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Music News (1/20/21)

[ 0 ] January 20, 2021 | |

Curb | Word Music Publishing Extends Publishing Deal with Billy Montana

Pictured (L-R, top row): Curb | Word’s Colt Murski; BMI’s Mason Hunter; Curb | Word’s Christy Robinson; (L-R, middle row): Billy Montana; Curb | Word’s Ciara Shortridge; BMI’s Jeff Syracuse; (L-R, bottom row): Curb | Word’s Mike Curb; BMI’s David Preston

Curb | Word Music Publishing has extended its worldwide co-publishing deal with Billy Montana. The singer-songwriter was originally signed to the publishing company in 2000, and the extension continues his relationship with the Curb | Word Music Publishing team, which includes Colt Murski, Ciara Shortridge, and Christy Robinson, into its 21st year.

“Billy Montana has been a very important part of our creative team at Curb for this entire century. He has had major No. 1’s with Garth Brooks, Jo Dee Messina, Tim McGraw, Sara Evans, and Lee Brice. He currently has a major single with Lee Brice, and we are proud to have him as part of our team,” says Curb | Word Music Publishing Chairman, Mike Curb.

Following the recent extension, Montana and Mike Curb were honored with BMI Million-Air certificates, presented by BMI’s David Preston, for Sara Evans’ No. 1 single, “Suds In The Bucket,” (4 million airplays) and Lee Brice’s No. 1 single, “Hard To Love,” (2 million airplays) over a Zoom gathering last week. Based on an average length of three minutes, six million collective plays are the equivalent of 300,000 hours or 34.2 years of continuous airplay.

“I’m really thankful to continue to be a part of the Curb | Word and BMI families. For many, and I DO mean many, years, I’ve always been provided with great creative opportunities and environments, and the support from everyone has never wavered. I’m looking forward to making the best music I can, and having fun doing it!” says Montana.

Little Big Town Extends Global Publishing Deal With Warner Chappell Music Nashville

Little Big Town

Little Big Town has extended its global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Nashville.

Members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook have topped the charts numerous times with singles like “Pontoon,” “Girl Crush,” and “Better Man,” and scored Top 10 hits like “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Little White Church,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking.” Their ninth studio album, Nightfall, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and delivered last year’s Grammy-nominated “The Daughters,” and their current single, “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” has racked up 75.3 million streams since its debut and is currently enjoying 3.3 million streams weekly.

Aside from writing much of their own material, Little Big Town also has credits on hits from Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, and others. The group is nominated for Best Country Album (Nightfall) and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Sugar Coat”) at the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Throughout their nearly 25-year career, Little Big Town has been nominated over 60 times across the Grammys, CMAs, and ACMs, taking home over 20 awards, including ten ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year wins. In 2016, the group was honored with the ACM’s Crystal Milestone Award to mark their outstanding achievements in the music industry, and in 2018, the CMA awarded Little Big Town with the International Artist Achievement Award for their contribution to promoting country music outside of the United States.

Little Big Town is managed by Sandbox Entertainment and represented by Jess Rosen at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Lydia Vaughan Signs With Cornman Music, Warner Chappell Nashville

Pictured (L-R, top row): Ben Vaughn (WCM), Jessi Vaughn (WCM), Brett James (CM); (L-R, bottom row): Abigail Wate (CM), Nate Lowery (CM), Lydia Vaughan, Molly Shehan (Milom Law)

Lydia Vaughan has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Cornman Music and Warner Chappell Nashville.

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Vaughan spent six years touring in an alternative rock band before moving to Nashville in 2015 to pursue her songwriting. She has already landed sync placements on MTV’s Teen Mom, CW’s Batwoman, and Netflix’s Dash & Lily.

“We are beyond thrilled to officially welcome Lydia into the Cornman family,” said Cornman Music’s Brett James. “Her talent is beyond description and she is as amazing a person as she is a songwriter.”

“Words cannot describe how excited we are that Lydia is joining the Cornman family,” adds Cornman Music’s Nate Lowery. “Her talent, work ethic and passion for music and songwriting is truly inspiring.”

Music Industry Responds to DOJ Consent Decree Review Ending Without Action

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Anti-Trust Division head Makan Delrahim addressed the DOJ’s review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees today (Jan. 15), stating that the DOJ has ended its ASCAP and BMI consent decree review without taking action.

Many organizations in the music industry have issued responses to the news.

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) agrees with Delrahim that compulsory licenses “are not the answer,” but cautions against his suggestion that the DOJ consider reviewing ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees every five years.

NSAI’s Bart Herbison tells MusicRow, “With a five year review, it’s very hard to know the certainty of business. The only way that we would say that it was a good idea would be if there is a five year review with a stated goal that we’re going to eliminate these decrees.”

NSAI joins Delrahim in praising ASCAP and BMI for launching their new SONGVIEW database.

In an open letter from ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews and BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, the performance rights organization heads expressed their disappointment that no action was taken, but encouragement to see “how the DOJ’s approach to these issues has evolved.”

The full open letter is below:

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would conduct a review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees to determine if they still served their intended purpose.

Today, the DOJ has formally closed its review and will take no action to modify or terminate the decrees but left open the possibility of changes in the future.

While we were disappointed that no action was taken, we are encouraged to see how the DOJ’s approach to these issues has evolved. In his closing remarks, AAG Makan Delrahim recognized several important truths that we have long understood: Songwriters are the backbone of the music marketplace and must be paid fairly; blanket licensing is incredibly efficient; ASCAP and BMI are innovating to serve the needs of the industry; greater competition and not compulsory licensing is the answer; and the value of music is best decided in a free market.

While BMI and ASCAP have long advocated for updating and modernizing our consent decrees, it has become clear over the course of two different reviews by two different DOJ administrations in the past eight years that modifying or terminating our decrees would be extremely challenging.

This latest review was part of a broader effort by the DOJ to examine many of the nation’s oldest consent decrees and to terminate those that no longer served their intended purposes. When faced with that possibility, ASCAP and BMI joined together and put forth a proposal to the DOJ and the industry that would help facilitate a thoughtful transition to a free market while avoiding potential chaos in the marketplace.

We knew that reaching consensus would not be easy. It soon became clear that key industry participants could not agree on how best to move forward. Unfortunately, we also found that some were using this review to advocate for even greater restrictions in our decrees, either for their own benefit or in an effort to regulate the marketplace as a whole through BMI and ASCAP.

We were concerned that the lack of consensus in the market could lead to a legislative push resulting in unwarranted government regulation of our industry in the form of compulsory licensing. In addition, our victory in confirming the industry-wide practice of fractional licensing would have been revisited. These factors would absolutely not be in the best interest of our songwriters, composers and publishers, and indeed, would represent a major step backward. Although it would have been wonderful to see our decrees modernized, we would rather they remain as they are, than see an outcome that could adversely affect music creators for generations to come.

The formal close of this review means we can put this matter behind us for the near future and continue to champion the rights of our songwriters, composers and publishers, protect the value of their creative work, and partner with our licensees to help ensure music is delivered to the public.

It’s important to remember that BMI and ASCAP have operated with consent decrees for over 80 years, and that has not prevented us from innovating along with our changing marketplace. We recently joined together to launch the Songview data platform in order to respond to a growing industry need to provide greater transparency around copyright ownership shares. We appreciate the DOJ’s support of this initiative. In addition, we have each independently experimented with new forms of licenses, and we successfully advocated for provisions in the Music Modernization Act that will drive fairer negotiations and allow the introduction of more marketplace-pricing evidence in rate court proceedings. Whether we operate under consent decrees or not, that spirit of innovation and focus on continual improvement will never change.

Again, although we were disappointed no changes were made, we would like to thank Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, for his attention and efforts throughout this review as he evaluated the best way to move our industry towards a free market. We would also like to thank the many ASCAP and BMI songwriters and composers who shared their views with the DOJ.

While we are both looking forward to the day when ASCAP and BMI are no longer under consent decrees, we were buoyed by the DOJ’s comments that it will pay to revisit these decrees as a result of new market developments. When the appropriate time comes, BMI or ASCAP may wish to seek a future review.

For now, we’ll turn our attention to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2021 and, of course, all of the incredible new music the year will bring.

– ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews
– BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill

Category: Music News

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