Independent music rights org Round Hill Music has entered into an exclusive subpublishing agreement with Warner Chappell Music, it was announced on Wednesday. The global deal, which excludes the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and the Nordics, will see WCM administer Round Hill’s vast collection of copyrights, and explore new opportunities for its songs and writers, overseas.
Founded in 2010 by Josh Gruss, Richard Rowe and Neil Gillis, Round Hill’s catalog includes ubiquitous hits like “Happy Together,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” What a Wonderful World” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” among others, along with an artist and songwriter roster that includes Florida Georgia Line, Sleater-Kinney, Valerie Broussard, Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) and Nashville hit-machine Ashley Gorley.
In late 2017, NYC-based Round Hill added the likes of Elvis Presley, AC/DC, Bobby Darin, Billie Holiday and George Jones, as well as Broadway scores to Cabaret and Godspell, to the family when it finalized its acquisition of Carlin Music. In 2018, the firm beefed up its metal bonafides with a sizable stake in the Judas Priest catalog.
“In less than a decade, Round Hill has built an extraordinary collection of evergreen copyrights and iconic catalogs, while at the same time signing some of today’s most exciting and gifted songwriters,” said Warner Chappell Music co-chair & CEO Guy Moot and co-chair & COO Carianne Marshall. “The global potential is enormous, and all of us at Warner Chappell around the world are thrilled to partner with Josh, Richard, Neil and the entire Round Hill team to find new avenues and audiences for this amazing body of work.”
Round Hill Music president Gillis added: “Carianne and Guy have a vision for Warner Chappell that works really well for the Round Hill catalog overseas. We know and respect their team, and we are looking forward to a long and wonderful partnership.”
Previously, Round Hill Music had either directly had a publishing presence in the markets that Warner Chappell is taking over as sub publisher for its catalog or it had used a hodge podge of sub-publishers around the globe. Meanwhile, the excluded territories U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and the Nordics — are markets handled directly by Round Hill, according to Round Hill chairman/CEO Josh Gruss.
Gruss acknowledged that in addition to the new direction implemented by the aforementioned new leadership team of Moot and Marshall, he also cited the recent addition of Hank Forsyth to the team as executive vp strategy and business development, as someone he has known for many years. Forsyth previously was with Blue Note Records and EMI Music Publishing among other stops in his career. “With this new leadership in place, that provides a lot of comfort and faith that they will do a great job for our catalog,” Gruss says.