Further Dealings: SESAC Lands Kurt Cobain Catalog, Dreamworks Mulls Vevo Stake

SESAC Lands Cobain Catalog

Performance rights organization SESAC has cut a deal to represent Kurt Cobain's catalog. For the remainder of 2014, a significant portion of the late songwriter's catalog rights will remain with larger PRO rival BMI, which has represented the catalog since 1989. According to information provided by BMI and confirmed by a source, BMI retains representation of the writer's share of Cobain's estate until the end of first-quarter 2015. The portion of the catalog owned by BMG Chrysalis will stay with BMI until the end of 2014. Cobain's own publishing company, End of Music, made the switch to SESAC from BMI on April 1. SESAC said that "other pieces will move over in time as is customary in this industry."

-Ed Christman

DreamWorks Mulls Vevo Stake

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is actively negotiating with Vevo's owners and management about taking a stake in the interactive music-video firm, according to people familiar with the talks. Vevo, which is jointly owned by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media, has held merger talks with a number of interested parties including Billboard's parent company Guggenheim Partners, according to sources. Even though Vevo was one of the first multichannel networks to successfully leverage the YouTube platform at scale thanks to its exclusive music videos, other MCNs with a wider range of content have developed rapidly into acquisition targets. In 2013, DreamWorks bought Awesomeness TV for a sum that might top $117 million. More recently, on April 14, another MCN, Maker Studios, said its board and the majority of its stockholders had approved the Walt Disney Co.'s $500 million cash offer -- which could top $1 billion if growth targets are met -- to acquire it, despite an 11th-hour offer that was potentially worth $900 million in stock and an additional $100 million "bonus pool" to key executives. 

-Yinka Adegoke


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