We catch up on this week’s music publishing news, from key deals and signings to new hires, legislation and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
Calvin Harris Sells Publishing Catalog to Vine Investments for ‘Around’ $100 Million (Variety)
The white-hot publishing market just got hotter, as Vine Alternative Investments announced Thursday that it has acquired the song catalog of multi-platinum producer, songwriter, artist and DJ Calvin Harris.
Primary Wave strikes ‘multi-million dollar’ 10-year strategic partnership with the Four Seasons (MBW)
Primary Wave Music Publishing has entered into what it describes as “a multi-million dollar”, 10-year strategic partnership with the award-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Four Seasons.
Secretly Publishing signs admin deal for Fort William management clients Beirut, Grizzly Bear and The War on Drugs (Music Week)
Secretly Publishing and Fort William Artist Management have agreed a worldwide publishing administration deal. The deal will bring catalogues and future works of artists including Beirut, Dehd, Grizzly Bear and The War on Drugs to the Secretly Publishing roster.
Katie Melua Signs With Reservoir (Billboard)
The new pact includes rights to Melua’s future titles, and her newly-released eighth studio album, Album No. 8 (BMG), which is on track for a Top 5 debut when the Official U.K. Albums Chart is published this Friday (Oct. 23).
Warner Chappell Music signs X Ambassadors in exclusive publishing deal (MBW)
Warner Chappell Music Senior Vice President, A&R, Rich Christina, said: “Many of us at Warner Chappell have known X Ambassadors for a while now, and we’re so proud of all their accomplishments.
Sony/ATV extends deal with Cass Lowe (CMU)
Sony/ATV has extended its deal with songwriter and producer Cass Lowe, whose credits include tracks released by Charli XCX, Chance The Rapper, Labrinth, Clean Bandit, Anne-Marie and Little Mix.
Warner Chappell signs songwriter and vocalist Cleo Tighe (Music Week)
The deal sees Warner Chappell Music partner with Evan ‘Kidd’ Bogart’s Camelot Music Group to publish the future works from Tighe.
Thomas Archer Signs With Madfun Music And Warner Chappell Music (Music Row)
Warner Chappell Music Nashville and Madfun Music have signed a global co-publishing agreement with hitmaker Thomas Archer, co-writer of No. 1 songs including Jason Aldean’s current smash “Got What I Got,” and the Luke Combs hits “Lovin’ on You” and “Hurricane.”
Nate Smith signs to Sony/ATV Nashville (Music Week)
Singer/songwriter Smith is from Paradise, California, and released his debut EP Reckless in 2020. Wildfire has almost 10 million Spotify plays and 2 million TikTok views. His new single Under My Skin is out now.
Facts & Figures
Independent Music Publishing Global Market View 2020 Report (IMPF)
In 2019, the value of music publishing (alone) was estimated at EUR 5 billion globally. Independent music publishers within this figure, together represent 27% of that global market share.
CD Baby Music Publishing Collections Exceed $10M (Hypebot)
CD Baby Pro Publishing announced today that it has collected more than $10 million for its independent songwriters and performing artists.
Universal Music Group just generated over a billion dollars from streaming in a single quarter… during a global pandemic (MBW)
UMG’s overall revenues in Q3 – including recorded music, publishing and merch – were up 6.1% to €1.855bn ($2.14bn). Music publishing revenues grew 6.2% YoY in the quarter.
WMG expects annual revenue to top $4.4bn in FY2020, with streaming up over $260m YoY (MBW)
In a nutshell, WMG is expecting a flat-ish year, with recorded music revenue slightly down and music publishing revenue slightly up. (MBW)
Finance & Investment
Warner Music Raises $250 Million for Catalog Acquisitions (Variety)
A source confirmed to Variety that the objective of the new offering is repertoire, and is in the process of acquiring two catalogs, according to an SEC filing.
Universal Music Group will IPO in 2022, confirms Vivendi (MBW)
The news comes seven months after a consortium led by Chinese giant Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music Group for $3.3bn earlier this year.
Warner IPO saw group of senior execs share $593m result from long-term incentive plan (MBW)
Warner Music Group executives shared an incentive plan jackpot worth $593m in stock following the firm’s IPO on the Nasdaq in June, MBW can reveal.
Round Hill Music prospectus published (QuotedData)
Round Hill Music Royalty Fund aims to provide investors with an attractive level of regular and growing income and capital returns from investment primarily in high quality, music intellectual property.
The Financialized Song: The Rise of the Hipgnosis Song Fund (Penny Fractions)
Merck Mercuriadis enjoys the press. The co-founder and unofficial spokesperson for the Hipgnosis Song Fund, a company founded with a mission to buy song rights, managed to raise over a billion dollars in a short few years.
Hirings & Promotions
Spirit Music Group Restructures Synch Team, Hires Major Label Veteran Amy Hartman (Variety)
Spirit Music Group, the 25-year-old independent music publisher, has brought in Amy Hartman for the position of senior vice president, creative services.
Reservoir Expands Creative Team with Key Promotions and New Hires (Music Week)
Reservoir’s creative team is now 12-strong, stationed from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles, looking after the company’s roster of 80 active songwriting and producing talent.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Names Russell Emanuel President & CEO of Production Music (Variety)
Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced it has centralized its two production music divisions — Extreme Music and EMI Production Music — as one global operation and named Russell Emanuel as its President & CEO.
Caroline Beasley Elected Chairman of BMI Board of Directors (BMI)
Beasley, who joined the Board in 2014, most recently served as Vice Chairman of the BMI Board. She succeeds Michael J. Fiorile, Chairman of the Dispatch Printing Company, who has been elected Presiding Director of the BMI Board.
Katie Kerkhover Joins BMG As Sr. Director, Creative (Music Row)
Kerkhover will be responsible for BMG’s chart-topping Nashville publishing roster including hitmakers Scooter Carusoe, Ben Goldsmith, James Slater, and Wynn Varble, among others, and signing and developing new songwriters and artists.
Royalties & CMOs
ICE’s Ben McEwen on Simplifying Licensing for Smaller Online Music Services with Licensr (Synchblog)
ICE’s Ben McEwen shares his thoughts on the evolving music licensing landscape for smaller online services and ICE’s role in fostering innovation.
Twitch copyright headache gets worse as ‘thousands’ of videos get deleted over infringement notice (MBW)
Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch has been hit with “thousands” of DMCA infringement notifications over copyrighted music used in videos.
What the DCMS committee streaming investigation means for the music business (Music Week)
Intriguingly, the statement from DCMS chair Julian Knight seems to put the DSPs in the spotlight, rather than the record labels that have actually been the focus of many ‘Fix Streaming’ campaigners. Which means we can expect an interesting debate about where the responsibility for artists’ and songwriters’ low payments actually lies.
Synch’s Power Players: Meet The Industry’s Top Licensing Exec (Billboard)
Here’s how music’s top synch executives have adapted — and their advice for artists hoping to land tunes on TV.
Meet the 2020 Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour (Music Week)
There are 24 names on this year’s list, drawn from all sectors of the music industry and all with tremendous achievements to celebrate.
Round Hill: Our $375m IPO will be good news for songwriters (MBW)
“With the IPO, we can look a songwriter in the eye, and tell them that Round Hill can be the home for their rights forever,” founder and CEO Josh Gruss explains to MBW.
The Orchard CEO Brad Navin Explains Mechanics of New Partnership With Sony/ATV; the Secret of BTS’ Success (Forbes)
Beyond allowing songwriting artists and smaller labels to park all of their music revenue in a single platform, the arrangement combines the muscle of the world’s largest publisher with one of the industry’s largest indie distributors.
Blurred lines: UGC is bringing creators and users closer, and blurring promotion with consumption (MIDiA Research)
Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 hit ‘Dreams’ is the latest ‘legacy hit’ to have also become the latest viral phenomenon, thanks to a skateboarder with a thirst for cranberry juice.
The streaming startups trying to save the music industry mid-pandemic (The Guardian)
From livestreaming platforms sharing their revenues with roadies, to immersive weekend-long gigs over high-end speakers, new music companies are innovating out of a crisis
BTS Owns $108 Million of Big Hit. Every Other Artist Will Be Taking Note (Rolling Stone)
Whether BTS got too much or too little from Big Hit’s IPO, the group certainly got more than artists at other large music companies could dream of.
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