We catch up on this week’s music publishing headlines, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals and Signings
‘A rare opportunity’: Evie Irie signs to Downtown Music Publishing (Music Week)
Downtown Music Publishing have signed 16-year-old Australian songwriter Evie Irie, who is managed by Q&A founder Troy Carter. Irie has just released the 5 Weeks In LA EP, lead track Bitter has racked up more than one million streams across all platforms since its release.
Blackbird Presents Launches Publishing Group, Inks Deal With Burt Bacharach (Billboard)
Blackbird Presents, Keith Wortman and the Raine Group today announced the appointment of legendary music publishing executive Lance Freed as President of the newly formed Blackbird Music Publishing Group. The company will have offices in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.
Cars’ Ric Ocasek Moves Publishing to SESAC (Variety)
Ric Ocasek, the primary singer and songwriter for the Cars and a recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has signed with SESAC Performing Rights for his music publishing. He formerly had a long association with ASCAP.
Faber Music signs DJ and neo-classical artist Pablo Nouvelle (Music Week)
The independent music publisher will represent the Swiss DJ, composer and producer (real name Fabio Friedli) under the Faber Alt brand, a division dedicated to alternative artists and writers. He joins a boutique roster of artists that includes Phoria, Boy Azooga, Penelope Isles, Jonny Greenwood and Anna Meredith.
Universal Music Publishing Group Signs Global Deal With Maren Morris (MBW)
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed superstar singer-songwriter Maren Morris to a worldwide administration deal. Morris’s debut album HERO (2016) entered at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200, earning Platinum certification.
LyricFind announces deal with 63 British publishers via PMLL (CMU)
Lyrics aggregator LyricFind has announced an agreement with 63 UK music publishers put together via PMLL, the sheet music collecting society run by the UK’s Music Publishers Association. The deal will bring those publishers’ respective catalogues into LyricFind’s global lyric licensing system.
SESAC sells $560 mln in bonds backed by music royalties (Reuters)
SESAC, whose clients include Adele, Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond, on Friday priced a two-part $560 million bond offering backed by music royalties and licensing agreements, according to a source familiar with the deal.
Hirings and Promotions
Jason Hradil Promoted At BMG To SVP, Global Repertoire (MBW)
Hradil leads a US team which includes VP, Marketing outbound Shane Cosme and VP, Marketing inbound Mark Mueller.
Downtown appoints Cliff Audretch to creative role (Music Week)
Audretch will be responsible for scouting, developing and signing new artists, songwriters, and producers, as well as creating opportunities for Downtown clients and copyrights. He will join Downtown’s Nashville-based creative team alongside Natalie Osborne and Matt Turner, reporting directly to SVP, creative, Steve Markland.
Warner Chappell Music Colombia Promotes Daniel Mora to Managing Director (Billboard)
“It’s incredible, the amount of talent coming out of Colombia, one of the most exponentially growing music markets in Latin America,” said Mora in an official statement. “I’m privileged to work with some of the best songwriters in the world and excited to continue growing our roster in the region.”
Sony/ATV To Pay Songwriters Faster, Offer Cash Withdrawal Service, In Royalty System Upgrade (MBW)
In what it calls “a ground-breaking move for a major publisher”, Sony/ATV is introducing real-time inter-company processing for all foreign earnings from every territory in which the company operates.
Katy Perry, Capitol Records, Dr. Luke Saddled With $2.78 Million in Copyright Infringement Damages Over ‘Dark Horse’ (DMN)
The defending party of Katy Perry, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut, Sarah Hudson, guest performer/rapper Juicy J, and Capitol Records (UMG) were saddled with the fine. Additionally, the jury ruled that publishing company Kasz Money Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing America Inc. and Warner Bros. Music Corp. would also share in the damages assessment.
Chuck D sues his publisher (CMU)
Chuck D is suing his music publisher, alleging that Reach Global Music bamboozled him out of a fuck load of royalties and a slice of his rights.
Meat Loaf Settles Longtime Copyright Infringement Battle Over “I’d Do Anything for Love” (DMN)
A dismissal for the suit was filed Wednesday in California federal court. The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by Enclosed Music LLC, who accused Meat Loaf of ripping off the tune. The complaint said the tune was initially copyrighted by Jon Dunmore Sinclair, whose catalog the company owns.
Why Humans & Computers Must Work Together to Secure the Future of Music Rights (Billboard)
Exactuals’ E’Narda McCalister explains why a mixture of human input and AI technology will play a critical part in building a strong, scalable solution to the royalty problem.
Watch a Guy Use Puppets to Explain the Music Modernization Act to Congress (Vice)
Kevin Erickson kicked off his presentation by saying, “Last year, as I was running around the hill working on the Music Modernization Act, I had enough staffers say: ‘This is so complicated; can you explain it to me like I’m five?’ So, I got some puppets…”
‘It’s not for the faint-hearted’: Robert Ashcroft on a new era for PRS for Music (Music Week)
Reflecting on his time in charge, Ashcroft – who is pursuing his music tech company X-System among other industry interests – said: “It’s not for the faint-hearted, it’s a complicated business with, in the end, a zero sum game.”
Sync Assistant – Decca Music Group (LA)
This Role Supports The Decca Music Group Vps, Sync In La And The Creative Licensing Manager, Sync In London On A Day To Day Basis, Covering Both The Decca Labels And Decca Publishing.
Manager, Royalty Processing – Songtrust (New York)
Songtrust is seeking a Manager, Royalty Processing to join their growing team. The perfect candidate has experience with managing the process of ingesting worldwide vendor statements into our royalty database.
Sr. Manager, Sync (Creative) – Downtown Music Publishing (London)
Downtown is seeking a Senior Manager, Sync (Creative) to join their team in the London office. This position will report directly to their Executive Vice President.