Managing director, Warner/Chappell Music U.K.
While much attention in music publishing is focused on the digital-licensing shootout in the United States, Warner/Chappell U.K. managing director Richard Manners says that sorting out music licensing with the streaming services in the United States, Australia and New Zealand (which he also oversees) remains a work in progress as well. On the creative side, Manners says highlights of the past year included “seeing London Grammar break through.” The band released the single “Strong” on Sept. 1 and it peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. chart. Manners expects similar success in the United States, where the band is signed to Columbia. He also points to Tom Odell’s breakthrough, with debut album Long Way Down hitting No. 1 in the United Kingdom. Finally, he adds that he enjoys seeing Ed Drewett, who has co-written a few hits for the Wanted and One Direction, become the hottest songwriter/producer in the United Kingdom. “He has a long career ahead of him,” Manners says. Company-wide, Warner/Chappell generated $503 million in revenue for the year ended Sept. 30, 2013, down from $518 million in the prior year. Of last year’s total, $315 million came from the international side, which includes the U.K., Australian and New Zealand operations. It too was down from the prior year, which rang up $320 million. —Ed Christman