Skip to main content

Publishing Briefs: Nettwerk Buys Stake in Ten Ten Music Group, BMG Chrysalis Inks Hasbro Deal, Greg Kurstin Re-Ups With Sony/ATV

Billboard's Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world.

Billboard’s Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news in the music publishing world.

• The Nashville music publishing scene continues to attract investors. In the latest deal, Nettwerk Music Group‘s publishing division has acquired 50 percent of the Ten Ten Music Group‘s catalog and the two companies are forming a joint-venture on future signings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources say that the Ten Ten Music Group produces almost $500,000 in net publisher’s share, annually.

As a result of the deal, Nettwerk One Music now owns a stake in such hits songs as Miranda Lambert‘s “Fastest Girl In Town,” Reba McEntire‘s “Turn On The Radio,” Papa Roach‘s “Kick In The Teeth,” Tracy Byrd‘s “Watermelon Crawl,” Blake Shelton‘s “The Baby,” and Alan Jackson‘s “Here In The Real World” and “Between The Devil And Me,” among others.


Ten Ten president Barry Coburn “has proven over the years that he has a great understanding of songs, songwriters and the world of music publishing,” said NW1’s Blair McDonald in a statement on the deal. “During his career, he has also been enormously successful as an artist manager, concert promoter, live agent and record company executive. That broad experience makes him a great partner for Nettwerk.”


Besides the addition of Coburn and his staff, McDonald added, “This catalogue is a very significant addition to Nettwerk’s growing publishing business, but just as importantly, we look forward to building on the roster and creating one of the most vibrant, international and forward thinking independent publishing houses in Nashville.”

The Ten Ten songwriter staff includes David Lee, Porcelain Black, Scott Stepakoff and Femke Weidema, among others.

“We discovered that we formed our independent companies, one in Vancouver, the other in Nashville, within a few days of one another 30 years ago in September,” Coburn said in a statement. “The spirit of entrepreneurship and the pursuit of great music was a major factor in us coming together in this new venture…We look forward to building a great strong presence as publishing partners.”

Coburn told Billboard that both sides benefit by the deal. “I wanted to find somebody who could help us in other worlds  like film and television and build on  the successes we have had there,” he says. As for Nettwerk’s strategy of expanding its Nashville presence, Coburn says that beyond how strong the country market is, “Nashville is a creative place with so much going on in rock and pop,” which also is a good fit for Nettwerk.

• Other recent Nashville-based deals include Atlas Music Group‘s acquisition of the Combustion Music catalog, and Round Hill Music‘s acquisition of the song catalog of Big Loud Shirt Industries, plus a going-forward joint venture.

• In two separate deals, Reach Music Publishing has signed worldwide publishing administration agreements with Dim Mak Records and Stampede Management, which both recently started music publishing divisions.

Dim Mak, an electronic dance label founded by DJ/producer Steve Aoki, currently has compositions from artists like Swanky Tunes, Qulinez, Ookay and Marnik in the Dim Mak Publishing catalog.

Stampede Management, which handles artists like Snoop Dogg, YG, Far East Movement, Riff Raff, Macy Gray and Murs, is actively seeking songwriters to sign to its publishing entities Afrotheria Music (BMI), Mass Impulse Music (ASCAP) and Elephas Music (SESAC).

“Setting up a music publishing venture is the next step in both Dim Mak’s and Stampede’s growth, and we are thrilled that Reach will be providing the worldwide publishing support for these ventures,” Reach Music president Michael Closter said in a statement.

Through the deals, Reach Music will provide infrastructure support focused on worldwide royalty collections and manage YouTube claims as well as handling synch licensing and creative support of songwriters and producers signed to the Dim Mak and Stampede Management publishing operations.

“Dim Mak is excited to be launching our new publishing division with the Reach team,” Dim Mak president Lee Kurisu said in a statement. “Their combination of hands-on admin experience and collections acumen will allow Dim Mak to concentrate on what we do best – creative development.”

BMG Chrysalis has acquired X-Ray Dog Music, a Burbank, Calif.-based production music library with over 4,000 tracks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move marks a further broadening of BMG’s film and TV business as the company earlier acquired the production library of Music Beyond in September. Under the deal, X-Ray Dog Music co-owner Mitch Lijewski will become BMG Production Music North America senior VP and his staff is coming over to BMG.

“X-Ray Dog is a key acquisition for BMG as we amplify our US production music division to provide our clients with access to the ideal tracks for various projects,” BMG Chrysalis North America president of creative and marketing Laurent Hubert said in a statement. “There is an increased need for pre-cleared music and the addition of X-Ray Dog’s unparalleled library offers seamless, one-stop-shop licensing.”

In another move, BMG Chrysalis has signed Hasbro Studios to an exclusive global administration agreement. The deal covers all original music created for the Hasbro-branded TV franchises including Transformers and My Little Pony.

In a statement BMG Chrysalis US VP of business and legal affairs and business development Keith Haurprich said in a statement that BMG would bring its global footprint and next “generation”approach to bear on behalf of the Hasbro music catalog. “BMG is the perfect partner to help us expand and exploit our vast music library on a global level,”Hasbro senior director of global licensing Matt Proulx said in a statement.

Moving down to the songwriter level, BMG Chrysalis have signed stage musical actress and singer songwriter Sohpie Hintze to an exclusive co-publishing agreement. Hintze, who is in high school, has been cast in such productions as Sound of Music, Oliver, and The Last Five Years.

“Sophie is authentic, eager and tremendously talented in writing songs which deeply touch our souls,” BMG executive VP of writer services Thomas Scherer said in a statement. BMG credited entertainment attorney Dina LaPolt with bringing the singer to their attention.

Sony/ATV Music PUblishing has extended its long term global deal with musician and producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with such artists as Pink, Lily Allen, Ellie Goulding and Kelly Clarkson.

In announcing the continuance of the long relationship, Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement, “Greg Kurstin has been and continues to be one of our most important writers.

Spirit Music has signed a global publishing agreement with Mick Schultz, whose catalog includes songwriting or co-writes on “Don’t Tell ‘Em” by Jeremih and “Replay” by Zendaya, both songs that he also served as producer.

Through the deal, Spirit will provide a wide range of creative services, including facilitating collaborations, expanding Schultz’s reach as a writer and producer into new genres and territories, and helping him market and promote writers and artists signed to his production company, Mick Schultz Productions.

Spirit Music Group president/CEO Mark Fried said in a statement that Spirit will partner with Schultz to help expand “his creative reach and help him break his newest discoveries.”

Downtown Music Publishing has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with songwriter and producer Tim James, whose catalog includes such singles as Selena Gomez‘s “The Heart Wants What It Wants” and Miley Cyrus‘ “Can’t Be Tamed,” and Coca-Cola’s FIFA World Cup Anthem “The World Is Ours” among others.

In addition, the deal includes a joint venture with the James co-founded Rock Mafia, a songwriter and production team he launched with Antonio Armato, who has also been signed to DMP since 2007. As part of that deal, Ryan O’Donnell, previously a producer manager at New Heights Entertainment, as VP of creative and A&R for the joint venture.

• ole, the Canadian music publisher, has signed a deal to serve as global administrator for former Voice contestant Jordan Rager, who recently signed a record deal with Broken Bow Records and is currently recording his debut album.

“From his upcoming album with Jeremy, to his touring success, to his original appearance on The Voice, Jordan’s certainly off to a great start,” ole GM of creative John Ozier said in a statement. We’re happy…to help him reach new heights with his music.”

• Finally, The Mute Group has promoted long-time staffer David McGinnis to head its publishing division Mute Song, which has a catalog the includes songs by Nick Cave, among others. McGinnis, who joined as head of licensing and also added A&R capabilities, replaces Andrew King, who will remain in a consulting capacity.