Spirit Music Acquires Pete Townshend Catalog
Spirit Music Group has purchased Pete Townshend’s interest in his entire song catalog, and will partner with the legendary rocker in strengthening Townshend’s/The Who’s brand on a global basis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Moreover, the pact also includes a long-term publishing agreement for Townshend’s future works, including new songs composed for potential solo and Who releases, as well as songs from “Floss,” which is described as his next musical-dramatic project.
The acquisition includes all of his songs-including classic ones like “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Baba O’Riley,” and “Who Are You,” as well as groundbreaking rock operas “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia” – except for the earliest songs, which are still with the original publisher, TRO. But even there, Spirit crafted some kind of deal with TRO, sources say, although the exact nature of that arrangement was not disclosed.
The announcement said the deal was conceived and crafted over the last year by Townshend and Spirit CEO Mark Fried, “with the specific goal of fostering proactive collaboration between the artist, his management team (Trinifold), his record label (Universal Music Group), the original publisher of his earliest works (TRO) and Spirit’s global marketing staff.
As part of the deal, Townshend has signed a multi-year consultancy agreement with Spirit to work with the company on everything from traditional catalog promotion; film, television, advertising and new media licensing; to exploring strategic brand partnerships with media and consumer product companies and developing musical stage shows and multimedia installations. The goal is to highlight the power of the songs and of the Townshend and The Who brands.
The Townshend deals follows on the heals of similar branding and legacy partnerships that Spirit has done with artists like Lou Reed, T. Rex and Chaka Khan.
In a statement, Townshend said, “the deal provides me with the resources to start all over again in my creative career – most songwriters don’t get this kind of opportunity, a chance of creative renaissance. I am passionately committed to new projects for rock and for music theater.”
Trinifold Management executives Bill Curbishley and Robert Rosenberg of Trinifold Management said that in addition to benefitting Townshend’s classic songs, but also help focus attention on “the wealth of lesser known gems,” in the catalog.
In addition to finishing a long-awaited autobiography set for release in September, a series of retrospectives for the Who’s most celebrated albums are expected over the next two years leading up to a global celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary in 2014.
TuneSat Launches New Monitoring Service
TuneSat, a service provider which helps rights holders track unauthorized music uses, launched a new Internet monitoring service that can detect audio used in multimedia content on millions of publicly available websites, the company claims. In conjunction with that launch, the company also introduced administrative services to help right holders to pursue unlicensed and unpaid music detected by TuneSat on the Internet and on broadcast TV.
Once an audiofile has been fingerprinted by TuneSat, its Internet multimedia monitoring searches publicly available domains, identifying music used in streaming audio, video, podcasts, flash and other multimedia files. These detections could include files just posted moments before, or put online several years ago. The cost to the rights holder starts at as little as $10 per month, with monthly subscription rates varying depending on the number of tracks and the type of services.
“Monitoring multimedia content on the Internet can reveal more than just music videos – TuneSat clients have discovered movie trailers, TV synchs, and other media usages that were unlicensed,” TuneSat co-founder and COO Chris Woods said in a statement.
In addition to detection information, TuneSat reports also provide important business intelligence regarding usage rates for a catalog, or specific writers, artists, and tracks, as well as gauging revenue patterns over time.
“TuneSat’s data tames the Wild Wild West of the Web, pinpointing the use of music online and providing the information needed to monetize those uses, putting dollars back into the pocket of musicians.” TuneSat CEO and founder Scott Schreer said in a statement.
Universal to Handle Irving Berlin’s Catalog Outside North America
The Universal Music Publishing Group has signed on to handle administration for most of the Irving Berlin music publishing catalog for the world outside North America. While the deal began on Jan. 1, other songs in the Berlin catalog will come under the deal at a later date, according to the announcement.
During his career, Berlin composed about 1,500 songs, 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films. His most well-known songs are at the heart of the American songbook and include: “Easter Parade,” “White Christmas,” “Happy Holiday,” There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” “Blue Skies,” and “God Bless America.”
The deal was made by UMPG president of Europe and U.K. Paul Connolly, who announced the deal along with Irving Berlin’s daughters, Mary Ellin Barrett, Linda Emmet and Elizabeth Peters who, together with JPMorgan Chase Bank, jointly manage the songwriter’s trust.
Earlier this month, the Imagem Music Group announced that it had re-signed the Berlin catalog for North America, while landing brand management and grand rights exploitation on a global basis.