“The days are over for publishers that just want to sit back and collect royalties.”
—-Owen Sloane

MUSIC PUBLISHERS DIG IN

Declining Record Sales Make Their Job That Much Harder
Flat is the new up for music publishers.

That was the comment of Bug/Windswept Music CEO John Rudolph at yesterday’s Musexpo confab of music publishers in L.A., as quoted by Digital Music News.

Long thought of as immune to the downturn of record sales, music publishers have seen their mechanical revenues, a major source of their revenue, dropping, along with synchronization and performance royalties.

Peermusic’s Kate Sparnberger cautioned that performance revenues could also be on the decline as negotiations with TV and radio groups continue.

Still, there was optimism about other aspects of the business. BMG Rights Management, the partnership between Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bertelsmann, continues to acquire properties, according to Chief Creative Officer Deidre O’Hara.

Publishers are becoming more aggressive in developing artists and long-term catalogs in lieu of label marketing support, according to Primary Wave Music Publishing’s Justin Shukat.

Owen Sloane, head of the Entertainment & Media Group at Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane, agreed that artists are "looking to publishers as a partner," a far more active relationship. “The days are over for publishers that just want to sit back and collect royalties,” he said.

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