Beatles Branding: Sony/ATV Taps Epic Rights to License Lennon/McCartney Lyrics

Photo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney from The Beatles posed in 1963. 

GAB Archive/Redferns

Sony/ATV Music Publishing -- long the market leader -- has enlisted global branding, licensing and rights management firm Epic Rights to help put the lyrics of some of the most classic Beatles songs on everyday products. The arrangement, announced on Wednesday, is specific to John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Northern Songs catalog, comprised of more than 180 tracks.

Epic Rights will be charged with developing the licensing program, which could result in a flood of Beatles lyrics on things like thoughtful greeting cards ("Hey Jude"), door mats ("Hello Goodbye") or coffee ("A Day in the Life").

"We envision a broad licensed products campaign that encompasses everything from apparel, accessories and wall art to home electronics, gifts, stationery, and more," commented Lisa Streff, Epic Rights' executive vp of global licensing. "From All You Need is Love to Hey Jude, the opportunities to develop high quality merchandise that incorporates the words and sentiments of Paul McCartney and John Lennon's lyrics are limitless."

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Epic Rights will unveil the officially dubbed Lyrics Written by Lennon & McCartney program at the upcoming Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Epic CEO Dell Furano praised the arrangement, as did Sony/ATV’s vp of merchandise and consumer products Rod Kotler, who said "Dell and the Epic Rights team understand the importance of these lyrics, lyrics that live well beyond the songs that first delivered them, and we trust him to develop an appropriate licensing program that respects John Lennon and Paul McCartney's treasured lyrics."

Sony/ATV owns the songs originally published by Lennon/McCartney’s Northern Songs, which was purchased by Michael Jackson in 1985 and dissolved ten years later when the King of Pop merged his catalog with Sony Music.