We catch up on the latest music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
UMPG to represent Elvis Presley catalog in global partnership with Authentic Brands Group (Music Week)
Today, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) and Authentic Brands Group (ABG) – owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises – have announced an exclusive global publishing deal to represent the song catalogue of the music legend.
BMG to represent George Harrison publishing catalog globally via new deal (MBW)
The BMG deal expands on the firm’s relationship with Harrison’s music company Dark Horse Records, with BMG serving as its global partner across recorded music, music publishing, and merchandise, while also developing further areas of business.
Downtown Music Services inks global publishing deal with The Weeknd producer Daniel Lopatin (MBW)
Lopatin, who records and performs as Oneohtrix Point Never, has released several albums, including his most recent project, Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, a culmination of his recorded work over the past decade.
Warner Chappell signs producer TooDope! in partnership with TM88 (Music Week)
The hitmaker co-produced Drake’s 2021 global hit Way 2 Sexy (ft. Future and Young Thug) with producer TM88 (Bryan Simmons), which debuted at No. 1 on the US Hot 100 chart.
Royalties & CMOs
Judges in the US have hinted that the mechanical royalty rate paid to publishers and songwriters for vinyl sales should rise. The major labels’ lawyers have come out swinging. (MBW)
There’s a very important debate going on in the US over certain types of mechanical royalty rates paid to songwriters right now, and you need to know about it.
SOCAN Collections Rebound 6% to $325M (Billboard)
The Canadian collection society’s revenue increase was driven by a nearly 30% growth in digital collections.
Facts & Figures
Global Value of Music Copyright is bigger now than it’s ever been (Tarzan Economics)
In 2001, the global value of recorded music was $28.3bn – that is labels, CMOs and direct revenues that publishers collected at the time. Of that pie, just 23% went to publishing. Roll forward to 2020 and the pie has grown by 15% to reach $32.5bn of which the share to publishers has increased by half to reach 35%.
Majors slightly increased their market share in 2021 (Music Ally)
Research journal Music & Copyright has published its annual market-share figures for music publishers and labels, covering 2021.
Ed Sheeran wins Shape of You copyright case and hits out at ‘baseless’ claims (BBC)
In a video on social media, he said there was now a culture “where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there’s no basis for the claim”.
Spotify’s Eminem publisher dispute continues, as US judge orders Daniel Ek deposition (MBW)
US Judge Jeffery S. Frensley has ordered Spotify CEO Daniel EK to give a deposition in a case brought against the streaming company by a publisher called Eight Mile Style back in 2019.
Bob Dylan wins lawsuit seeking cut of multi-million dollar catalog sale to Universal (MBW)
The lawsuit was brought on January 20, 2021, by the estate of songwriter called Jacques Levy, described in the lawsuit as “a renowned songwriter and avant-garde theater director”.
Finance & Investment
Music Catalog Deal Spending Rose 180% in 2021, Says MIDiA Research (Synchblog)
According to an extensive new report from MIDiA Research, 2021 saw unprecedented growth in the catalog acquisition market with investors spending $5.3 billion on publicly-announced deals.
Sony Music Publishing Commits $100,000 to Songwriters Org The 100 Percenters (Billboard)
The money will help provide financial relief through the organization’s Songwriter Stimulus Program and its Emergency Fund.
Janet Kirker named Chief Product Officer at UK-based Synchtank (MBW)
Before joining Synchtank, Kirker served as Vice President, Rights and Royalties at Warner Music Group, working on the vision, strategy and roadmap for rights management and licensing in global data operations.
Lisa Bergami promoted to VP, Creative Synch at Kobalt (MBW)
Based in New York, Bergami will manage the New York synch team and continue working closely with the Kobalt roster to facilitate and manage all advertising and brand-related licensing deals for the company’s diverse song catalog.
Warner Chappell Music names Jen Savitzky vice president of finance, North America (Music Week)
In this role, she will serve as a partner and advisor to the music publisher’s North American team, overseeing all finance and accounting operations and helping drive strategic planning initiatives.
Kobalt ups Nuno Guerreiro to chief technology officer (Music Week)
Kobalt has announced that Nuno Guerreiro has been promoted to chief technology officer, effective from May 1, 2022. Since 2018, Guerreiro held the title of vice president of engineering at Kobalt.