Publishing Briefs: Raleigh Signs Elvis Presley Deal, Imagem and Cutcraft, Downtown to Represent Edizioni Curci

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Elvis Presley photographed circa 1956.

Billboard's Ed Christman wraps-up all the big stories happening in the music publishing world.

-- Imagem Music U.S. has renewed its partnership with Cutcraft Music Group, once again establishing a joint venture between the two companies. Cutcraft’s roster includes Chet Faker and All Hail Noir, among others.

The deal with Imagem creates “further opportunity to provide our artists and writers with a global reach utilizing our collective passion and experience to support their music in a more meaningful way,” Cutcraft Music Group founder Katrina Sirdofsky said in a statement.

The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 2011 and had an earlier joint-venture with Imagem, which had ended about two years ago, but this latest deals renews the relationship.

“There has never been a better time for Imagem Music to reconnect with Katrina and the team at Cutcraft Music,” Imagem U.S president Jason Jordan said in a statement. “Her highly respected tenacity and dedication to young artists mirrors our growth and progressive outlook, and our shared vision for a forward-thinking partnership will bring her unique talent to the Imagem Music roster.”

In another deal, Imagem has signed a deal with R2G, which will exclusively license the publisher's catalog to China's digital music services and mobile operator. With R2G's pragmatic approach to dealing with the copyright environment, this will enable Imagem to tap into the Chinese market as major Chinese music services start to pay for publishing rights, the company said in a statement.


-- The Raleigh Music Group has opened its doors in New York City. The company is a new music publishing group founded by Peter Raleigh -- whose publishing experience includes stints at Cherry Lane and Imagem -- and Steven Storch, who was previously CFO of Sony/ATV and Imagem North America. 

“We’re a contemporary music publisher with iconic tastes,” said principal Raleigh in a statement. “We believe there are unexploited opportunities in song catalogs, so we take the time to really know all the music, not just the hits. And of course we are always on the lookout for contemporary songwriters who will be creating the classic catalogs of tomorrow.”

As part of the new venture, the company has signed a worldwide publishing deal to represent the Elvis Presley catalog on behalf of the family of music publisher Jean Auerbach. The catalog includes over 1,000 songs such as “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” All Shook Up,” Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Return To Sender.”

“Having witnessed first-hand the unprecedented industry consolidation that has taken place, it is clear that clients are seeking a sensible alternative - a publisher who protects their rights while at the same time providing outstanding personal service,” principal Storch said in a statement. “Our focus is on providing administrative and creative services to music rights holder.”


-- Reservoir added a trio of music publishing signings to its roster by pacting with pop writer-producer Mike Campbell; urban pop/hip-hop producer Julian Nixon and writer-performer Esther.

Reservoir’s deal with Esther includes her future works as well as songs on her Everything Is Expensive album. The company’s deal with Campbell includes A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something,” as well as future compositions. Meanwhile, the deal with Nixon includes both his existing catalog as well as future titles. 

"I’m looking forward to seeing Esther spread her wings as a songwriter of compelling gems for her peers,” Reservoir senior vp of creative & A&R Spek said in a statement. “Mike Campbell has really earned his stripes as someone with the ability to craft enduring pop songs that people respond to around the world, and Julian's versatility as a jack-of-all-trades has put him in the room with some of the most impressive names in urban music."

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-- Round Hill Music has acquired the co-pub share of Bob DiPiero songs in the Love Monkey Music catalog, which includes such works as Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone” and Brooks & Dunn’s “You Can’t Take The Honky Tonk Out of That Girl.” It will also serve as the administrator for the writer’s share in those songs.

DiPiero has written over 1,000 songs covered by other artists and the deal includes many of his hits, as well as to the brand new single, “Boys Like You,” by Who Is Fancy featuring Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor, Round Hill Music Nashville vp and gm Mark Brown said in a statement.

Round Hill Music has also signed a co-publishing deal with the Winery Dogs, covering the band’s latest album, Hot Streak, which has scanned 27,000 units since its release in October.

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-- Downtown Music Publishing has signed a multi-year publishing administration agreement for North America to represent the catalog of Italian music publisher Edizioni Curci, which includes over 50,000 works from the worlds of Italian pop, opera, classical, and film music, including “Volare” and “You Don't Have To Say You Love Me." 

"The Curci family have literally written the book on music publishing, representing some of the most commercially successful and critically adored music in Italy for over 150 years," Downtown Music CEO Justin Kalifowitz said in a statement. "To be entrusted to manage these songs in North America by Alfredo and his family is an extraordinary honor for Downtown."

Edizioni Curci CEO Alfredo Gramitto Ricci and gm Claudia Mescoli said in a statement that Downtown’s pro-active staff and their approach to new challenges is what sealed the selection.

-- LyricFind has signed a licensing deal with Downtown Music, which enables lyrics from the publisher’s catalog to be made available to the hundreds of music platforms, apps and websites serviced by the lyric licensing aggregator company.

-- ole has acquired the catalog of Nashville songwriter Tony Martin and has signed the songwriter to a co-publishing deal. The writer’s songs in the deal include such tracks as Josh Turner’s “Time Is Love” and Rascal Flatt’s “Banjo." Other artists he has written songs for include Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney.

“Tony is one of the most distinguished songwriters working in Nashville today, and with ole’s extensive industry connections and licensing know-how behind him, he’s poised to reach even greater levels of success,” ole Nashville gm John Ozier said in a statement. “We can’t wait to get him into the studio with our amazing roster of songwriters and hear what incredible songs they come up with.”

For his part, Martin said in a statement that he signed with ole because it has “the reach of a major and the spirit of an indie.”'

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In another multi-part deal, ole has signed a deal with Canadian rock band Coney Hatch that gives ole co-publishing rights, co-ownership of masters, and exclusive digital video rights to the band’s Coney Hatch Four. ole previously had purchased the band’s masters, publishing and digital A/V rights to its catalog through its acquisition of the Anthem Entertainment Group and the Mark-Cain publishing catalog.

Likewise, ole signed a co-publishing agreement and catalog purchase with songwriter Jeff Trott, whose credits include “It If Makes You Happy, “Soak Up The Sun,” and “There Goes the Neighborhood.” In addition to Sheryl Crow, Trott has written for and with: Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz,  Rob Thomas, Natasha Bedingfield, Michelle Branch, Conlan, Liz Phair, Roger Daltry, Joe Cocker, and Stevie Nicks among others.

“We are so pleased to welcome Jeff to the ole family, and with his versatile songwriting abilities being fluent in pop, country, and indie rock, he has connected with our creative staff and our existing songwriter roster,” ole VP of business development David Weitzman said in a statement

-- The ole-Bluestone joint venture with Timbaland has signed a worldwide administration deal with singer/songwriter Douglas Makuta, who has written and produced for various artists and projects including John Oates, Paul Simon and Bleu. “ole is thrilled to continue our relationship with Timbaland and expand the ole-Bluestone roster, and we know that having Douglas Makuta and his songs under our name will guarantee more success for ole and Makuta,” ole chairman and CEO Robert Ott said in a statement.

-- In another deal, ole has renewed its administration deal with the National Film Board of Canada, which produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries and alternative dramasole is pleased that NFB has chosen to extend our long relationship ,” said Ott. NFB, formed in 1939, has a catalog with more than 13,000 productions including The Danish PoetFlamenco at 5:14 and If You Love This Planet.

-- SONGS Music Publishing have reached a U.S. deal to represent George Gershwin’s “My Way,” the song popularized by Frank Sinatra. According to the announcement, roots of “My Way” lay in the 1967 French song, “Comme d’habitude,” written by Claude Fran├žois, Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibaut, with the former writer recovering his share of the publishing rights to both songs, which were then assigned to a unit of the Because Group, the French music publishing company. SONGS handles all music publishing matters for the Because interests in the United States.

Because Editions CEO Michel Duval said in a statement the company has an expanded presence in the U.S and “partnering with SONGS was an easy choice.”

-- The Universal Music Publishing Group has extended its its global -- excluding France -- administration deal with EuropaCorp Music Publishing, which has a catalog with 1,500 musical works including the soundtracks to the Taken trilogy and Lucy, among other films.

“Music publishing rights is a very specific market with a growing turnover around the world,” EuropaCorp. CEO Christophe Lambert said in a statement. “Therefore, some of the alternative income coming from the use of our movies is now secured for several years” through the deal.

The deal will be managed by UMPG France chairman Jean-Philippe Allard at Universal Music Publishing France and EuropaCorp VP and head of music Alexandre Mahout.

-- CrucialMusic has launched an online platform CrucialCustom, which will allow advertising agencies to quickly solicit thousands of composers to create original, indie music for their sync needs, according to an announcement from the company.