Publishing Briefs: UMPG Signs a Smeethington, Kobalt Gets Neil Finn

UMPG Signs a Smeethington
Universal Music Publishing has signed Ari Levine of the Smeezingtons songwriting and production team to an an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement.

Levine's deal with UMPG commences upon the expiration the songwriter's current agreement with Bug Music/Art House in July.

Ari Levine, Bruno Mars and Phillip Lawrence make up the Smeezingtons, who were co-writers on such songs as Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" and B.o.B.'s "Nothin' On You." Levine has just signed a production deal with Interscope Records.

Neil Finn Joins Kobalt
Kobalt Music Group has signed an exclusive administration deal with Neil Finn to represent all of his future works on a worldwide basis, including his forthcoming album recorded as the band Pajama Party.

The Pajama Party album is due to be released later this year and will be supported by tours in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Finn is also starting work on a new Crowded House album.

But in addition to future works, Kobalt will also represent Finn's back catalog, including songs from his solo work, the Finn Brothers, Crowded House and Split Enz in North America, and most of his back catalog (except for the Finn Brothers and the last two Crowded House albums) in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Finn's songs have been recorded or covered by such artists as Susan Boyle, Paul Young, Sixpence None The Richer, James Blunt and Pearl Jam.

"Our Kobalt teams are working together globally to generate new synch activity for Neil in all areas including film, TV, advertising, games and other mediums," Kobalt CEO and founder Willard Ahdritz said in a statement.

For his part, Finn says that since the Kobalt staff clearly loves his songs, he "couldn't ask for more...except perhaps the closing credits of the new Coen Brothers movie."

Imagem Inks French Horn Rebellion
Imagem Music has signed a worldwide, multi-year co-publishing agreement with indie-electro band French Horn Rebellion, which consists of brothers David and Robert Perlick-Molinari.

The duo just finished touring Asia and is currently on a 27-date North American tour supporting Yelle, which kicked off in Phoenix on April 17.

Music Reports Teams up with Omnifone
Music Reports has entered into an agreement with cloud music service provider Omnifone to manage mechanical licensing and royalty reporting for Omnifone's MusicStation Platform in the United States.

Omnifone provides cloud music services on a range of device platforms to its partners, which includes consumer electronics vendors, ISPs, mobile and automotive companies across 22 countries.

Downtown Launches dms.FM

Downtown Music Publishing has launched dms.FM, an online music licensing application for the film, television, advertising and video game communities. The application allows music supervisors to access Downtown's 40,000 plus song title catalog, and provides search, stream, and download capabilities as well as incorporating a project management application.

As part of the launch, Downtown has hired Josh Kessler to serve as dms.FM's VP of business development. Kessler formerly served as VP of Mastersource, which was acquired in 2007 by the Universal Music Group where he became a senior executive.

As part of the dms.FM launch, the company has also implemented a Composer Series, which features music from both emerging and well-known artist to serve as a curated one-stop destination for content creators.