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🥊 Music publishing vs. recorded music: Who’s growing faster?

🥊 Music publishing vs. recorded music: Who’s growing faster?


Also: Kobalt in talks to sell; Ben Katovsky joins Hipgnosis; Deezer loses 300,000 subs in H1


Music Business Worldwide: Newsletter



The US music publishing industry generated $4.7bn in 2021 – but the record industry grew twice as fast

There are financial statistics in the music business that, on the surface of things, don’t tell us too much. They might be big and impressive, but they give little away about trends affecting the wider business.

Here is one of those numbers: According to the National Music Publishers’ Association, the US music publishing industry generated USD $4.70 billion in the calendar year of 2021.

That figure, revealed by NMPA boss David Israelite at the trade org’s annual meeting in New York in June, was up by just under $700 million versus the equivalent number from 2020 ($4.08bn).

It was also more than double the size of the annual revenues of music publishers in the States as recently as 2014 ($2.15bn), according to previously announced NMPA data.

Music publishing’s growth in the US in 2021, however, was nothing compared to how the recorded music industry ballooned in the same year… (MBW)


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Kobalt Music Group in talks to sell majority stake to Francisco Partners, say MBW sources

Last year was a big year for Kobalt Music Group. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021, while selling AWAL to Sony Music – a deal which left Kobalt clear to focus on its core music publishing business, plus digital collection society AMRA.

2022, though, might be an even bigger year in the story of the company.

Senior MBW sources tell us that US-headquartered Francisco Partners is currently in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Kobalt Music Group, with the possibility of a deal being signed over the next week or two… (MBW)

Ben Katovsky joins Hipgnosis Song Management as President and COO

Three Six Zero acquires stake in management company Forward Motion Artists

Global artist management company Three Six Zero has entered into a partnership with Forward Motion Artists, a management company run by Jazz Spinder.

According to a press release announcing the partnership, Forward Motion, which has bases in Los Angeles, London, and Ibiza, now joins Three Six Zero’s “expanding global management and entertainment partnership business”.

MBW has confirmed that Three Six Zero has acquired a stake in Forward Motion Artists as part of the deal… (MBW)





“I am very confident that we are now perfectly positioned to accelerate our growth, and deliver substantial value for all our stakeholders.”


Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira (pictured) comments on the music streaming company’s H1 2022 results. Deezer lost 300,000 subscribers in the first half of the year (YoY) as it failed to keep and attract users outside its home market of France. The music streaming platform, which recently received lukewarm response in its initial public offering on the Euronext, recorded a 2.9% drop in its total subscribers as of the end of June to 9.4m from 9.7m in the year-ago period. The drop came as the 10.7% increase in its subscriber base in France offset the 18.1% drop in its subscriber count in the rest of the world. Despite seeing a drop in its subscriber base outside France, Deezer’s overall first-half sales jumped 9.9% YoY (constant currency) to €219 million in H1 2022... (MBW)



Don’t miss: How best to spend the fruits of the music streaming boom?

In the following exclusive MBW op/ed, Thomas Coesfeld (pictured) Chief Financial Officer of BMG, argues that the correct response to booming global music industry revenues should be improved service to artists and songwriters – rather than a money-no-object pursuit of market share.

June 13, 2022 was a big day for finance teams across the music industry. It was the day Goldman Sachs released its revised forecasts for the music industry with new numbers suggesting the recorded music market will double by the end of the decade.

At BMG, as no doubt elsewhere, internal forecasts were rapidly being upgraded. Those with long memories who saw the vinyl LP eclipsed by compact discs selling for twice the price could be forgiven for thinking history was repeating itself. Happy days!

However, despite the rosy picture painted by Goldman’s forecasts, there are grounds for a little humility. Nothing in those forecasts suggests the predicted growth will be in any sense thanks to the collective efforts of music companies themselves.

They are not based on record companies suddenly getting better at their jobs and signing more or bigger hits; they are a by-product of a fundamental shift in the way consumers choose to consume music, driven by the investment and innovation of DSPs.

It is reasonable therefore to discuss what the correct response is to this stroke of good fortune (MBW)

Don’t miss: Capitol drops ‘robot rapper’ FN Meka, as project is accused of being an ‘insult to the Black community’

‘Virtual artist’ FN Meka has been dropped by Capitol Records less than two weeks after the label announced his signing.

The move follows a backlash revolving around stereotyping and appropriation and a strongly worded statement from the activist group Industry Blackout.

Capitol Records confirmed yesterday (August 23): “CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately. We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project without asking enough questions about equity and the creative process behind it.

“We thank those who have reached out to us with constructive feedback in the past couple of days – your input was invaluable as we came to the decision to end our association with the project…” (MBW)







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