“Concord has been very good at identifying niche areas of the music business that are undervalued,” says Hoskins. “As people zig, we may zag.” Concord’s net publishing royalties worldwide grew by 18% in 2018, he says. After the company acquired publisher Imagem in 2017 for $600 million, Minch spent the past year merging the two. “Composers and writers didn’t even feel the bump,” he says. The Imagem deal included the catalog of Boosey & Hawkes, which represents Leonard Bernstein. Susskind worked with Bernstein’s family on some 5,000 worldwide events to mark the centennial of the late composer’s birth on Aug. 25, 2018. “Our goal was to look beyond West Side Story and encourage exploration of the full catalog,” she says. Frankiewicz, who was managing director of Imagem before its acquisition by Concord, maintains her A&R focus. She signed U.K. songwriter Justin Parker, who co-wrote Lana del Rey’s “Video Games,” which peaked at No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Rihanna’s “Stay,” which reached No. 3.
Guy Henderson, 58
President of international, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Henderson played a key role as Sony/ATV successfully sought regulatory approval from the European Commission to buy out its partners in EMI Music Publishing. The November 2018 deal led to a $4.75 billion valuation of EMI, making it the biggest music publishing acquisition in history. That was “particularly satisfying,” says Henderson, who also cites Sony/ATV’s growth across Southeast Asia, particularly in China, as a highlight of the past year. “One of our biggest global successes has been BTS,” he notes, adding that some of Sony/ATV’s “biggest [recent] synchs involved writers in France and Australia. Barriers of old continue to fall.”
Lars Karlsson, 57
Managing director of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics, Warner/Chappell Music
Mike Smith, 53
Managing director, Warner/Chappell Music U.K.
“Warner/Chappell is the No. 1 publisher in Germany for the first time in 15 years,” says Karlsson, who credits a local urban music surge for “huge commercial and creative success.” In 2018, Warner/Chappell Music’s international publishing share posted the largest percentage increase of the company’s operations, growing 14.3% to $359 billion in revenue for its fiscal year. To foster what Smith calls the ”golden age of songwriter collaboration,” Warner/Chappell opened an in-house studio and created writing camps in London and around the world offering “a real creative space that will encourage collaboration and innovation.” In the past year, the U.K. roster yielded hits from Dua Lipa’s “IDGAF” to Jonas Blue’s “Rise.”
Rachel Kelly, 43
Creative director/head of sync for Australia and New Zealand, Downtown Music Publishing
Roberto Neri, 45
Executive vp/head of European business development, Downtown Music U.K.
Taeko Saito 34
Vp international A&R, Downtown Music Publishing
Since joining Downtown Music in Australia in February, Kelly has enjoyed success with The Teskey Brothers, Stella Donnelly and the John Butler Trio, whose latest LP, Home, rose to No. 1 on Australia’s independent albums chart. The country’s geographical isolation “somehow works in our favor,” she notes. “Independent artists are thriving.” Neri highlights the acquisition of British indie publisher Salli Isaak Music, which brought more than 700 copyrights to Downtown and a roster that has written nine U.K. No. 1 singles. Under Saito, Downtown’s Songwriters Without Borders initiative paired Atlanta-based writer Vedo with South Korean boy band NCT 127 and led to the K-pop group’s first English-language track, “Regular,” debuting at No. 2 on the World Digital Song Sales chart. “Too many artists in Asia have little understanding of publishing,” says Saito. “I aspire to educate people, which will allow more creators to think for themselves.”