What are Print Rights?

Print licensing and print royalties from these licenses still provide a significant form of income for interested parties, despite new technology and new revenue streams. According to MusicSpoke, the sheet music industry alone is worth more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, lyric sites on the Internet are collecting massive amounts of ad revenue.

In today’s music industry, it is important for songwriters and music publishers to familiarize themselves with the print rights associated with their protected works. Our guide serves as a resource to grant interested parties a better understanding of print rights and how they function within the music industry.

If you would like to learn more about our copyright administration services to find you unclaimed royalties, please visit our website.

In this newsletter:

Recording engineer Steve Albini - known for his work with artists such as Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey - has died, aged 61. The raw, analogue sound he favored was highly influential, and he also inspired others as a musician himself, fronting bands such as Big Black and Shellac.

It’s hardly news at this point that Latin Music is exploding in popularity worldwide, but within that broad category, one particular subset has been standing out: Música Mexicana.

Concord said on Thursday it would not raise its bid to beat Blackstone's $1.6 billion offer for Hipgnosis Song Fund.

Now, the details...

Exploration Weekly - May 10, 2024
Compiled by Ana Berberana

Steve Albini, Noise Rock Pioneer and 'In Utero' Engineer, Dead at 61

Musician and recording engineer Steve Albini died of a heart attack at his home in Chicago on Tuesday. He was 61. Prolific in his output, he worked on albums by Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jarvis Cocker and many more. As a musician, he was best known for fronting the bands Big Black and Shellac. A statement on the website of Electrical Audio - the studio Albini founded in 1997 - reads, “On the night of May 7, our captain, Steve Albini, died unexpectedly. We are struggling to comprehend and process this loss”. “Steve was a hero to all of us, our friend and mentor”, it goes on. “He was one of the greatest living recording engineers, tirelessly dedicated to capturing the creative work of the bands and artists he worked with. He saw recording almost as an ethical imperative to document the music of the world around him”. Born in Pasadena, California in 1962, Albini began playing bass guitar while recovering from a broken leg as a teenager. He cited being introduced to The Ramones as the key moment in his musical development that led him into what would become his career. In 1992, he formed Shellac, another influential outfit who remained active for the rest of Albini’s life. His death comes a week before the release of their sixth album (and first for a decade) ‘To All Trains’. However, Albini was best known as a recording engineer - both for the impressive list of acts he worked with and his view on the process of working in the studio. Although widely considered to be a great record producer, he shunned the term, arguing that his job was to capture the sound of a band rather than direct what they should be doing. He preferred not to be credited on album artwork and also refused to take royalties from the sales of records he worked on, saying that doing so was unethical. Instead, he charged an affordable day rate - $900 at the time of his death - for the duration of the recording sessions. He estimated that he had worked on over 1500 records, many of them lesser known as he chose to work with pretty much everyone who asked. There were many notable names on the list too though. Robert Plant - a fan of Big Black - hired him to record Page & Plant album ‘Walking Into Clarksdale’. Other notable names included Pixies, PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers, Jarvis Cocker, Bush, Joanna Newsom, The Cribs and Melt-Banana. The album he is most often associated with is Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’, which he recorded over six days with the band in 1993. Numerous tributes were paid to Albini as news of his death broke yesterday.

Streams of Música Mexicana Soared by 440% in Five Years on Spotify, Platform Says

In a report released on Friday (May 3), Spotify put some hard numbers to this phenomenon. The DSP reported that streams of Música Mexicana grew by 55% globally in 2023; between 2018 and 2023, streams grew by 440%. The trend is a little more intense among youthful Gen-Z listeners, among whom streams of the genre have grown by 60% over the past year. And not surprisingly, the trend is also particularly pronounced in Latin America, Spotify said, with streams growing by more than 195% in the region between 2020 and 2023. The streaming service stressed that collaborations between artists are helping to propel Música Mexicana to new heights. More specifically, there’s a cross-cultural exchange taking place between Mexican and Colombian artists, helping to elevate their popularity in both countries, Spotify said. In Colombia, Mexican music has grown in popularity by more than double the amount seen in Latin America overall – streams were up 445% between 2020 and 2023. “The instruments, melodies, and lyrics of the genre have greatly influenced the current generation of Colombian music and in turn spawned a number of collaborations between Mexican and Colombian artists.

Concord Bows Out of Bidding War for Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Blackstone Poised to Take Over

Blackstone looked poised to take over Hipgnosis Songs Fund (HSF) on Thursday after Concord Music said it would not outbid the global investment firm. Concord surprised Blackstone and the broader market on April 18 when it announced it had the unanimous support of HSF’s directors to take over the troubled music royalty fund for £0.93 ($1.14), a bid that valued the company at $1.402 billion. Concord once raised its offer to $1.25 per share, but Blackstone stole the board’s endorsement when it made it a superior offer that valued the company at $1.6 billion on April 29. Concord said Thursday that its last offer was final and will not be increased, effectively bowing out of the bidding war. While Blackstone’s bid still needs approval from 75% of Hipgnosis Songs Fund shares, it has been the most likely buyer for shareholders looking for an offramp from the 5-year-old fund’s tumultuous last six months. Hipgnosis Songs Fund’s assets, which include stakes in the catalogs of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Journey, Lindsey Buckingham, Blondie and others, are prized by its investors and rival music companies, but the fund has been plagued by management and accounting missteps that overstated both revenue and its portfolio’s valuation, according to a due diligence report by investment bank Shot Tower Capital released March 28. HSF’s share price plummeted after its board canceled the dividend and slashed the value of its portfolio. Blackstone already owns two other entities under the Hipgnosis name — the private music assets investment fund Hipgnosis Songs Capital (HSC) and the Merck Mercuriadis-led investment advisor Hipgnosis Song Management (HSM).

Spotify Paid UK Music Industry More Than £750 Million in 2023

Spotify has revealed that the royalties generated by artists in 2023 was in excess of £750 million, more than double the amount for 2017. That figure represents the total royalties for rights-holders in the UK, which includes the share for artists and labels. Spotify has unveiled UK-specific streaming royalties data as part of its Loud & Clear platform. Close to 1,000 UK artists generated at least £100,000 in royalties from Spotify alone in 2023, more than double compared to 2017. The number of UK artists who generated more than £10,000 and £50,000 in royalties from Spotify alone in 2023 has doubled since 2017. Around 75% of all royalties generated by British artists on the platform in 2023 were from listeners outside of the UK. More than 40% of all royalties generated by UK artists on Spotify in 2023 were by independent artists or labels. Earlier this year Spotify shared global data, revealing that the independent sector makes up nearly half the money generated – $4.5 billion of the more than $9 billion paid out in 2023. Safiya Lambie-Knight, head of music for Spotify UK and Ireland, said: “This year’s Loud & Clear data shows more and more artists in the UK are generating record income from streaming, which has been a huge driver in lowering barriers to entry and democratizing access to music across the world.

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