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German-based BMG Rights Management has bought Chrysalis, one of Britain’s largest and most successful independent publishers, for £107.4 million ($154 million USD) in a cash buyout of Chrysalis stock. It was rumored for a few months that BMG Rights was a potential contender (along with Bug Music and Imagem) to purchase Chrysalis.

The BMG Rights deal with Chrysalis was finalized late last week. In a joint statement, the two companies stated that the acquisition was an important step in BMG’s growth strategy.

Hartwig Masuch, CEO BMG Rights, stated, “The acquisition of Chrysalis represents an important step forward in our strategy as we build a major, global music rights business. Chrysalis’ extensive and high-quality catalogue represents an excellent fit with our existing business. Our strategy is to provide state-of-the-art, comprehensive and transparent management of music rights and the operational excellence of Chrysalis reinforces this commitment.”

Chris Wright, Chairman/Co-Founder, Chrysalis,said that the deal marked the end of an era for Chrysalis, which he founded with Terry Ellis more than forty years ago.

Wright commented, “Our continued progress – evolving from management, recorded music, television and radio to focus on music publishing – has been clearly recognized by BMG.”

Wright added, “As we embark together on the next chapter of the Chrysalis story, I am proud of both our track record and our future prospects in an industry in which we have both innovated and pioneered.”


EMI Music Publishing announced the signing of two acts that have been the focus of intense A&R and publisher interest this year. The two acts include Nashville, TN-based quartet Mona who are a joint signing between the David Massey-led Mercury/Island US and Darcus Beese and Ted Cockle co-led Island Records UK. In addition, EMI Music Publishing has also locked in the signing of UK-based four-piece Brother, who were signed to the Colin Barlow-led Geffen Records UK earlier this year.

Mona’s manager Saul Galpern (an original founder of UK independent Nude Records) noted that Mona decided to sign with EMI Music Publishing due to the quality of the team there. He stated, “Everyone really liked Guy Moot [President A&R, UK & Europe, EMI Music Publishing] and Felix Howard [Head of A&R UK & Sr. VP Creative, EMI Music Publishing Europe]. They are a good team there and from the beginning we felt supported and comfortable with the set-up.”

Felix Howard commented, “They [Mona] are a brilliant band with great songs and heaps of talent and there really wasn’t much of a choice but to sign them. I really am looking forward to what the future has in store for them.”

Both Mona and Brother will release their debut albums in the late winter and early spring of 2011.


MyMajorCompany.co.uk (MMC), which opened its doors last month, has stated that within four days pop/rock act IvyRise has raised £100,000, the amount required to become My Major Company’s first fully funded UK act.

IvyRise are the perfect example as to why this new format really works, stated a representative for MMC. “Overlooked by the current record label infrastructure, this incredibly hard working act has been championed by My Major Company’s open A&R’ing policy. The band has built an incredible fan base which has translated into this amazing level of investment.”

“MyMajorCompany.co.uk gives fans a voice and allows them to choose which artist to launch, supporting them financially and artistically from the very start, not to mention giving fans the chance to make money on the music they love,” stated MMC.

Once the fans have spoken, MMC has a skilled and experienced team of music industry experts, including MMC CEO Paul-Rene Albertini, who is the former CEO of Warner International, in place to make an artist’s dreams reality. It is unlike any other artist investment sites; the total investment is not used for an unspecified or one-off purpose, fans have the ability to get involved in every stage in the development of their act.

MMC stated that it has pioneered a truly unique model that has already been a huge success in France. MMC commented that one fan investment of €6,000 resulted in a repayment of a staggering €118,000, over 19 times the original investment. The act, Gregoire, has had a No.1 album and single in France, and has now sold in excess of a million records, all released through MMC. Gregoire also offered his investors the opportunity to be in the video for his No.1 single, “Toi+Moi.”

MMC France states that it now has 28 fully financed artists with a community of 98,500 registered users.


Imagem Music, one of the world’s largest independent music publishers, has launched a new digital offering that it says will showcase the depth of the company’s copyrights and catalogues and the range of creative services they offer.

Using the theme “Creativity Amplified,” www.imagemcs.com, which launched last week, will be the new online platform for Imagem Creative Services and will focus on the company’s classical, rock and pop, jazz and theatrical catalogues.

Imagem Creative Services said it is also keen to provide greater transparency and to make it easier for clients to engage with them--and as such, this new initiative will provide the facility to apply for sync licenses online alongside a commitment from the company to process clearance requests quickly and efficiently.

In addition, it says the new, state-of-the-art website will allow potential clients to stream music from across the company’s catalogues and will detail the variety of services available, ranging from free music searches to full music supervision available from the company.

The website will also offer a comprehensive overview of news relating to the Imagem Creative Services, details of forthcoming events and will showcase the company’s recent sync wins and case studies from both the film and TV sectors.


Creative industries may soon have greater protection against counterfeiting and piracy. Three years of negotiations on a new Anti- Counterfeiting Trade Agreement providing a new global standard for intellectual property enforcement were concluded recently. Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson stated that the agreement would foster a more secure trading environment by strengthening the enforcement of intellectual property rights in international markets for film, music, computer programming and writing. The Australian federal government will make a final decision on ratifying the agreement after it is examined by a parliamentary committee on treaties. The deal was negotiated by 37 countries including Australia, Canada, the US and the European Union.

Mike Ness
Mike Ness, one of the most venerable voices in rock music in the US and lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the southern California rock group Social Distortion, has signed with Downtown Music Publishing. Under the terms of the agreement, Downtown Music Publishing will now represent over sixty titles from Ness’ catalog including Social Distortion’s 1983 debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster, and the critically acclaimed releases Prison Bound and Sex Love And Rock ‘N’ Roll. Songs written by Ness have been covered by artists including Green Day, Face to Face and MXPX. In January 2011 Social Distortion will release their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, on the legendary punk rock independent Epitaph Records, which will also fall under the agreement.

Martin Kierszenbaum, Chairman of Cherrytree Records, President of A&R, Pop & Rock, Interscope Records & President of International Operations for Interscope Geffen A&M (A&R for Lady Gaga, Keane, Sting, Tokio Hotel and many others) has been A&Ring the new album for UK artist FrankMusik and has co-written a number of songs for the eagerly anticipated full-length from the British singer. The new single for the upcoming release is called “Fear Inside,” which is co-written by Kierszenbaum.

RadioTime, Inc., a developer of technology for discovering and listening to radio online, launched its new Song Search technology. This allows users to easily search and listen to radio stations that are currently playing or soon will air a particular song or artist. The technology helps listeners discover new radio stations to add to their station favorites. The technology also recommends other stations that are likely to play a similar song, artist and music genre. RadioTime users can search more than 60,000 radio stations to find where their favorite songs and artists are playing.

Platinum UK act N-Dubz will release their debut US album in 2011. The band has been working with Max Gousse, Sr. VP A&R, Island/Def Jam Music Group in Los Angeles, who signed the band for N. America. N-Dubz is managed by Jonathan Shalit, President, ROAR Global (a multi-faceted entertainment company based in London, England).

Michael Howe, A&R executive for Downtown Records in Los Angeles, will be seguing from the label to take on a new position at EMI. Howe tells A&R Worldwide that his new role at EMI will include both a label A&R role at Capitol Records in Hollywood, as well as an A&R role at EMI Music Publishing.

In a recent study, 20% of Facebook users are exposed to malware through malicious posts in their “news feeds” of friends’ activity. When the bogus links are clicked on, the result is the user’s account is hijacked and malware being automatically posted on the walls of the respective user’s friends. Over 60% of the attacks come from notifications from malicious third party applications on Facebook’s developer platform. In addition to the application attacks, another 16% of malware viewed on Facebook entices users to watch some kind of shocking video, which can be connected to viruses such as Koobface. Facebook monitors activity routinely and stays aware of security concerns as quickly as possible.

Los Angeles based alternative/pop group boxViolet (www.boxviolet.com) has signed a co-publishing/production deal with Peer Music. The deal was secured with Sam Kling, VP A&R, Peer Music and legal representation for the band was spearheaded by LA-based attorney Ben McLane.

Ticketmaster has added new social features to the service today with the goal of better connecting fans with the concerts that they attend. The features are similar to an extension of the iLike service that allows anyone logged into the Ticketmaster system to see what shows their friends are attending. The system is integrated with Facebook, so friends can see who is attending a show based on Facebook profiles and added “Like” buttons to artist and venue pages.

Evil Genius Media (EGM) announced the signing of acclaimed Australian rock act [26] for management in all territories effective immediately. EGM has immediately commenced work scheduling a first UK single and album release for the band drawn from [26]’s acclaimed Australian released album Births Deaths and Marriages. [26] was the focus of considerable industry attention when they performed at MUSEXPO Europe in London and MUSEXPO Los Angeles earlier this year. They immediately attracted enthusiastic support from Mainstage Artists agent Alex Lloyd, who will represent the band for bookings, and plugger Adrian Tredinnick of Copmedia, who will take releases to UK radio. “I saw [26] at MUSEXPO Europe this year and what they are doing with their sound immediately made sense to me for the UK and European market,” stated Mark Muggeridge, Owner, EGM. An announcement on the first single and tour dates will follow shortly.

EMI Music Publishing has signed a global administration deal with Latin urban superstar Don Omar, it was announced last week. Don Omar became one of reggaeton’s first international superstars and in 2006 became the first reggaeton star to break into the Billboard Top 200 album chart Top 10 with his album King Of Kings. Omar has sold in excess of five million albums to date worldwide. The agreement with EMI Music Publishing will see Omar’s future songwriting work represented by the company’s network of offices around the world. The deal includes rights to songs on his new album, Don Omar Presents: Meet The Orphans, which was released in the United States last week by Machete Music/Universal. In addition, EMI Music Publishing will administer Don Omar’s entire song catalog including all of his biggest hits, such as “Reggaeton Latino,” “Pobre Diabla,” "Angelito” and over 20 more classic hit songs. The catalog contains more than 125 songs in total.

BMG Rights Management announced that it has signed an administration agreement with Blue Noise Limited and Sonic Seduction Limited. Under the terms of the agreement BMG will oversee the rights to synth-pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) related to their latest album, History of Modern.

Art vs Science
Kobalt Music Australia has signed a worldwide administration deal with local act Art vs Science – the first signing by the company since they opened their doors in Australia back in September. The band has garnered strong support on Triple J radio and was one of the buzz bands at last year’s One Movement for Music MUSEXPO Asia Pacific in Perth and MUSEXPO Los Angeles this past spring. The agreement finds the publisher administering the band’s self-titled debut Gold EP as well as their Magic Fountain EP and the group’s upcoming debut album. Kobalt will also represent the band for synch licensing and creative services on a worldwide basis. Simon Moor, Managing Director, Kobalt Music Australia, stated that the deal was hotly contested and commented, “The band are very talented artists and songwriters with a tremendous potential to build upon their recent success. We’ll also be assisting in guidance and contacts with regards to their album release and career development here and overseas.”

Google Inc. plans to hire more than 2,000 people around the globe, bumping up its workforce as it expands into new markets and battles for talent with faster-growing rivals. The world's largest Internet search engine, whose finance chief told investors in September that the Internet industry was waging a "war for talent," has job openings listed for 2,076 positions on its website, according to a Reuters tally on Thursday (Nov. 18). The number of job openings is up nearly six-fold from a similar tally of job listings page conducted in March 2009. The hiring spree is taking place alongside a string of more than 20 acquisitions this year that have already helped swell Google’s ranks to more than 23,300 employees at the end of September, up nearly 18% since the beginning of the year. “We’ve been ramping up our hiring and the number of open jobs over the course of the last year,” stated Google spokesman Jordan Newman.

After the American Music Awards last week, A-List stars such as Kid Rock, Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry and Jon Bon Jovi were enjoying the first sneak peek at the brand new Rolling Stone Restaurant and Lounge at the Hollywood & Highland Center, near the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. The restaurant will only be open on select nights, featuring live music or DJs and will be able to seat up to 140 people. The restaurant will open to the public on December 8 and then have a large grand opening sometime early in 2011, after the Grammys.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has announced the signing of talented UK songwriter Fraser T Smith to a worldwide publishing deal. The new agreement will see all of Smith’s new works effective March 2011 forward being with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The deal was brokered by Rakesh Sanghvi, Managing Director, Sony/ATV UK. Smith has become one of the UK’s most in-demand and successful songwriters/producers which has seen him write songs for Taio Cruz, Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz, Ellie Goulding and others. Previously, Smith was signed with Chrysalis who were acquired by BMG Rights Management last week.

Daniel Miller’s Mute Records and publishing company are to launch a new artist management division called Mute Management. The new division will be run by former Columbia Records UK General Manager Angie Sommerside who will take on the role as Managing Director, Mute Group – Sommerside will work with Andrew King, General Manager, Mute Songs, both of whom report to Daniel Miller, CEO, Mute Group. The first artist signed to the new management division is producer Luke Smith.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Brian Nielsen, Jeff Sosnow, Ian Rogers, Steven Melrose, John Rudolph, Joel Quigley, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, Mike Smith, Brian Schall, Adam Zammit, Tony Novia, Cecilia Ancker and Vijay Nair.