UK signs hitmaker Labrinth to worldwide publishing deal (Billboard)
“Labrinth is one of a kind — he is a mastermind of lyrics and melody, and his music stands the test of time,” said Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Jon Platt in a statement.
Songwriter Diane Warren signs publishing deal with BMG, Plans All-Star Album (Variety)
Diane Warren, who for years has been the purest examplar of the working songwriter in the modern age, has inked a global publishing deal with BMG, which will administer her Realsongs catalog outside of the U.S. and Canada.
CTM Publishing secures Jim Messina catalogue deal (Music Week)
Messina, whose legacy spans five decades, is best known for being half of the duo Loggins & Messina, was also a member of the folk rock group Buffalo Springfield and then a founding member of the country rock band Poco.
Deals and Partnerships
Synchtank partners with Spirit Production Music (Platform & Stream)
Synchtank’s software will help SPM to make their catalog of over 200,000 pre-cleared tracks more visible to buyers and will support Spirit’s move into new licensing realms.
China’s NetEase Cloud Music, with over 800m users, gains rights to use 1.3m Warner Chappell songs (MBW)
In a press release, the two companies said that, as a result of the deal, NetEase users will be able to access songs from Warner Chappell’s extensive catalog, but also that the companies will “work together in areas from online karaoke to IP development”.
Nigerian label that found Burna Boy partners with UMG to mine African talent (Billboard)
The strategic partnership with Aristokrat Group includes a label deal with Universal Music France and a publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing.
Primary Wave Music Publishing takes equity interest in Audio Up (Music Week)
Audio Up, which is led by founder and CEO Jared Gutstadt, is building an ecosystem of premium entertainment content within the music and audio space, and will use Primary Wave’s resources to expand its platform and capabilities.
Royalties & PROs
UK songwriters & composers generated close to $1bn in music royalties last year (MBW)
British collection society PRS for Music collected a record £810.8m (approximately $990m) on behalf of its 145,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.7% or £65m ($79) .
Mummy Dust Music joins IMPEL (Music Week)
“We are pleased to announce our membership of this growing organisation as we continue to administer the works of our world-class writers and publishers”, says Rob Brown, Mummy Dust manager, music, publishing, licensing and performance.
Facts & Figures
Sony Music braces for operating revenue declines after 40% bump (Forbes)
In the final quarter of 2019, Sony’s recorded music revenues increased 11.4% year-on-year to $1.16 billion, including a 20.6% increase in streaming profits reaching $669 million. At the same time, Sony music publishing revenue increased 30.8% from $269 to $365 million.
Lil Baby was the biggest songwriter in the US in Q1, with 22 certifications (MBW)
The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has announced the top songwriters for Q1 2020, including the top songwriter for the period.
Hirings and Promotions
Sony/ATV appoints Katie Welle as creative A&R SVP (Music Week)
In this role, Welle is responsible for contributing to Sony/ATV’s overall A&R strategy, discovering, signing and developing songwriters, and nurturing industry relationships throughout the creative community. She is based in the company’s Los Angeles office.
UMG accelerates China strategy, with Joe Fang named first ever MD of UMPG in region (MBW)
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has appointed Joe Fang as its first ever Managing Director, China, effective immediately. Based in Beijing, Fang reports to Andrew Jenkins, President, Australia and Asia Pacific Region, UMPG.
PRS CEO Andrea Martin defends UK Music appointment of Tom Watson (Music Week)
PRS For Music CEO Andrea C Martin has written to the collection society’s members to express support for Tom Watson, the newly-appointed chair of UK Music.
‘It’s completely eye-opening’: why publishers are still snatching up new songwriters (Rolling Stone)
The crisis is slowing the music business down, but publishers continue to send out deal offers — in some cases, more than before.
Coronavirus commercial song synchs: what brands want in a pandemic (Billboard)
“The shift happened pretty quickly,” says Brian Monaco, Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s president/global chief marketing officer. Brands began looking for “songs of hope, unity, togetherness.”
Wise Music Group’s Tim Hayes on how publishing is adapting to the lockdown (Music Week)
Here, Tim Hayes, senior creative manager – TV at Wise Music Group, looks at how the pandemic is going to change music publishing in the months and years ahead…
PRS For Music CEO Andrea Martin warns on Covid-19 impact (Music Week)
“[Payment holidays] for our joint venture around public performance will definitely have an impact on our third and fourth quarter results,” PRS For Music CEO Andrea C Martin told Music Week.
How we work now: Primary Wave founder/CEO Larry Mestel (Billboard)
In a new series amid the coronavirus pandemic, Billboard is asking individuals from all sectors of the music business to share stories of how they work now.
How Brazil overcame two law proposals that threatened the creative community (Synchblog)
IP and music lawyer David Serras Pereira discusses recent law proposals in Brazil that threatened music rightsholders, both locally and on a global scale.
Beautiful dreamer: Stephen Foster, America’s first professional songwriter (American Songwriter)
The writer of “Oh! Susanna” was both the first professional songwriter in America, and the first to be exploited by music publishers.
Music Publishing Jobs
Raleigh Music Publishing, a growing global music publishing company headquartered in Times Square, NYC is seeking an A&R/Creative Consultant based in LA.
You will be responsible for the detection and recovery of missing AV income streams, ensuring that income due to BMG’s AV clients for use of their songs in film or TV gets paid timely and accurately.