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Amy Thomson Leaves Hipgnosis to Launch Rights Management Platform

There's already a waiting list to join Thomson's new platform -- set to debut in October and allow artists to care for their own catalogs.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund’s chief catalog officer Amy Thomson is stepping down from her role at the end of September to market a customizable version of the catalog management platform she built while at the company.

Thomson has been the in-house expert managing the song catalogs acquired by the Merck Mercuriadis-founded fund since 2020, a period that coincided with Hipgnosis’ game-changing rise in the publishing rights investment business. She will remain a consultant to the company after her departure.

She tells Billboard it was time to leave because she finished the project that brought her to Hipgnosis: the creation of a platform that gives artists and their managers complete and transparent views of their portfolios, along with tools to manage them. She says it took her and a team of more than a dozen two years to build, and now that it’s done, she is launching a made-to-measure version for other companies next month.

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Phase one of the new platform, which is not yet named, will launch phase one in October with handful of artists. Thomson says the service shows artists essentially “what they own and how to care for it,” and will track deal summaries, contacts, song lists and statement dates, and will include a calendar and complete digitized collection of an artist’s rights.

“After the work at Hipgnosis, which had customized elements especially designed for their needs, we are tailoring the platform for artists and managers,” Thomson says, explaining that the next phase opening next year will involve custom builds for management companies who represent multiple catalogs.

“There is already a waiting list, but the first clients I have are not only iconic but will push me to really think about every element and to maintain one key part – that it is equally clear to the artist as it is to the lawyers and business managers. This has to be a tool everyone uses.”

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Thomson’s decades of experience as founder of the management company ATM Artists, and manager of such acts as Swedish House Mafia, DJ Snake and Seal, have fueled an obsession with “getting to the bottom of the trail of the song as it is used globally,” she says, asserting that tracking the lifespan of a song, its previous owners and key dates buttresses the claim that songs are an asset class.

“Every single [song] is a business, an asset,” she says. “Without knowing what you own and how to manage it, catalogs break and decay.”

Thomson will stay on as a consultant to Hipgnosis, a role she said will primarily involve lobbying on behalf of Hipgnosis, and she’ll continue to sit on the Board of Session for Abba member Björn Ulvaeus. Session is Ulvaeus’s platform and app that tracks the creation and credits of records. 

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In a statement provided to Billboard, Mercuriadis thanked Thomson for her “immense” contributions at the fund. “Her incomparable passion and drive are second to none,” he said. “She’s helped to shape an exciting company and we are all delighted that she will remain as a consultant… I look forward to championing her new endeavours.”