We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Acquisitions
TikTok and NMPA reach a global partnership agreement: exclusive (Billboard)
TikTok and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) have signed a multi-year agreement ending a lengthy standoff with threats of legal action against the popular video-sharing app for copyright infringement.
Spotify and Universal Music Group ink multi-year global licensing deal (MBW)
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group (pictured), said, “With this agreement, UMG and Spotify are more aligned than ever in our commitment to ensuring the entire music ecosystem thrives and reaches new audiences around the globe.
Primary Wave Music Publishing acquires a stake in Devo’s music publishing catalogue & master recordings (Music Week)
The acquisition includes some of the Grammy-nominated band’s biggest hits such as Whip It, That’s Good, Girl U Want, Freedom of Choice and more.
‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ producer Millennium inks deal with music rights firm Kobalt (Deadline)
An objective for the partnership is to license Millennium’s music across media including film, TV, advertising, games, podcasts, and the internet.
BMG Production Music acquires Dynamic Music (Music Week)
The deal marks an evolution of the relationship between BMG and Dynamic, following their global sub-publishing agreement in 2018. Since that deal, Dynamic’s revenue has doubled, as the company secured 100-plus hours of music use across global television and radio stations from some 30,000 usages.
Brandi Carlile, Tim and Phil Hanseroth sign admin deal with Universal Music Publishing Group (Variety)
Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer Brandi Carlile and her musical collaborators, twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, have signed a worldwide administration agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).
Warner Chappell Music signs Latin Grammy-winning producer Tony Succar (Billboard)
Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has signed a publishing deal with Latin Grammy-winning producer Tony Succar.
Jaren Johnston extends deal with Sony/ATV (Music Row)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville has extended its global co-publishing agreement with songwriter/producer Jaren Johnston.
FutureKind renews deal with songwriter Tom Mann (Music Week)
With co-writing credits alongside artists including Lewis Capaldi, Rita Ora, James TW and Jackson Wang, Tom Mann has just passed two billion streams as a songwriter.
Hit Producer WondaGurl signs global co-publishing deal with Sony/ATV, Cactus Jack (Variety)
Hit producer WondaGurl, who’s worked with some of the top names in hip-hop and R&B, has signed a global agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, in partnership with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Publishing.
Finance & Investment
Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment firm with a $1.9bn portfolio under management, is about to spend big in music.
Hipgnosis’ spending stash grows to nearly $700m, as firm extends debt facility (MBW)
Just two weeks after it raised nearly $300m via the sale of C shares, Hipgnosis Songs Fund has increased the amount of debt it can access in order to continue its aggressive acquisition strategy.
Nigerian star, Mr. Eazi is raising $20 million to invest in African music creatives (CNN)
Through the Africa Music Fund (AMF), the 29-year-old artist from Nigeria says he wants to create a new funding model for the music business on the continent.
Royalties & PROs
Facebook signs deal with Indian collecting society IPRS (Music Ally)
The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) has signed a deal with Facebook for use of the repertoire it represents in videos, music stickers and stories on the platform. The deal also covers similar usage on Instagram.
China to get a new ‘one-stop copyright registration window’ (Music Ally)
It’ll include a free copyright registration service for independent music in mainland China, to help musicians register their works, but there will also be an ‘Independent Musician Service Plan’ created.
Music trade organizations, guilds, PROs urge congress to extend relief for songwriters, composers (Billboard)
With the end of July marking the end of enhanced unemployment benefits, working songwriters and composers are facing another financial hurdle.
PRS for Music and Qatar Airways case to be heard in England (Music Ally)
UK collecting society PRS for Music is suing airline Qatar Airways for copyright infringement, and the case will be heard in the English courts – an early boost for the society.
Meet the crusading lawyer hated by the biggest companies in music (Rolling Stone)
He’s sued Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, and Travis Scott, and incited controversy by winning the infamous “Blurred Lines” case — but the attorney insists he’s the one in the right.
Court dismisses plagiarism claims made against The Weeknd (CMU)
A judge has dismissed the lawsuit pursued by three British songwriters against The Weeknd in relation to his track ‘A Lonely Night’.
Ivor Novello Awards: CEO Graham Davies on the nominees and rule changes for co-writers (Music Week)
Thirty-five individual writers are recognised, including Stormzy, Dave, Kate Tempest, J Hus, Sam Smith, Mica Levi, Jamie Cullum, Sam Fender and Little Simz.
Defining the ’90s Music Canon (The Pudding)
We asked thousands of people whether they recognized hit songs from the ’90s, such as “Wannabe” and “No Scrubs”, ordering the results by birth year.
At work with Jaime Zeluck-Hindlin, whose brush with death led to a new career (Rolling Stone)
Jaime Zeluck-Hindlin had traversed the music industry, working for a major record label, talent agency, and high-profile film and TV music supervisor, before finally landing her dream gig as a music publishing A&R.
Seat at the Table report (Women in CTRLs)
A new report has revealed a severe lack of gender and ethnic diversity in the senior ranks of music trade organisations in the UK with women representing just 27% of CEO positions and black women counting for 3% of board members.
‘An effective vaccine will be the ultimate solution, but until that is realized, the Chinese music business has quickly found ways to innovate’ (MBW)
Modern Sky Entertainment’s Dave Pichilingi tells us what coming out of COVID-19 lockdown has looked like for the music industry in China and the lessons that can be learnt from the company’s experiences there…
Music royalties in China: let those without sin cast the first stone (China Law Blog)
Despite the actual and potential growth, China’s music industry is beset by systemic royalty accounting problems. The temptation is to blame China for this. But when you take a closer look at the royalty ecosystem, the blame doesn’t lie squarely at China’s feet.
Could ISNI be metadata’s missing link? (Synchblog)
We learn more about Quansic, the Swiss based company founded by metadata expert FX Nuttall that acts as “an interface between ISNI and the music industry”.
Josh Thompson leads upstart publisher MV2 to an enviable 5-year anniversary (Billboard)
“Trying to build a publishing company from the ground up is probably tougher than it’s ever been,” says Senior creative director Mike Whelan.
Moot point: FutureKind & Sony/ATV admin deal up for renewal (Music Week)
FutureKind is considering its future publishing partnerships as it aims to expand operations internationally. Outside of Australia and New Zealand, where it has teamed with Mushroom, the company has a global joint venture admin agreement with Sony/ATV, which is up for renewal.
Dissecting The Digital Dollar: five years on (CMU)
Here is a quick summary of the presentation CMU’s Chris Cooke gave at the start of the launch of the new ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ book yesterday, setting our five key changes and challenges that we have seen, or will see, in the world of music streaming.
(Post)-pandemic pop and the rise of the digital avatar (The Forty Five)
Digital pop stars are shaking up the music industry, but what does that mean for authenticity, accessibility and pop music post-pandemic?
Music Publishing Job Spotlight
Manager, Publisher Services – The MLC (Los Angeles)
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is seeking a Manager, Publisher Services to manage relationships with music publishers to ensure client satisfaction.
The MLC is also seeking suggestions for music publisher representatives to serve on its Board of Directors. Find out more here.
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