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NMPA ANNUAL MEETING HONORS TAYLOR SWIFT

The National Music Publishers Association held its annual meeting 6/9, marking the second year the event has gone virtual.

Taylor Swift was honored with the Songwriter Icon Award. 

“I’m really, really honored to be receiving this award because it honors the part of my job that is so magical and mystifying to me still,” she said during her acceptance speech, which was preceded by a medley of Swift’s biggest hits performed by up-and-comer Priscilla Block. “I think any songwriter will tell you that when you get an idea, you’re not quite sure where it floated down from, but if you can grab onto that idea and turn it into something, that’s where craftsmanship comes in; that’s where you have the opportunity to nurture that craft.”

Swift thanked collaborators Max Martin, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, UMPG Nashville Chairman/CEO Troy Tomlinson, NMPA board member and songwriter Liz Rose and board member Jody Gerson, UMPG Chairman/CEO, the latter “for being such a champion of female songwriters throughout the industry.”

During NMPA President/CEO David Israelite’s annual State of the Industry address, he trumpeted $4b in publishing revenue from 2020, a 9.6% increase from 2019. Performance income made up 51.5% of revenue, while sync and mechanical earnings amounted to 23.4% and 20.2%, respectively.

Israelite also announced action taken against Amazon-owned Twitch for its failure to license music and a new lawsuit against Roblox that accuses the gaming company of infringement and seeks $200m in damages. The suit was filed on behalf of publisher plaintiffs ABKCO Music & Records, Big Machine Records, Concord Music Group with Pulse Music Group, deadmau5, Downtown Music Publishing, Hipgnosis, Kobalt Music Group, MPL Music Publishing, peermusic, Reservoir Media Management, Spirit Music Group and UMPG.

Gerson, Jon Platt and Carianne Marshall, among others, were named to the NMPA board of directors.

NMPA EVP & General Counsel Danielle Aguirre moderated a roundtable with music journalists, addressing a recent boom in catalog sales, NFTs and how the industry has weathered the pandemic.

Bill Simmons, founder of The Ringer network, who delivered the keynote, spoke about his forthcoming music docuseries with HBO, Gerson and Marc Cimino, which will chronicle iconic industry moments.

Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was honored with the NMPA President’s Award, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern was recognized with the NMPA Industry Legacy Award—Luke Bryan performed “Most People Are Good” in her honor—and peermusic Executive Chair Ralph Peer II received a tribute for serving 50 years on the NMPA board from board Chairman Irwin Robinson, composer/producer David Foster, singer/songwriter/producer Poo Bear and peermusic CEO Mary Megan Peer.

Wrapping the virtual meeting was Sara Bareilles, who performed Swift's “Clean” and said, “Ms. Taylor Swift has proven herself over and over again to be an extraordinary storyteller, an innovator, a leader, an advocate and an activist, and this woman shows no signs of stopping."

 

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