This Week in Music Publishing: Feb 24, 2012

Jon Ostrow on Feb 24, 2012


Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge

In a continued effort to buy the recording side of EMI, Universal has gone directly to EU regulators for approval of the takeover. Sony/ATV will follow suit for the publishing side of EMI.

Warner Music Group and independent labels are actively lobbying against the deal, claiming it will give Universal - already the largest label in the world - too large a piece of the market. Despite opposition to the takeovers, Universal Music Group's CEO Lucian Grainge has guaranteed EMI's current owners Citigroup the pricetag of $1.9 billion - even if the deal falls through.

A leaked audit in Eminem's suit against his label Aftermath - a Universal-subsidiary - claims that the label owes Eminem's production company $3.8 million including substantial digital royalties. Much of the conjecture comes from the definition of digital 'sales' vs 'licenses', which could have wide-ranging financial impacts on major labels.

Viral-video superstars OK Go complained this week that they're not seeing enough from YouTube via VEVO to establish a 'business model'. VEVO CEO Rio Caraeff defended the video platform in saying: "What happens between an artist and their label or distributor in their contractual relationship are simply not something that we are party to and every artist's deal is different."

The widow of country music legend Roger Miller, the songwriter of 'King of the Road' and 'Chug-a-Lug' among other major country hits has lost an appeal against Sony/ATV Music Publishing to recover the rights to her late-husband's music.

Sony/ATV and Sony Music Entertainment have signed an India-centric strategic alliance for their music publishing business so that Sony/ ATV can spread awareness of the widespread copyright infringement issues taking place in India and begin to work to correct these issues.

Dubstep's rise to the mainstream has seen AEI media entering into a joint venture with independent music publisher Verse Music Group to create AEI Music Publishing specializing in dubstep / drum n' bass music.

Independent music publisher and artist representation company 401k Music Inc. is celebrating its first birthday by adding The Thompson Twins and Drug Cabin to their roster.

Country-focused Parallel Music Publishing has signed a new deal with songwriter Thom McHugh, who has penned and recorded over 100 songs including 5 #1 country-chart singles.

BMG France has acquired rights to both the publishing and masters of French pop group GOLD.

The CMA (Country Music Association) has named Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ ATV Music Publishing, as new President of the CMA Board of Directors, and also named Ed Hardy as President-Elect.

We investigated the power of publishing with an explanation of how Drake's 'I Take Care Of You' is paying out royalties to 1950s songwriter Brook Benton.

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