Publishing Briefs: Zayn Malik Signs to Kobalt, BMI Re-Signs Mike O'Neill, Platt to NMPA Board

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Zayn Malik attends the 7th Annual amfAR Inspiration Gala on June 9, 2016 in New York City.

-- Kobalt has signed a global publishing administration deal with Zayn Malik, in an agreement that also will see Kobalt Neighboring Rights division also represent the artist in collecting for radio performances of his recordings around the globe.

“Kobalt is a great business partner for Zayn," the songwriter/artist's manager Sara Sennet, CEO and founder of First Access Entertainment, said in a statement. "He made a decision based upon his desire to retain ownership of the copyrights in the songs he has written. He feels that Kobalt is best placed to administer those copyrights globally.”

The deal covers all of Malik's work, including his debut album, Mind of Mine, released earlier this year.

“Zayn is an exceptional talent as an artist and songwriter," Kobalt's Sas Metcalfe, president of global creative, said in a statement. "His international success is unparalleled and Kobalt is proud to represent and support his career. He’s already off to an amazing start and we’re very excited for what the future will bring.” 

-- BMI's board of directors has extended Mike O’Neill’s contract as president and CEO for five years, through 2021. O’Neill, who joined the organization in 1994, oversees all of BMI’s business operations, both domestically and globally, and directs the company’s strategic growth to benefit BMI’s writers, composers, music publishers and licensees. During his 22 years with BMI, he has overseen nearly every department within the company, including BMI’s writer, composer and publisher relations group, licensing organization, royalty distribution group and administrative services teams.  

“BMI has continued to thrive and evolve under Mike’s leadership, providing both the stability and innovation needed in a rapidly changing marketplace,” BMI chairman Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Local Media Group, said in a statement.  “The company is on track to once again generate record revenues and distributions to our music creators and copyright owners and remains committed to fighting for and preserving the fair value of our affiliates’ music. Beyond Mike’s dedication to our creators and licensing customers, his support of the BMI team is second to none. We couldn’t be more confident in Mike’s leadership and vision to take BMI into the future." 

Under O’Neill’s leadership, BMI generated $1.013 billion, the highest in the company's history. In addition, the company distributed and administered a record $877 million, and for the first time, took in more than $100 million in digital revenue.

-- Warner/Chappell Music chairman and CEO John Platt has joined the National Music Publishers’ Association’s board of directors.

Platt "brings with him a wealth of varied experience in both the business and creative areas of our world," NMPA chairman Irwin Robinson said in a statement. "His experience speaks for itself and he is a major addition to the board.”

Platt recently took the helm at Warner/Chappell, succeeding Cameron Strang. He was initially brought in as president of creative for the publishing company. Since joining Warner/Chappell in 2012, Platt has brought aboard such songwriters as Jay Z, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Mike Will Made It, and MNEK.

 “Jon’s reputation and record of finding and nurturing the industry’s top songwriters is legendary," NMPA President & CEO David Israelite said in a statement. "For decades he has fostered the biggest talent in the business and amassed lasting friendships and limitless knowledge. It is a privilege to have Jon on the Board, and I know his insight will elevate NMPA just as he has elevated the careers of those he has found and promoted."

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