HarbourView Equity Partners has $1bn to spend on rights

Another company is entering the crowded market for music rights. Well, HarbourView Equity Partners has a wider focus than just music: it’s planning to invest in entertainment rights too, with a team that has experience in film, TV and sports alongside music. In an interview with the New York Times, founder and CEO Sherrese Clarke Soares […]

NMPA and Roblox reach a deal to dismiss $200m lawsuit

To co-opt the old adage about buses… you wait ages for a rancorous music publishing / tech dispute to be put to rest with an agreement that isn’t a licensing deal in itself, but paves the way for such deals… then two come along at once! Yes, less than a week after the US National […]

‘The song value has been suppressed… because of the industry mechanics’

Yesterday’s second session at the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming was another double-header, featuring representatives of musicians. Graham Davies is chief executive of songwriters body the Ivors Academy, while Horace Trubridge is general secretary of the Musicians’ Union (and a founder member of 1970s band Darts). The panel of MPs questioning […]

BPI and MPA have their say at UK’s music streaming inquiry

The latest day of hearings for the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming was the busiest yet, with three sessions – including the first to involve streaming services. As before, there was a mixture of tough questions, grandstanding and moments of farce. And plenty to think about as the digital, culture, media and […]

Spotify launches Noteable website gathering songwriter resources

Spotify launched a songwriters hub on its service last December, gathering playlists and podcasts by or about the songwriting community. Now it’s launching a dedicated site, called Noteable, for those songwriters. The site, which comes with its own newsletter and social accounts, is being pitched as a place for writers and composers to “get the […]

Hipgnosis Songs Fund raises another £75m for acquisitions

On the rare news-day when we don’t have a Hipgnosis catalogue acquisition to report, it feels like there’s often news of the company raising more money for its next swathe of deals instead. On Friday, Hipgnosis announced that it had raised £75m (around $103m) through its latest sale of shares, with MBW reporting that Morgan Stanley Investment Management led […]

CreateSafe makes a publishing simulator for streaming income

Last September, we wrote about startup CreateSafe’s launch of a ‘record deal simulator’, which let anyone plug in figures for advances, recording and marketing costs, as well as artist/label splits, to gauge how many streams an artist would need in order to recoup. It was widely shared within the industry, and was also cited in the […]

Round Hill boss sceptical about major music firms’ priorities

Josh Gruss, CEO of Round Hill Music, was the keynote interviewee for NY:LON Connect’s publishing strand yesterday. He offered some views on the disparity in digital royalties between recordings and songs. “I think it should be around 50/50. You don’t have a recording without the song. You also don’t have a concert without the song,” […]

Buying catalogues is a sprint, but managing them is a marathon

It’s easy to buy a catalogue of songs – well, it is if you have the money, obviously – but the challenge of managing them well to grow revenues is an important challenge. “Marketing is absolutely at the core of future success for song catalogues, even if lucky random breaks will continue to happen thanks to […]

Shakira and KT Tunstall sell stakes in their music catalogues

Two more musicians are selling their rights – or at least part of them – to investment companies. Shakira is the latest to throw in her lot with Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which has acquired 100% of her music publishing rights for her entire catalogue of 145 songs. “One of the most serious and successful songwriters […]

Hipgnosis ups the ante with $322.9m Kobalt Capital deal

Like a child scrambling to spend their birthday money on V-Bucks or Robux within seconds of being given it, Hipgnosis Songs Fund isn’t wasting any time spending its latest injection of cash from investors. This morning saw the company’s biggest deal yet, paying $322.9m for a catalogue of more than 33k songs (or shares in […]

Music Ally Report:: Q3 2020 Edition

Our main feature focuses on TikTok’s eventful 2020 so far, from the deepening of its relationship with artists and the music industry to its tangles with the Trump administration, along with the rise of the short video apps category more generally. Our Second Look section analyses recent stories and data around Hipgnosis Songs Fund; Tencent […]

Report: independents are 27% of music publishing market

Independent publishers body IMPF has published a new ‘Global Market View 2020′ report offering figures for its members’ share of the global publishing sector. The key stats: an estimate that the global publishing market was worth €5bn (around $5.9bn) in 2019 – up from €4.63bn in 2018 – and that independent publishers accounted for 27% of […]

Calvin Harris sells publishing catalogue for $90m-plus

Shock news! The latest big-money deal for a publishing catalogue doesn’t involve Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Dance star Calvin Harris has sold his catalogue of more than 150 songs to financial firm Vine Alternative Investments, although Sony/ATV will continue administering it. The price wasn’t officially announced, although Variety claimed it was “around $100m” while Billboard offered a wider “between $90m […]

Round Hill Music confirms plans for $375m Royalty Fund IPO

The rumours were right: music publisher Round Hill Music is planning to take its songs fund public. The Round Hill Music Royalty Fund has announced plans to raise $375m through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. You can read its announcement here. The company says it has already identified more than 40 catalogues containing more than 120k […]

The bigger picture around Twitch, music licensing, and industry criticism

When we reported on the launch of Soundtrack by Twitch earlier this week, we had a sneaking suspicion that we’d be hearing from the publishing sector – and US representative body the NMPA’s boss David Israelite – sooner rather than later with some opinions. And lo, he’s one of the interviewees in a Rolling Stone follow-up about the wider […]

BMI sets new revenue and distribution records despite Covid-19

We’re in a peculiar time right now, where despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual musicians’ incomes, we’re also seeing announcements by industry bodies, major music companies and collecting societies of positive (and even still record-breaking) figures for their businesses. The latest is US society BMI for its last financial year, which ended […]

NMPA hopeful of keeping songwriters’ top line rate increase

We reported yesterday on the ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the appeal by Amazon, Google, Pandora and Spotify against new songwriter royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalty Board. The decision was seen as backing the streaming services in ruling against the procedure used to set the new rates. Now […]

Publisher Round Hill Music sues TuneCore and Believe

It’s clearly the time of year for lawsuits and legal threats. Publisher Round Hill Music is suing distributor TuneCore and its parent company Believe. The lawsuit claims that the two companies “reproduced and distributed musical compositions owned or controlled by Round Hill… despite knowing that the Round Hill Compositions were never properly licensed. Moreover, beyond failing […]

Snap strikes deals for licensed music in Snapchat app

Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc has signed music licensing deals with Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell, Universal Music Publishing, Merlin and a number of members of US publishing body the NMPA. Bloomberg reported on the deals this morning, adding that Snap is testing a new feature in Australia and New Zealand that lets people add […]

TikTok signs licensing deal with US publishing body NMPA

Another day, another licensing deal for TikTok, and this one’s a biggie. It’s signed a global, multi-year agreement with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US. That’s big because the NMPA has been rattling its sabre at TikTok for some time over licensing, with publishers angry at the lack of royalties coming their […]

Hipgnosis buys catalogue of songwriter and producer RedOne

Another day, another catalogue acquisition for deep-pocketed investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund. This time it belongs to Grammy-winning songwriter and producer RedOne, whose credits include collaborations with Lady Gaga (‘Poker Face’, ‘Bad Romance’ and ‘Just Dance’ included); Nicki Minaj, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of RedOne’s songs and recorded music interests: […]

PRS for Music warns of royalties hit to come from Covid-19

British collecting society PRS for Music has offered another warning that the Covid-19 pandemic will be delivering its biggest hit to songwriter royalties later this year. PRS has just paid out its July 2020 distribution, £132.4m, which was up by 3% year-on-year. However, CEO Andrea Martin warned the society’s members that there are tough times […]

MLC says it will launch its user portal ‘later this quarter’

The US’s new Mechanical Licensing Collective body (MLC) has provided an update on its plans to launch a portal for independent songwriters to register their works. At the NY:LON Connect conference in January, MLC chair Alisa Coleman said the aim was to have the portal live early in the second quarter of 2020. Then the […]

Spotify sees more labels and distributors crediting songwriters

Spotify’s head of songwriter and publishing relations Jules Parker says that the streaming service’s addition of songwriter credits had a knock-on effect for labels and distributors. “Since we began publicly displaying song credits on Spotify in 2018, we’ve seen a 60% increase in how often labels and distributors credit songwriters on their new releases, allowing […]

Hipgnosis Songs Fund seeks £200m of new equity financing

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has been snapping up a series of publishing catalogues in big-money acquisitions, and it has no plans to stop – but it needs another injection of funding to fuel its ambition. “With over £1 billion of acquisitions in the pipeline covering some of the most important songs and artists of all time, much […]

Outdustry launches China music publishing arm Outdustry Songs

Outdustry has long been one of the most respected companies helping western music firms and artists do business in China (and more recently, India too). Its services have mainly focused on marketing and rights management / licensing, but now Outdustry is launching a music publishing arm focused on China called Outdustry Songs. It has non-exclusive direct […]

Universal Music hails China sales success for Linong Chen

The major western music companies are, it’s fair to say, very keen to expand their foothold in the Chinese music industry. From beefing up their offices in China to taking investment from its digital industry’s giant Tencent, Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music are all making the country a growth priority. Some new numbers […]

NMPA reveals US publishing revenues grew by 11.6% in 2019

US publishing body the NMPA held its annual meeting yesterday – the first time it’s been online. It included some new stats from president and CEO David Israelite. He revealed that US publishing industry revenues grew by 11.6% in 2019 to $3.72bn, making last year the fifth consecutive year of growth for the sector. However, the […]

Kobalt chairman thinks publishing revenues will dip in 2020

Recently, Goldman Sachs published a report with new predictions for music industry revenues in 2020, Covid-19 impact included. It forecast a 75% drop for live music revenues, but growth of 3% for recorded music and 3.5% for music publishing in 2020. Kobalt founder and chairman Willard Ahdritz isn’t so sure. “Overall I do believe that […]

Hipgnosis acquires a 70% stake in Mark Ronson’s publishing

Hipgnosis Songs Fund is at it again. The thirsty-for-catalogue publishing company has acquired 70% of Mark Ronson’s publishing/catalogue. “Mark has been amongst the most exciting creators in the world over the last 20 years co-writing and producing records for the most important artists of their time including Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Dua […]

Sony/ATV teams up with music production marketplace BeatStars

Music Ally first wrote about production marketplace BeatStars back in June 2012, when we noted that it had already been dubbed ‘the iTunes of beats’. Eight years on, it’s now famous as the website where Lil Nas X bought a trap beat for $30 and used it to make a track called ‘Old Town Road’. In June last year, BeatStars […]

Hips my Life: Hipgnosis buys catalogue of Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora

Richie Sambora is best known as the guitarist in Bon Jovi and co-writer of some of their biggest hits (such as ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and ‘It’s My Life’) which, three decades on from their release, still do decent business on streaming services. Those three songs along have combined […]

Love ISN’T in the air as DSPs’ US royalty-rates appeal kicks off

David Israelite, president of the National Music Publishers Association in the US, has never been a man to pull his verbal punches when taking digital services to task. “Songwriters: This week, Spotify and Amazon are quite literally taking you to court,” is how his latest guest column for Billboard begins, and it doesn’t get any less […]

New IMPF boss promises to reach out to other publishing bodies

The Independent Music Publishers International Forum (IMPF) has confirmed the identify of its next boss. Annette Barrett, MD of Reservoir UK, is now its president-elect and chair of the body’s board of directors, and will formally take on the role of president later this month, replacing current president Pierre Mossiat. In her statement, Barrett promised […]

Spotify launches ‘songwriter pages’ feature in beta

Spotify is launching a new feature aimed at songwriters, giving them their own profile pages on the streaming service, complete with playlists of recordings of their songs. ‘Songwriter Pages’ launches in beta today, accompanied by a tweak to Spotify’s existing track credits feature to make the names of songwriters taking part in the beta clickable, […]

Publishing and rights: ‘Everybody needs to play ball in order for this tech to work’

“You can choose to grow one copyright at a time. That’s going to take a really, really long time. We went to look for solutions that would help us scale more quickly. And what drove that was really find likeminded people, find people with whom you have shared values… with whom you have a vision […]

Hipgnosis and Concord make latest publishing investments

Two of the most active music firms involved in buying up publishing catalogues have started 2020 with a bang. UK-based Hipgnosis has acquired a catalogue of 157 songs from Blink-182 co-founder Tom DeLonge, hopeful of a resurgence for his main band’s music. “The influence of Blink-182 on today’s artists is massive. If you’re under 27 years old […]

Music publishers mull challenges of India’s evolving market

Music-publishing body ICMP has just held its latest board meeting, in Mumbai, as part of a week-long delegation to India to hold talks with the government, music-industry entities and media in the country. “We came to India because it’s a promising market – currently the 15th largest in the world. However, we also need to […]

Copyright Assistant – Hospital Records – London

Hospital Records are hiring a full-time Copyright Assistant to assist in the day to day running of both the publishing, legal and finance departments. To apply please send your CV and cover letter to  Jobs@HospitalRecords.com with the subject ‘Copyright Assistant Application’ by 11th September 2019 The post Copyright Assistant – Hospital Records – London appeared first on […]

Sony/ATV promises ‘major’ upgrades to royalty-processing system

Faster payments and more-transparent reporting has been the clarion call for a number of companies hoping to disrupt the world of publishing. The implicit (and sometimes explicit) criticism contained within their promises is that traditional music publishers are slow to pay and somewhat opaque in some aspects of royalty reporting. However, the picture isn’t as […]

Publishers slam Peloton over its copyright-infringement defence

Fitness startup Peloton’s decision to respond to music publishers’ copyright-infringement lawsuit with a counter-claim alleging anti-competitive behaviour has – and you may wish to sit down for this bombshell – not gone down well. Peloton had suggested that the publishers had conspired with industry body the NMPA “to fix prices and to engage in a […]

Hipgnosis reveals its first set of financial results

Music-rights company Hipgnosis has gone on a spree of publishing-catalogue acquisitions over the last year. Now the company has provided an update on its business, through its first set of financial results. They reveal that by the end of March 2019, the company owned (or had a partial stake) in 12 music catalogues, comprising just […]

Spotify’s relationship with publishers hits the rocks – again

A new Spotify / music publishing story broke on Friday, but there’s a bigger picture here: the increasingly-dispiriting story of the streaming service’s approach towards the publishing community, as well as the perception of Spotify by those publishers and songwriters. At a time when recorded-music revenues are going from strength to strength, what’s happening around […]

AIMP conference offers new stats on indie publishing business

This week saw the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) in the US hold its latest Indie Music Publishing Summit in New York. The event included a presentation with Massarsky Consulting offering some new stats on independent publishers’ businesses. Among them: the news that performance royalties were 50% of indie publishers’ revenues in 2018 (at […]

WMG sees streaming push up recorded numbers but publishing slips

Warner Music Group has published its numbers for the fiscal second quarter (ending 31st March 2019) and the headlines are that total revenue across all parts of the business was up 13.2% and that it saw net income of $67m compared to a net loss of $1m in the same period last year. Digital was, […]

PRS for Music boss Robert Ashcroft talks growth, YouTube and Fortnite

“Maybe what I’ll say is this: I’ve done 10 years of this. I’m going to let someone else take on the internecine warfare that seems to be endemic to the music industry!” Even when he’s playing a straight bat to a sensitive question – in this case, one about whether songwriters deserve a bigger slice of […]

Sony/ATV boss thinks labels ‘more vulnerable’ to DSP competition

Music publishers are currently engaged in verbal fisticuffs with a group of music-streaming services, and Spotify in particular, over the group’s plans to appeal against new songwriter royalty-rates set by the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). But in a valedictory interview with Variety on his last day as chairman and CEO of publisher Sony/ATV, Martin Bandier suggested […]

Publishers planning own ‘town hall’ event on CRB rates appeals

Spotify is rumoured (although not, as yet, confirmed) to be holding some ‘town-hall’ events to explain to songwriters why it’s appealing against new royalty rates set by the US Copyright Royalties Board (CRB). Now publishing/songwriting bodies the NMPA and NSAI are planning their own event to tackle the topic from their perspective. It’ll take place […]

US publishers slam streaming services over CRB rates appeal

The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the US has given Amazon and Spotify both barrels over their decision to appeal against the recent songwriter royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board. Yet it seems other companies are also appealing. Spotify, Google and Pandora have confirmed that they have asked the US Court of […]

Publishing body ICMP backs WMG over Spotify India dispute

Spotify is live in India, but its dispute with Warner Music Group continues, over the way it sought a statutory licence for works owned (partially or wholly) by publisher Warner/Chappell. Now the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) has weighed in to the row, firmly on the side of Warner/Chappell. “Music publishers worldwide work in […]

US could overhaul its music-licensing rules for publishing

Even as the row over Spotify’s publishing licensing in India rages, so attention is switching back to the US, where the Department of Justice is mulling a shakeup of the long-established ‘consent decrees’. “The Justice Department in the coming weeks is expected to call for public input on whether it should modify or terminate two […]

Court ruling emerges as Warner Music calls Spotify’s comments ‘appalling’

An Indian court has made its ruling on Warner Music Group’s application for an injunction as part of its dispute with Spotify over publishing licensing in the country. Does the ruling settle the matter one way or the other? Unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. Here’s Spotify’s statement, sent out to journalists this morning: “We’re pleased with today’s […]

CD Baby becomes ‘preferred’ distributor for SACM in Mexico

Distribution firm CD Baby has inked an interesting deal with publishing-rights organisation SACM in Mexico. “CD Baby will be offering free standard submissions to all registered SACM members,” explained the distributor. “SACM is equally honoured to recognise CD Baby as their “preferred” and recommended distributor. Representing more than half of all Mexican artists, this is […]

Downtown Music boss: ‘Music is everywhere… Music licensing tries to keep up’

From songwriters suing streaming services to big-bucks catalogue acquisitions, the music-publishing world has made plenty of headlines in recent years. Downtown Music Publishing CEO Justin Kalifowitz suggested that publishing is “the biggest piece of the pie” for most musicians and that it is seeing “stable and steady growth in established markets”. But, however, he felt […]

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