Ryan Tedder, Downtown Music Publishing Sign New Partnership: Exclusive

Ryan Tedder
Rachel Kaplan

Ryan Tedder

Downtown Music Publishing and Ryan Tedder will today (April 10) announce a wide-ranging partnership that will bring all of the songwriter’s compositions under one company’s roof. Downtown is buying rights to the songs Tedder wrote outside his band OneRepublic, and it will now administer songs he writes for the group and compositions owned by Tedder’s Patriot Games Publishing -- as well as all new material Tedder writes in the future.

Tedder’s songs were until now administered by other companies. In addition to being the frontman for OneRepublic, Tedder has produced and written songs for Madonna, Adele, Beyoncé, U2 and a variety of other artists. Billboard called him the "Undercover King of Pop" in a 2014 cover story that said he made $2.5 million in songwriting royalties the previous year. His biggest songs include OneRepublic singles like "Apologize" and "Secrets," plus "Halo" (a hit for Beyoncé ), "Rumor Has It" (Adele), and "Bleeding Love" (Leona Lewis).

Tedder says he developed a good feeling about Downtown while using the company’s studio, which is located in its New York office. "So many studios have no natural light and theirs has a great vibe, with a fire escape and everything," Tedder tells Billboard. "But I really made the decision over a dinner -- one where we talked about everything except the music business."

Tedder also had more serious reasons for his decision, of course. "I was really blown away with Downtown’s film and television licensing department, which is just fantastic," he says. Synch licensing has been an important source of revenue for Tedder, whose songs have been especially popular on screen. "Faith," which he co-wrote, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song for its use in the movie Sing, where it was performed by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande.

"It is a tremendous honor and great privilege for all of us at Downtown to announce this partnership with Ryan," says Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz. "He is that rare combination of creativity, drive and business acumen that has not only resulted in his own success but continues to inspire everyone invested in the future of songwriting."

Downtown sees an advantage in having all of Tedder’s compositions in one place. It will also manage, and work to expand, Tedder’s Patriot Games Publishing, which has a roster that includes Noel Zancanella, BMI’s 2015 Songwriter of the Year.

Just a decade old, Downtown has emerged as an aggressive competitor in the publishing business. The New York-based company owns or administers the rights to songs by John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Benny Blanco, among others. In February, the company launched Downtown Music Japan to sign and develop Japanese talent, as well as represent its catalog there.

Downtown declined to comment on the terms of its deal with Tedder.  

Tedder says that he decided to make this deal now in order to free up money to invest in real estate, which he says has become a lucrative hobby. "I spend most of my life working on songs, which don’t have any physical reality," Tedder says, "So it’s nice to balance that out by investing in something concrete."