Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly roundup – where we make sure you’ve caught the five biggest stories that have made headlines over the past seven days. The MBW Roundup is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and lower their touring costs.
Those long-promised foggy and lazy summer months have arrived! Fear not: MBW will continue to sniff out all the music industry headlines you need to see.
Over the past week, major industry reports have included BMG’s acquisition of Paul Simon’s artist royalty stream – and related rights – for his recordings with Simon & Garfunkel.
Elsewhere, through Shots And VarietyWe have learned that negotiations to acquire the Warner Bros. film and television music publishing catalog (which were first announced in January) are reaching more advanced stages.
Latest: Warner Bros. Discovery is apparently negotiating to sell about half of the catalog for around $500 million (so the full catalog is obviously valued at around $1 billion). Sony would be in pole position to acquire the stake.
Other big news this week include new revelations from MBW about the negotiations that took place between Taylor Swift (and her team at 13 Management) and Scooter Braun’s Ithaca three years ago.
The latest: Braun actually wanted to resell Swift his masters, according to the emails we’ve seen.
Swift’s team said they opposed a “gag order” in a Braun/Ithaca proposed NDA (which Swift later infamously spoke about publicly). However, MBW got this full NDA and, in our opinion, the “gag order” description is… pushing it, to say the least.
Today (June 23) brought its own big news: former BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor has been named executive vice president of artificial intelligence at Sony Music Entertainment.
Here’s what happened this week…
From Variety“Warner Bros. Discovery is in negotiations to sell approximately half of the Warner studio’s film and television music publishing assets for approximately $500 million, three sources confirm to Variety. The news was first reported by Hits.
While it’s unclear exactly which assets are on the table, a source says the rights to “just under half” of the catalog, with a price tag of around $500 million, will likely go to a record label. major, Sony said to be in the lead… (Variety)
2) Exclusivity: Scooter Braun wanted to sell his masters to Taylor Swift. What happened?
Last week, MBW obtained a five-page signed letter nes of November 2019 between Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings and Taylor Swift’s management team – 13 Management – which contained no mention of protecting Scooter Braun’s reputation.
It was confusing, because in November 2020, Taylor Swift publicly alleged, “The Scooter team wanted me to sign a Ironclad NES declaring that I would never say a word about Scooter Braun unless it’s positivebefore we can even look at BMLG’s financial records.”
Now, MBW has gotten more startling evidence in this saga.
This shows how much brown scooter And Ithaca came to sell Swift the rights to her first six albums – and how a potential deal fell apart… (MBW)
3) BMG Acquires Paul Simon’s Royalty Streams for Simon & Garfunkel Classics
One of the biggest music catalog acquisition deals in the world took place two years ago, when legendary songwriter Paul Simon sold his music publishing catalog to Sony for an estimated price of more than 250 million US dollars.
Now we learn that Simon has sold other valuable assets related to his catalog to BMG, for an undisclosed sum.
BMG acquired Simon’s artist royalty revenue stream – in addition to its neighboring rights revenue stream – from Simon & Garfunkel’s recordings (not including Simon’s solo work).
In other words: BMG will receive Simon’s share of artist royalties whenever classic Simon & Garfunkel recordings – which continue to be owned by Columbia/Sony Music – are released or purchased. (MBW)
4) Geoff Taylor joins Sony Music as Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence
Sony Music Entertainment (SME) has hired Geoff Taylor MBE as Senior Executive Vice President, Artificial Intelligence.
Taylor was previously CEO of BPI – the UK’s London-based trade body which represents the interests of major record labels, in addition to some independent labels. (MBW)
5) The US recorded music industry grew by a whopping $500 million last year. The music publishing business increased by $900 million.
Last Wednesday (June 14), the American trade body, led by President and CEO David Israelite, held its annual meeting for 2023 in New York, where it presented an abundance of interesting information (such as the slides below) to its member music editor.
This information included a huge statistic for the music industry: the overall commercial revenue of US-based music publishers during calendar 2022 was US$5.605 billionat the top 19.25% over one year.
Where it gets really interesting is when you compare that number to the equivalent record industry number… (MBW)