Publishing Briefs: BMG Renews Netflix Deal; 'I Hope' Writer Re-Ups With Sony

BMG has signed a new long-term exclusive agreement with Netflix to manage and administrate the streaming service’s music publishing rights outside the U.S. The deal was reached following a competitive bidding war.

Since first signing its deal with BMG in 2017, Netflix says it has increased its subscriber numbers to over 204 million in over 190 million countries -- a two-thirds increase.

The new agreement includes score, transition cues, themes and feature songs for all content owned by Netflix for its Netflix Originals, including TV series, feature films and documentary features.

According to a release, BMG’s pitch centered on its ability to “ensure efficient registration, fast-track international royalty payments, identify new approaches to income tracking, and deliver access to BMG’s technology platform with APIs for data & insights sharing.” The publisher boasts a cloud-based rights management platform and royalty technology that uses AI algorithms to optimize matching, among other things.

“When the most technologically savvy entertainment company in the world chooses your platform to manage its precious music rights, that’s an endorsement,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch in a statement. “We are delighted to extend our successful collaboration with Netflix.”

Added BMG CIO and executive vp global royalties Sebastian Hentzschel, “We’re incredibly excited to extend our partnership with Netflix as the company continues to expand its subscriber base and original content all over the world. I believe that together we’re setting new benchmarks for audio-visual rights administration.”

BMG’s film and TV client list also includes ITV, Fremantle Media, Amblin Partners, Participant Media, AMC Networks, TBS, Global Asylum and Rede Globo’s Som Livre.

Sony Music Publishing has renewed its global deal with Grammy-nominated songwriter Jon Nite, with whom the company has worked with since 2009. The deal includes Nite’s full catalog and future works.

Nite’s credits include Lady” by Brett Young, “Break Up in the End” by Cole Swindell, “Strip it Down” by Luke Bryan, “Living” by Dierks Bentley, “We Were Us” by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert,“Beachin” by Jake Owen and more. He recently scored a massive success with Gabby Barrett’s smash single “I Hope,” which he co-wrote with Barrett and Zach Kale and which earned him the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Country Songwriters chart.

Round Hill Music has acquired the publishing catalog of rock band Lit, including their hits “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Miserable.” In addition, Round Hill Records will release the group’s seventh studio album in 2022.

Lit’s discography includes the platinum-selling album A Place in the Sun, released in 1999, and other successful singles including “Zip-Lock" and “Lipstick and Bruises.”

“We’re excited to acquire their catalog and steward that gem going forward, but also we are excited to work with them on their new record,” said Josh Gruss, CEO, Round Hill Music in a statement. “Doing such a comprehensive deal including, catalog, frontline publishing and record deal shows how multi-faceted we are at Round Hill.”

The group’s most successful single, the Alternative Airplay No. 1 “My Own Worst Enemy,” was certified double platinum by the RIAA and spawned covers by Post Malone, Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice, Michelle Branch, Charlie Puth and more.

Lit is comprised of brothers Ajay and Jeremy Popoff, Kevin Baldes and Taylor Carroll.

Latin music producer Delacruz has signed a co-publishing deal with Pulse Music Group covering his entire catalog and future works.

Among other credits, Delacruz co-produced the BMI Latin award-winning “No Me Conoce (Remix)” by Jhay Cortez, Bad Bunny and J Balvin and produced songs on the Bad Bunny albums Las Que No Iban A Salir and El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo. His most recent producing credits include two songs on Anuel AA and Ozuna’s joint album Los Dioses.

Legendary trombonist Phil Ranelin has signed his first-ever publishing deal with Third Side Music. The global admin agreement includes Ranelin’s full catalog and future works.

Ranelin started out as a session player for Motown artists including Stevie Wonder out of Detroit in the late ‘60s before forming The Tribe, an avant-garde jazz collective with Wendell Harrison, as well as Tribe Records, a label that “used experimental jazz as a vehicle to raise African-American political consciousness,” according to a press release. His releases with The Tribe included 1971’s Message From The Tribe and 1976’s Vibe From The Tribe. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1980s and began working with artists including Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, Billy Higgins and Horace Tapscott.

Tribe Records’ discography was re-issued this year in collaboration with Now-Again and Vinyl Me Please in a collection entitled The Story of Tribe Records.

“Phil Ranelin is hands down one of the greatest musicians alive,” says Third Side Music’s Alex Kelman in a statement. “He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence in creativity, originality and spiritually and it’s a real honor to be the first ever publisher he’s chosen to work with.”

Reservoir has extended its global co-publishing deal with Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter and producer Jamie Hartman. The agreement covers Hartman’s full catalog and future works.

The publisher has worked with Harman since 2012.

Hartman won an Ivor Novello Award last year for his co-write on Calvin Harris and Rag’N’Bone Man’s “Giant.” Recently, he was the primary collaborator on Celeste’s debut album, Not Your Muse; co-wrote and produced Christina Aguilera’s “Loyal Brave True” for Disney’s Mulan soundtrack; and co-wrote and produced "The Devil and I Got Up to Dance a Slow Dance” from Hulu’s The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Other recent credits for Hartman include collaborations with Louis Tomlinson (“Walls,” “Fearless”), Paloma Faith (“Better Than This”), Tiësto and Becky Hill (“Over You”), Guy Sebastian (“Before I Go,” “Standing With You”) and Paul Oakenfold and Luis Fonsi (“The World Can Wait”).

In addition to his songwriting and producing credits – which also encompass collaborations with Jennifer Hudson, Lewis Capaldi and Kylie Minogue – Hartman performs as the frontman of pop-rock band Ben’s Brother. That project earned him his first Ivor Novello Award, for the group’s 2007 single “Let Me Out.”

Now based out of Nashville, Hartman’s team includes Reservoir UK managing director and global strategic liaison Annette Barrett in London; Reservoir executive vp, global creative director Donna Caseine in Los Angeles; and Reservoir executive vp, creative John Ozier in Nashville.

Canadian-Argentinean artist and songwriter Sebastian Javier, who recently became Elektra Records' first-ever Latin pop signee, has struck a global co-publishing deal with Warner Chappell. The agreement includes future works and all prior compositions.

Under his previous moniker Sebastián Olzanski, the Argentina-raised Javier released his debut single, "Nobody But Us," in 2016, along with the Spanish-language single "Sequiré Aqui." His debut single as Sebastian Javier, "Manicomio," was released in 2019. That was followed by the English/Spanish single "UNA."

Javier's major-label debut single and video, "Bad for You," was released by Elektra last month.

Warner Chappell Production Music (WCPM) has opened two new recording facilities: SkyLight Studios in Los Angeles and Sandtrack Sound in Nashville.

The team at WCPM partnered with David Kotch of Criterion Acoustics to redesign SkyLight Studios, a former mastering lab located in Hollywood. The building is equipped with digital and analog recording capabilities including Pro Tools systems, a Neve console, vintage microphones, tape machines and outboard gear. It also includes a 500 square-foot tracking room that features a nine-foot concert grand piano.

Skylight Studios will provide custom music services along with recording and mixing support for the WCPM library. The seven-person staff includes house engineer Ryan Freeland and WCPM vp of productGeorge Strait | Billboardion Scott Reinwand, both of whom report to WCPM head of production Pat Weaver.

Sandtrack Sound is located on Nashville’s Music Row in a more than 8,200 square-foot building previously known as both Emerald Sound Studio and Benchmark Sound. Built in 1981 by acoustic designer Tom Hidley, the building has hosted the creation of albums by Johnny Cash, George Strait, Alabama and more.

The Nashville operation includes three studios, the largest of which, Studio A, is capable of holding over 30 musicians. Studio A recently received equipment upgrades, including a custom hybrid Avid S6/Tonelux 1628 console and microphone preamplifiers by Rupert Neve Designs.

WCPM senior vp of production Aaron Gant oversees the company’s operations in Nashville. He will work alongside house engineer Mark Lonsway to ensure the Sandtrack studio’s smooth operation.

Sony Music Publishing UK has signed Scottish alt-rock band Del Amitri to a global publishing deal that includes the band’s full catalog and future works.

Del Amitri is known for hits including “Roll to Me,” “Always the Last to Know” and “Nothing Ever Happens.” They recently announced their first full UK tour since 2018 and released the new album Fatal Mistakes on May 28.

Launched out of Glasgow, Scotland in the mid 1980s, Del Amitri is comprised of vocalist/bassist Justin Currie, guitarist Iain Harvie, keys/percussionist Andy Alston, guitarist Kris Dollimone and drummer Ash Soan.

Sentric’s concierge electronic music publishing service Black Rock has signed global publishing agreements with ANNA, Felix Da Housecat and Archie Hamilton. The deals cover all three producers’ full catalogs as well as future works.

ANNA has released tracks on techno labels including Kompakt, Drumcode and Afterlife. Her 2018 vinyl DJ set for Cercle has over 3 million views on YouTube to date.

Chicago House luminary Felix Da Housecat is a two-time Grammy nominee and owner of the Founders of Filth record label.

A notable figure in the minimal house and techno genres, Archie Hamilton’s productions have received extensive airplay on BBC Radio 1.

“We are humbled and proud to welcome ANNA and Archie to the Black Rock family and to confirm that Felix, a client since we first started, has deepened his relationship with us to take full advantage of our creative services,” said Sentric director of electronic music Mark Lawrence in a statement.

Black Rock’s publishing roster also includes Mark Knight, Rodriquez Jr and Roni Size.