Music News (9/22/21)


MLC To Host “El MLC En Español” For Hispanic Heritage Month, Unveils New Spanish Resources

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month in September with “El MLC en Español”–a new initiative designed to engage current and prospective Spanish-speaking members of The MLC and kick off the availability of Spanish-language resources.

Developed by Dae Bogan, The MLC’s Head of Third-Party Partnerships, “El MLC en Español” is the result of a collaboration with Take Creative Control [Latin], Protege Tu Música TV, LLC (Protect Your Music TV, LLC), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and others.

Taking place the week of Sept. 27, the event will feature the launch of comprehensive Spanish informational materials and assets about The MLC, as well as a pair of webinars.

Among the new informational assets is a Spanish-language landing page on The MLC website and a Spanish-language video that broadly introduces viewers to the concept of digital audio mechanical royalties and the existence of The MLC. Additionally, The MLC will make available a new Spanish-language toolkit developed for organizations that represent Latin music creators.

The first webinar, presented by The MLC and SONA, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 12 p.m. CT. The session will be hosted by Stephanie Santiago-Rolón, Director of Take Creative Control [Latin], who will lead a conversation with Colombian-American singer-songwriter-producer-engineer Dahlia Lagos and Costa Rica-born singer-songwriter Dani Blau. To register, click here.

The second webinar will take place on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 12 p.m. CT. Host Yira Santiago, CEO & Entertainment Attorney of Protege Tu Música TV LLC, will lead a discussion on the U.S. digital music royalties ecosystem for Spanish-language songs and how creators can collect those royalties, with panelists Katerine Albert (Human Resource Generalist at The MLC), Henry Alonzo (Board Member at The Gospel Music Association), Alexandria Davila (CEO at Adarga Entertainment Group) and Mauricio Maestre (Entertainment Lawyer at M&M Lawyers, Colombia). To register for the Understanding and Collecting U.S. Digital Mechanical Royalties webinar, click here.

NMPA & Twitch Reach Agreement

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and Twitch announced Tuesday (Sept. 21) that the organizations have reached an agreement that aims “to work together to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers,” according to the release.

The purpose of the deal is to change the way the economics of new gaming models work to increase visibility and revenue for songwriters. This agreement comes after months of conflict between the organizations regarding the payment of songwriters.

Twitch will provide new opportunities to music publishers who will be offered an opt-in deal allowing for future collaborations to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure. Additionally, Twitch has created a new process that participating music rights holders can opt into to report certain uses of their music, to address when creators inadvertently or incidentally use music in their streams.

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite says, “Both NMPA and Twitch are creator-focused and our respective communities will greatly benefit from this agreement, which respects the rights of songwriters and paves the way for future relationships between our publisher members, songwriters and the service. Through our discussions, Twitch has shown a commitment to valuing musicians and to creating new ways to connect them with fans in this burgeoning and exciting space.”

Twitch Head of Music Tracy Chan adds, “We are pleased to reach this agreement with the NMPA and excited about our shared commitment to empowering songwriters and other creators to share their work and passions while connecting with audiences. That’s what Twitch is all about, and we know that great music starts with a great song. We look forward to innovative collaborations that further unlock the incredible potential of our service and our community for music publishers and their songwriter partners.”

Recording Academy Promotes Ruby Marchand & Joanna Chu In Awards Department

The Recording Academy has appointed Ruby Marchand to Chief Awards & Industry Officer and Joanna Chu has been elevated to Vice President of Awards, effective immediately. The redefined roles and restructuring of the Awards Department is another step in the Academy’s efforts to better serve its membership and the music industry at-large.

In April and May 2021, new rules and updates were made to the Recording Academy’s awards process in order to better reflect the changing music community. In June the Recording Academy restructured its leadership, appointing Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as Co-Presidents. Weeks later the organization invited 2,710 music creators and professionals of “wide-ranging backgrounds, genres and disciplines” to be members.

In her new role, Marchand will continue to oversee both Awards and Membership & Industry Relations, reporting to the Academy’s Co-President, Valeisha Butterfield Jones. She will work closely with Genre Managers on the Awards team to effect outreach to musical communities around the world, bringing innovative new possibilities into the Awards process.

Prior to joining the Academy’s executive team, Marchand held several elected leadership roles at the Academy. She was elected Governor and Vice President of the New York Chapter in 2004, where she chaired Grammy In The Schools for more than 12 years. In 2011, she was elected a National Trustee from the New York Chapter and served for two terms. She was elected Vice Chair of the Academy by the National Board of Trustees in 2015 and served until 2019. Additionally, she was Co-Chair of the Awards & Nominations Committee for seven years and helped drive new eligibility rules as well as the process of refreshing Fields and Categories for the Grammy Awards. Marchand previously held leadership roles at Warner Music Group, including vice president of international A&R for 25 years, head of A&R for Cordless Recordings and Rykodisc, and senior vice president of revenue and repertoire assurance.

In the newly created role of Vice President of Awards, Chu will further her expertise in Awards systems and operations by leading the team through all aspects of the Awards season. Chu will report to Marchand and join her in reinforcing key Academy initiatives throughout the Awards process, with a special emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Chu previously held Director and Managing Director roles in the Academy’s Awards Department, where she was responsible for overseeing the departmental staff and upholding the integrity of the awards process. Prior to joining the Academy, Chu worked in Silicon Valley as one of the few female software engineers in the aerospace industry for 15 years.

Marc Beeson Signs With SMACKSongs

Pictured (L-R): Sam Sarno, Marc Beeson, Robin Palmer. Photo: Molly Bouchon

SMACKSongs has signed songwriter Marc Beeson to a worldwide publishing deal.

Beeson was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois and moved to Nashville from Los Angeles in 1990. He signed record deals with Warner Brothers, BNA, and Curb Records, and charted multiple singles as an artist throughout the ’90s.

As a songwriter Beeson has had publishing deals with EMI, Sony, Crossfire 3, Warner Chappell, and most recently Downtown Music Publishing. Some of his cuts include Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight,” Blake Shelton’s “She’s Got A Way With Words,” and Restless Heart’s “When She Cries,” which won both the ASCAP Country Song of the Year in 1993 and Pop Song of the Year awards in 1994.

Beeson’s songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, and more.

“Marc brings something really special to our roster with his dedication to the craft of songwriting and always reaching for the very best,” offers SMACKSongs Chief Creative Officer, Robin Palmer. “Our team is really excited to welcome him and continue this journey with him.”

“Robin has always been one of the best song people I’ve ever known. She and the whole SMACK crew have made me feel so welcome and I’m grateful to be part of their team,” says Beeson.