It’s been a busy few weeks for catalog acquisitions, signings, lawsuits, and of course the continued debate around music and AI. Catch up with the latest publishing news in this article.
Deals & Acquisitions
Raleigh Music Publishing acquires the song catalog of Alan Jay Lerner (Broadway World)
The catalog comprises some of the most influential and timeless compositions from the Golden Age of Broadway and Hollywood.
Reservoir Acquires Rudy Perez’s catalog, signs publishing deal with songwriter-producer (Billboard)
Throughout his career, Perez has collaborated with artists such as Christina Aguilera, Julio Iglesias, Luis Miguel and Marc Anthony.
Downtown Music Publishing inks global deal with Outer Voice Music Publishing (MBW)
The agreement aims to drive exposure, and promotion for South Asian songwriters, with both companies overseeing global administration, sync, and original composition opportunities.
Primary Wave Music partners with estate of Isaac Hayes (Music Week)
Primary Wave Music has partnered with the estate of the legendary singer, actor, songwriter and composer Isaac Hayes. Terms of the deal will see PW administer various publishing interests of the estate.
Evan Bogart’s Seeker Music acquires catalog of Plested, songwriter behind hits for Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan, Jonas Brothers and more (MBW)
Founded in 2020, Seeker is led by hitmaker Evan Bogart, who is behind Rihanna’s 2006 No. 1 hit SOS.
Ryan Tedder calls Lindgren ‘the German wunderkind’. Now they’ve inked a partnership deal – as Lindgren renews his agreement with Sony Music Publishing (MBW)
Lindgren and Tedder are frequent collaborators, having worked together on BLACKPINK’s chart-topping single, The Girls, which dropped on August 25.
Concord acquires MOJO Music & Media’s 30,000 song catalog (Billboard)
Mojo Music & Media holdings’ catalog includes portions of songs recorded by REO Speedwagon, KISS, Cheap Trick, Duran Duran, Earth Wind & Fire and more.
Litmus Music acquires Katy Perry catalog (Music Week)
The deal, reportedly worth £225m, includes the publishing and master recordings of all five studio albums released for Capitol Records between 2008 and 2020.
Hipgnosis aims to boost its share price with catalog sales (Music Ally)
The deal involves selling 29 of its catalogs to… Hipgnosis Songs Capital. Yes, that’s the other Hipgnosis fund, the one backed by private-equity firm Blackstone.
Concord and Round Hill Music agree deal for Royalty Fund (Music Ally)
Concord has acquired Round Hill Music Royalty Fund, including 51 catalogs comprising more than 150k songs. Concord will pay $1.15 per share in cash valuing the fund at $468.8m.
PROs, CMOs and Royalties
Why Songtrust had delays helping songwriters collect publishing (Billboard)
The company sent out an email this summer acknowledging that delays “have caused frustration.” Some former employees believe the issues pre-date 2023.
PRS for Music expands its metadata-fixing Nexus program (Music Ally)
The British collecting society PRS for Music is expanding its programme called Nexus, an attempt to bridge the gap between publishing data and recordings: matching tracks to the compositions they are based on.
Sean “Diddy” Combs reassigns Bad Boy publishing rights to artists and songwriters (Music Week)
Bad Boy Records signed rap stars including the Notorious BIG. The late rapper’s estate will now receive publishing income as those rights revert to the artists and songwriters.
BMI boss tries to ‘set record straight’ on potential sale (Music Ally)
CEO Mike O’Neill addressed concerns in a blog post. He explained that there is mischaracterization and lack of understanding about their mission.
Fred Again signs exclusive worldwide deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (MBW)
Starting his career as a producer, UMPG says that Fred Again (Fred Gibson) “has had one of the most meteoric rises in recent music history”.
Raye renews publishing deal with Warner Chappell (Music Week)
After her impressive year with Escapism, Raye has renewed her publishing deal with Warner Chappell including multiple chart singles and future recordings.
Abel Pintos signs global deal with UMPG (Billboard)
The Argentine singer-songwriter and Gardel Award-winning artist Abel Pintos has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group.
Sex Pistols members sign publishing deal with BMG (Music Week)
Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, Paul Cook and the estate of Sid Vicious have signed a new global publishing administration agreement with BMG which includes their portion of the legendary band’s catalog.
Reservoir signs publishing deal with Steph Jones (Music Week)
The Los Angeles-based Jones has co-written tracks for a range of artists including Selena Gomez, Pink, Keith Urban, Panic! At The Disco, Blackpink, Maisie Peters, Little Big Town, Mickey Guyton and more.
Funding, Facts & Figures
Sir Elton John leads $5m funding round for music startup Audoo (Music Ally)
“Right now, artists are not being paid accurately for their plays because the data simply doesn’t exist,” said John as the new funding round was announced.
The Circuit Group collective launches catalog acquisition business with Deadmau5 and more (Music Week)
Executives from artist management companies Seven20 and AYITA have joined forces to create The Circuit Group, which aims to build opportunities around artists’ intellectual property.
Metallica’s Black Squirrel fuels $5m round at Word Collections (Billboard)
Metallica‘s Black Squirrel Partners was the lead investor in the round in Word, which specializes in musical and comedic recordings.
The Rolling Stones catalog is worth $500m, but don’t expect a sale anytime soon (Digital Music News)
After sitting down with Wall Street Journal, Mick Jagger estimates that the Rolling Stones catalog is worth a cool $500 million but doesn’t plan to sell the massive body of work.
Independent music publishers propose ‘ethical’ AI guidelines (Music Ally)
The Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) has published “ethical guidelines on generative artificial intelligence” that boil down to four principles.
Supreme court turn down appeal over Wolfgang’s Vault case (Music Ally)
The publishers have been seeking to take their appeal to the US Supreme Court, in an effort to hold Wolfgang’s Vault directly liable for copyright infringement. However, this week the court turned them down.
US Supreme court to take up Warner Chappell Case around limitations on copyright damages, after appeal over Flo Rida ‘In the Ayer’ lawsuit (MBW)
At the request of Warner Chappell Music and copyright owner Artist Publishing Group, the US Supreme Court is set to make a decision on statutes of limitations for copyright lawsuits.
X clearly profits from widespread music piracy, music publishers argue (Torrent Freak)
A group of music publishers insist that X is liable for the widespread music piracy that takes place on its platform. There is roughly $250 million in damages on the line, could this legal battle run its course?
Estate of ‘Let’s Get It On’ co-writer drops appeal in ‘Thinking Out Loud’ copyright battle (MBW)
The estate of Ed Townsend, co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, have formally ended their court battle with Ed Sheeran over their claims that Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud copied the iconic 1970s R&B song.
After growing Warner Chappell revenues by 93%, Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall ink new 5-year deals to run publisher (MBW)
From April 2019 to now, the duo – with Moot as CEO and co-Chair, and Marshall as COO and co-Chair – have overseen a company whose quarterly revenues have grown by over 90%.
How Carole Broughton became one of music publishing’s first female leaders (Billboard)
In an interview with Billboard, Carole Broughton talks about how she became one of the first female leaders working with ABBA, The Zombies and more.
Rachel Jacobson appointed Senior Vice President, Creative Sync at Warner Chappell (MBW)
Reporting to Rich Robinson, WCM’s EVP, Global Sync and Media Original Music, Jacobson will oversee a new team that’s solely focused on sourcing and developing songwriters for creative opportunities in sync.
Production values: strikes, AI and the future for production music (Synchtank)
With the Production Music Conference taking place in Los Angeles, we check in with key players in the market to understand the evolving challenges and opportunities.
Ghostwriter, the mastermind behind the viral Drake AI song, speaks for the first time (Billboard)
Billboard exclusively sits down with the songwriter — and potential Grammy nominee — as he and his manager explain why deepfaking artists’ voices could be “the future of music.”
AI music: disruption, opportunities, and the importance of human musicians (Music Ally)
After the Ivors Academy Global Creators Summit in London, Music Ally shares the topics discussed on artificial intelligence and what this means for creators.
ICMP and Muso team up to help music publishers tackle piracy (Music Ally)
ICMP and Muso will launch ‘The ICMP Anti-Piracy Platform’, giving members access to Muso’s tools to monitor infringing content online; send takedown notices and then get analytics on those removals.