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PUB CRAWLING: WHERE THE MONEY IS (AND ISN'T)

A nice cup of tea and a plate of bickies to Mike McCormack, who was selected by UMPG topper Jody Gerson to run the U.K. office after the ankling of longtime Blighty head Paul Connolly. McCormack signed and worked with writer/artists including Adele, Alabama Shakes, Lily Allen, Danger Mouse, The Darkness, The Killers, MGMT and Sigur Ros. Read more about him here. Like his countrymen and women, McCormack is rather nervously await a vote on #BREXIT, which with any luck will never be more than a hashtag.

ZAYN. Photo by NABIL. YOU'RE WELCOME.Kobalt has inked ZAYN, the first 1D alumnus to break out as a solo star, to a worldwide deal with both its pubco and its Neighboring Rights division. His RCA full-length, MIND OF MINE, and track “PILLOWTALK,” you may have noticed, made considerable noise. Said manager/First Access Ent. CEO Sarah Stennett, “Kobalt is a great business partner for ZAYN. He made a decision based upon his desire to retain ownership of the copyrights in the songs he has written. He feels that Kobalt is best placed to administer those copyrights globally.” They intend to work together to produce more titles with all capital letters. (This nice photo of ZAYN is by NABIL. YOU'RE WELCOME.)

In a recent edition of Entertainment Weekly, hit songwriters J.R. Rotem (Sony/ATV), Julia Michaels (Warner/Chappell) and Savan Kotecha (also Sony/ATV) answer questions about “the secret to a hit song.” But when asked if it’s possible to make a living in the age of streaming, Kotecha noted, “Radio money is good.” Elaborated Rotem, “That’s where the money is. Everything else is gone. It used to be that [if] you [heard] a dope song, you’d spend $20 to hear it. Now you just go to YouTube.” And remember, these are the writers of smashes by Rihanna, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber and Jason Derulo, which means their work is streaming as much as anybody’s. So when you hear that streaming is the new radio, remember that most streaming is still done on YouTube’s free tier, despite growth in subscriptions (Apple Music hit 15m last week, so, you know, huzzah), and that this is a particularly shitty situation for writers. How do you solve a problem like YouTube? Does Alphabet, which owns Google, which owns YouTube, really care? They certainly can’t plead poverty when distributing income from their ad-supported tier.

At the National Music Publishers Association confab last week, keynoter Irving Azoff called upon the industry to “work together” to improve artist compensation, noting in particular the YouTube problem, the DMCA’s safe harbor provision (which shelters YouTube and other sites from infringement charges) and the consent decree governing the PROs. He referred to the latter as “deplorable.”

Also at the NMPA, Sony/ATV ruler Marty Bandier presented Sting with the Songwriter Icon Award, and shared a photo of himself with the artist 20 years earlier—in the same suit. Times are tough, he said.

Warner/Chappell overlord Jon Platt has joined the board of ASCAP. Just thought you should know.

UMPG writer Nick Jonas had the #1 debut—and topped the HITS Album Sales Chart with his new Safehouse/Island full-length—last week, an achievement Gerson House is celebrating with 5,000 mandatory ab crunches per person. In addition to ruling charts here and elsewhere, Jonas—who co-wrote most of the songs on the album—has scored 150m Spotify streams.

Also this comes on the heels of the star receiving the Hal David Starlight Award at the 47th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner. During that fete he gave a shout-out to the UMPG execs who signed him, notably David Gray; the pubco’s Evan Lamberg is SHOF co-chair. Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, Marvin Gaye and Chip Taylor were inducted into the Hall. Famed exec Seymour Stein received the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award. Jonas is seen here with Lamberg and SHOF’s Linda Moran. Nick’s abs were second only to Elvis Costello’s.

Markell Casey is joining Pulse Music Group as Senior Director, Creative; he previously served at Virgin Records U.K., where he signed and worked with CHVRCHES and MNEK and served mussels to Ted Cockle. In his new gig, Casey will teach Josh Abraham and Jason Bernard how to butter a scone.

eOne has inked a worldwide admin deal with ole, which will include oversight of many thousands of songs and hours of film, TV and commercials. This is being touted in a press release as a “landmark” deal, which sounds a tad grandiose given the circumstances, but what do I know?

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