Billboard’s Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news happening in the music publishing world.
The Nettwerk Music Group continues to assert itself in the music publishing space: it has acquired the catalog of Robot Of the Century Music, the publishing catalog formed by Roadrunner founder Cees Wessels, which includes songs from Trivium, Young the Giant, Black Stone Cherry and Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, sources say Robot Of The Century generated an annual net publisher’s share of about $375,000-$450,000, which likely means the acquisition price was in the $3.5 million to $4.5 million range.
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This deal marks the second publishing asset Nettwerk has acquired in the last six weeks. Last month, it acquired a 50% stake in Nashville music publishing operation Ten Ten Music Group.
While the Ten Ten deal boosted the company’s presence in country music, this latest deal gives Nettwerk an inroad to rock music, something that had been underweighted in the Nettwerk catalog, according to Nettwerk VP of international A&R and publishing Mark Jowett, who says that until recently the company’s publishing catalog was focused on singer songwriters like Sinead O’Connor and Natalie Merchant. In total, the Nettwerk catalog has about 20,000 songs in it.
“We tend to focus on iconic and unique artist and focus on quality, rather than go sign a bunch of songwriters,” Jowett says. “We don’t have a lot of rock so this gives us exposure in the genre. Rock is a global phenomena; it works everywhere; in South America, Australia, and Europe. This deal gives our TV and film synch department other things they can work alongside our singer songwriter and country music.”
In a statement, Nettwerk president/COO Simon Mortimer-Lamb said that the Robot Of The Century writers “have established themselves as some of the best in their genre and have achieved a global reach. We look forward to utilizing out team throughout the work to insure their continued growth and success.”
Robot of the Century president Doug Keogh said in a statement, “As Nettwerk further establishes its global strategy and embraces growth in their roster and repertoire, these artists will enjoy a new team with the same core values that helped launch their careers.”
— People On The Move: YouTube has just reassigned Anjali Malhotra Southward to lead the company’s team in charge of managing relationships with U.S. music publishers as well as collection societies in Latin America. Previously, Southward — who has been at YouTube for 3.5 years after coming aboard from EMI Music Publishing, where she was director of product and content — managed the YouTube music partnership teams for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
— Sony/ATV Music Publishing has appointed Moses Martiny to the newly-created position of VP of digital for Europe. He reports to Sony/ATV executive VP of digital and society relations for Europe Antony Bebawi.
In his new position, Martiny will be responsible for key digital negotiations with a range of pan-European digital services. He will also work with the company’s international affiliates as well as the U.K.-based international and business affairs teams.
— Tunecore president of music publishing Jamie Purpora has exited the company, after helping to build the publishing firm from scratch. Prior to Tunecore, he was at Bug Music for 17 years and left as senior VP of administration. He can be reached through his attorney Jeff Levy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— The Royalty Exchange has introduced ARIA — Acclerating Royalty Insights with Analytics, an online application, for music publishers and other royalty owners.
ARIA breaks down royalty streams in seconds, displaying where royalties are coming from, who is paying what and how much they are worth, according to the Royalty Exchange. With this tool, publishers songwriters and artists can see how much digital services like Spotify and Pandora are paying them on a per-play basis, the company claims.
“Every royalty owner and publisher should add this tool to their arsenal as they battle for their fair share of royalty payments and collections,” Royalty Exchange president Sean Peace said in a statement. “The light is shining bright on the issue of royalty rates right now as we wait to see what happens at the Department of Justice with regard to the potential consent decree changes. Artists like Taylor Swift and Bono are also helping to keep this issue in the forefront as they battle over what they are getting paid by streaming services. ARIA helps them tackle these issues by providing them with key information that has been hard to pull together in the past.”
— Reach Music has signed Common to a worldwide co-publishing deal on a going forward basis; the deal includes his songs on his latest album, “Nobody’s Smiling;” as well as “Glory,” the song he recorded with John Legend, which appears in the Selma movie. In another move, Reach Music has renewed its global administration deal with Lisa Loeb.
— Big Deal Music and BMG Chrysalis have signed a publishing deal with Sleater-Kinney as the band issues its new album, No Cities To Love. In a statement, BMG Chrysalis U.S. senior VP of creative services David Hirshland said, “Partnering with Big Deal is a very exciting prospect as we together look to maximize the reach of this new [Sleater-Kinney] album which is already proving to be a major statement in the world of rock music in 2015.”
— The joint venture between Razor & Tie Music Publishing and Sh-k-Boom/Ghostlight Records have signed a publishing deal with lyricist/composer Michael Friedman, who has written music and lyrics for such theater productions as The Fortress of Solitude, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, among others.
— Insieme Music Publishing, an affiliate of Glassnote Entertainment Group, has signed a worldwide publishing deal with songwriter, producer and arranger Jonny Wright, who has written for such artists as Daniel James, Stephanie Fraser and Becky Hill.
“Jonny is an incredible songwriter with a natural feel for bringing the best out of a song and an artist,” Insieme Music Publishing executive Ed Poston said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure whenever we have worked with Jonny and his management team; Chris Woo and Anne Sandig at AAM…The coming year is going to be an exciting time both for Jonny and our publishing company.”