Billboard's Ed Christman wraps-up all the big stories happening in the music publishing world.
-- Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed rap artist/songwriter Fetty Wap to a long-term worldwide exclusive co-publishing deal, which includes his hit single “Trap Queen” and other songs he contributed writing to on his self-titled debut album.
The deal was secured in conjunction with 45th and 3rd -- the music publishing company founded by the Stargate songwriting/production team of Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen, and their managers Tim Blacksmith and Danny D. Sony already has a relationship with Stargate through its administration and co-ownership of EMI Music Publishing. The latter company, the songwriting/production duo and their management created a joint venture publishing company named Steller Songs.
“It is always refreshing when a new artist comes on the scene with a bunch of hits like Fetty Wap has, so we are thrilled that he has now decided to become part of the Sony/ATV family," Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. “With a talent like his, there is no doubt he is both the man for today as well as tomorrow.”
So far Fetty Wap’s songs have has scanned 4.7 million downloads in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, while his first album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, for the week-ending Oct. 1.
“We are extremely excited and over the moon that Fetty is joining the family and we look forward to working with him and all the team at RGF,” said 45th and 3rd ’s Blacksmith in a statement. Fetty Wap’s RGF Productions was co-founded by Frank “Nitt Da Grit” Robinson and Danny Su Griffin.
“The Sony/ATV partnership will create great opportunities for Fetty Wap's music to be branded through other mediums,” Fetty Wap attorney Navarro W. Gray added in a statement.
-- Universal Music Publishing Group has acquired the Snidest Music catalog, which consists of 69 songs written or co-written by Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. Previously, UMPG only handled those copyrights, which includes “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” in North America through an administration deal. The songs in the catalog have been featured in numerous national commercials, films, television and the popular Broadway musical, Rock of Ages.
In another deal, UMPG have signed Kacy Hill to an exclusive global publishing deal, which includes songs from her debut EP Bloo. “Kacy Hill is so inventive and one of the most exciting new artists today,” UMPG chairman/CEO Jody Gerson said in a statement. “Her writing and performances are refreshingly unique and modern…[I] expect her influence to be far reaching worldwide.”
-- Reservoir has acquired the catalog of classic American Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, including the group's 35-year-strong hit single, “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” which can be found in the contemporary Rock Band video game series. According to Reservoir, it plans to pursue similar licensing opportunities for the catalog as well as unearthing unrealized income streams. Meanwhile, the band continues to tour heavily.
-- Spirit Music Group have signed Eagles and James Gang rocker Joe Walsh to a global publishing deal, which includes all of his work with the Eagles, his entire catalog of songs from his 12-album solo career and all of his new compositions.
“We look forward to working with Karim Karmi and Irving Azoff, Joe’s management team, in thoughtfully promoting his legacy of songs to even broader audiences around the world,” Spirit Music president/CEO said Mark Fried said in a statement. In announcing the deal, Walsh said the Spirit team “seem to know my catalog better than I do.”
-- Round Hill Music have acquired Big Yellow Dog Music’s interest in all Josh Kear songs penned through 2014, including “Need You Now”, “Before He Cheats”, “Highway Don't Care”, and “Drunk On A Plane.”
As part of the deal, Round Hill and Big Yellow Dog will jointly exploit that catalog of Kear Songs. Meanwhile, Kear, who has been with Yellow Dog Music for 13 years, will remain signed to that firm for all future songs.
"It is a rare opportunity to acquire such a high quality body of work as the Josh Kear catalog, Round Hill Nashville VP&GM Mark Brown said in a statement. “There are so many huge hits and many other great songs waiting to be exploited. We are extremely excited to have this catalog under our Round Hill umbrella."
In another deal, Round Hill has entered into a worldwide administration agreement with Slaight Music, which includes Ascot Royals and Jillea on its roster. “Our primary mission is to develop Canadian songwriters and artists for the global marketplace, and we’re confident that our partnership with Round Hill Music will play a significant role in accomplishing that goal,” Slaight Music president & CEO Gary Slaight said in a statement.
-- Bert Fink, formerly senior VP/Europe for Rodgers & Hammerstein, will join Music Theatre International as chief creative officer for Europe in early 2016. MTI, which recently announced a global expansion with new offices in London and Melbourne, represents some of the world’s best known musicals including Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Fiddler On The Roof, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables and Miss Siagon, among others, in its more than 400 title catalog.
"Bert's world-class reputation throughout the theater community, along with his talent for connecting producers with the right shows for their stages, will benefit not only MTI but all of the authors whom we represent, and all of the customers we serve,” MTI Worldwide president/COO Drew Cohen said in a statement. "Few people in our industry have Bert's wealth of experience, and our teams in London as well as in New York and Melbourne are eager to work collaboratively with Bert.”
-- ole, the Canadian music publishing firm, has signed a worldwide co-publishing and future songs deal with the film and TV music company Jamerica LLC and its founder, Danish music director and composer Jeppe Riddervold. Riddervold has served as the music director for the LEGO children’s cartoon series. Under the agreement, ole will also become the exclusive administrator of Jamerica and Riddervold’s digital A/V rights.
"Jeppe is an accomplished musician, composer, producer, and music director who is very successful in the world of animation and also brings business acumen to the table that has served him well on a global scale," ole VP of corporate affairs and development Gilles Godard said in a statement. "ole looks forward to leveraging our world-class resources on his and Jamerica's behalf to create new opportunities internationally that will lead to even more exposure for their work."