-- Spirit Music Group has received $50 million in new capital commitments from Fortress Credit Corp.
The company said it will use the funds to acquire additional music rights, both publishing and masters, as well as to increase its roster of iconic catalogs, A&R activities and further expand its international presence. It recently acquired the Cal IV Entertainment, a Nashville-based indie music publisher, production and artist management company.
"Spirit Music Group is on an aggressive growth path," company chairman David Renzer said in a statement. Spirit was advised by MESA on the transaction.
-- Sony/ATV Music Publishing, in a partnership with T.I.'s Grand Hustle Records, has signed Iggy Azalea to a worldwide publishing agreement, which covers existing and future works including her writing contributions on her debut album, "The New Classic," which produced the hit songs "Fancy" and "Black Widow" that she co-wrote.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with such a fresh and electrifying new talent as Iggy Azalea, Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. "She is an incredibly smart and dynamic songwriter and artist and has made an amazing start to what looks set to be a long and successful career ahead.”
Sarah Stennett, Iggy Azalea’s manager at Turn First Artists, added in a statement, “The completion of this partnership agreement with Sony/ATV, Grand Hustle and Iggy continues the original mission...to only enter into relationships with people who truly support the vision and believe in her staying power, ability to write and deliver exciting records and her potential to grow as an artist and cultural icon.”
-- BMG has signed a multi-year licensing deal with Pandora, allowing the service to play its complete BMI and ASCAP songs catalogs. Moveover, the direct publishing deal creates marketing and business benefits for Pandora, BMG and its songwriters, which include Bruno Mars, Duran Duran, the Flaming Lips, Frank Ocean, John Legend, Kings of Leon, Valerie June, Wilco, and will.i.am.
“Our agreement with BMG ensures that we can continue expanding the audience for one of the world’s most storied music catalogs and demonstrates that collaboration between the music industry and Pandora creates opportunities and value for publishers and songwriters," Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews said in a statement.
“BMG looks forward to a prosperous relationship with Pandora in which our songwriters can benefit from their platform,” BMG Chrysalis North America president of marketing and creative Laurent Hubert said in a statement. “We also want to take this opportunity to emphasize our strong, continuing relationship with the U.S. performing rights organizations as they play a vital role for songwriters and music publishers alike.”
In another move, BMG Chrysalis U.S. has acquired the catalog of Music Beyond Production Library, which contains over 25,000 tracks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of Music Beyond is transformative for BMG's production music activities," said BMG Chrysalis senior VP of operations Clemens Morgenroth in a statement. "With its large high-quality and complementary repertoire base and experienced team joining BMG's existing Selectracks library, Music Beyond will help drive further growth and will join us in our mission to provide the best one-stop licensing and custom music service to our many, valued clients."
With the sale Music Beyond, owner Walter Werzowa will serve as consultant to BMG.
-- Laura Veltz, a co-writer or writer of songs like "Drunk Last Night" and "Lonely Eyes," has extended her co-publishing agreement with Big Machine Music and Warner/Chappell Nashville.
-- The Universal Music Publishing Group announced its entire U.S. catalog is now available for look-up on the company's site. “As promised, this launch continues our efforts as an industry leader in not only providing transparency but also making the most useful data accessible to all licensees and users,” said UMPG executive VP of operations and CFO Michael J. Sammis in a statement “Our plan, going forward, is to continually enhance this Song List until it ultimately includes all UMPG international repertoire.”
People On the Move in Publishing:
Maria Egan has been upped to president of Pulse Music Publishing from the title of executive VP. She's now overseeing A&R and creative in addition to her existing role in the company's artist management division.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has appointed senior VP of creative Jennifer Knoepfle and senior VP of business and legal affairs Jonas Kant to jointly run the company's Los Angeles office. In other moves, Sam Taylor joins the previously-promoted Amanda Berman in holding the position of VP of creative. Both report to Kant and Knoepfle.
Tiffany Starr Kumar has been named to the newly-created post of senior VP of creative at 2101 Songs, the music publishing company owned by RedOne. Most recently she had been VP of creative for Primary Wave Music.