Jan. 22 was a huge day for Kobalt: The company not only announced a deal with Dave Grohl to take over the exclusive worldwide administration rights to all of the musician’s music, it also formally introduced a new label services division that will handle digital and physical releases for independent artists as well as Kobalt clients. The Grohl deal covers his work from Nirvana to the Foo Fighters to Them Crooked Vultures, and goes into effect in 2014.
As part of the agreement, Kobalt will handle all synch and creative opportunities for Grohl’s music, including the new songs that will appear on the soundtrack to his documentary “Sound City,” which debuted at Sundance and will be out later this month, with the album set for a March release. The label services division has already quietly released several albums in recent months, most notably gospel act Larry Callahan & Selected of God’s “The Evolution II,” but it will gain major attention next month with the release of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ “Push the Sky Away” (Feb. 18) through Kobalt Label Services and Cave’s Bad Seed Ltd.
KLS will oversee global distribution of the release through digital retail, direct-to-consumer, physical retail and subscription services, as well as handle all marketing, promotion, advanced data analytics, royalty tracking and synch licensing duties, among other services.
Warner Music Group has become the second major label to agree to pay songwriters and publishers a royalty from revenue they derive from music videos, in a deal negotiated by the National Music Publishers’ Assn. While the terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, the NMPA says that WMG agreed to pay a percentage of the revenue to songwriters and publishers. In June, the NMPA negotiated a similar deal with Universal Music Group.
Like the UMG deal before it, the WMG pact will be offered to all NMPA members on an opt-in basis through the Harry Fox Agency. In addition to receiving royalties for videos on a going-forward basis, songwriters and publishers who opt into the WMG and UMG agreements may receive retroactive payments for past uses of music works in the labels’ videos.
After months of courtship, Colombian star Carlos Vives signed a long-term, exclusive recording deal with Sony Music Latin. The deal calls for Vives to release four albums under Sony, beginning with Corazon Profundo, due out April 23, the day Vives will speak at the Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami. Vives will also release a live album under an agreement that he’s referred to as a “partnership.” The new contract is a 360 deal that gives Sony a stake in non-recording opportunities, including sponsorships and tours.