2020 Grammys

Publishing Briefs: Sony/ATV's Neighboring Rights Division Signs Pharrell, Robin Thicke, More; Printz Board to Atlas; Disney Nabs TRiON

-- The neighboring rights division launched by Sony/ATV Music Publishing last year has announced a spree of signings including such artists as Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Nile Rodgers, Clean Bandit and the estate of Lou Reed to a roster that also includes Mikky Ekko, Alan Parsons, Steve Lillywhite and Jon Lord.

The division was launched by Sony/ATV president of the U.K. and European creative Guy Moot with the hiring of George Powell to oversee the effort. Powell brought along clients and infrastructure from Genika, the neighboring rights business he started in 2012 to the Sony/ATV effort.

"We're trying to do this differently," Moot said in a statement. "We're viewed as a big company, but this is a very personal service, not a one-size fits-all, plug it in the system. This is very hands-on and bespoke but with all the benefits of the synergies we have inside the company like broadcasting tracking and creative."

Prior to joining Sony's "focused" approached to neighboring rights and Genika, Powell had worked for artist management company Three Six Zero and before that had spent four years covering neighboring rights with U.K.-based music licensing and performance rights  organization PPL. Powell's extensive relationships built up with dealing with rights organizations around the world while at PPL and his Genika business allowed the Sony/ATV neighboring rights operation hit the ground running.

Neighboring rights carry royalty payments to recording artists when their master recordings are played on the radio and for other public performances. While the majority of countries around the world pay artist performance royalties when recorded music is played on the radio, the United States is one of the few countries that does not provide this right. Consequently, most performance societies around the world do not pay U.S. artists this royalty, since the U.S. doesn't make such payments to foreign artists when their recordings are played on U.S. radio. However, each country has nuanced laws governing who can be paid those royalties, which is why companies like Fintage and more recently the Kobalt Music Group have been stepped up the marketing of neighboring rights services to U.S. clients, with Sony/ATV now throwing its hat into the ring too.

Powell reports that the division is currently at 16 clients and plans to selectively sign about 60 clients, with a focus on established acts. 

"It comes down to providing a more personable relationship,” Powell said in a statement. “We're closely staying in touch with all the lawyers, accountants and managers and the acts themselves so if they have got any questions and need to discuss anything I'm here night and day for them. "

-- The Atlas Music Group, which was launched earlier this year by Rich Stumpf and a group of investors, have signed musician, songwriter and producer Printz Board, the Black Eyed Peas collaborator, to a worldwide co-publishing deal.

While he has also worked with such artist as Backstreet Boys, Selena Gomez, and Macy Gray, he most recently embarked on a solo career with singles like “Hey You,” and “Love Love Love.”

“Since meeting Printz over 10 years ago, and seeing him operate as the musical director of the Black Eyed Peas, I’ve always wanted to work with him,” Atlas CEO Richard Stumpf said in a statement. “He is a musical genius and in addition to being a vital part of the Peas success, he is now starting out as a solo artist . . . I couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the Atlas family."

-- Disney Music Publishing has signed Augie Ray and Jintae Ko, the songwriter/production team TRiON, to an exclusive publishing deal. The duo are currently writing songs that will be song by such Disney recording artist like R5 and Bridget Mendler.

TRiON already has several credits to their name, including co-production of two songs, "P.O.G." and "More than a Woman" on the forthcoming album "Help 2" by Erica Campbell, while separately Ray co-wrote and produced the debut album of soul singer Akelee.

"Their songs weave together all kinds of influences, but somehow have a signature style all their own, and that includes awesome beats and truly clever lyrics,” DMG Vice President of A&R/Head of Creative Mio Vukovic said in a statment. “All of us are so happy to have them in our house, and I know TRiON will create great music for years to come.”

-- Angry Mob Music, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based indie music publisher, will handle TV and film synch placements, brand licensing and music publishing administration for the ECR Music Group, a New York based label founded by Blake Morgan. The deal,  described as a global partnership will begin with Angry Mob working ECR artist Melissa Giges' new album, "Just When I Let Go," due to debut July 22.

"Angry Mob's commitment to the intrinsic value of artists' work matches our own, and their focus on innovative approaches to the 21st century musical landscape mirrors the successful artist-driven, artist-owned model we've employed at ECR since our inception," ECR founder and CEO Morgan said in a statement. "Its really nice when an opportunity that makes great musical and artistic sense makes great business sense too."


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