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A LEGENDARY START (UPDATE)
Posthumous release looks massive. (7/13a)
CHART STORY: POP SMOKES THE COMPETITION
A "Moon" shot. (7/10a)
PHOEBE BRIDGERS LOOKS AT LIFE FROM BOTH SIDES NOW
Is a Best New Artist nom in the cards for acclaimed writer/artist? (7/13a)
JHENÉ AIKO'S REIGN
The gradual ascent of a gifted, prolific artist. (7/13a)
TOP 50 STREAMED SONGS AT MIDYEAR
IGA is on a roll. (7/10a)
THE 2021 CONCERT RUSH
Would you like some Swiss cheese with your nachos?
ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Oh, sorry--we were just singing to ourselves.
MARY TRUMP
Family is everything.
K-POP STANS
Are they coming for Kanye? Yes.
Pub Crawling
NOT THE SAME OLD SONG: BEN VAUGHN
7/13/16

EVP, Warner/Chappell Nashville

Nashville is among the most vibrant sectors of the marketplace now, but publishers everywhere are looking at big revenue disparities as we transition from sales to streaming. What are the key opportunities and challenges?
We are fierce advocates for preserving the true value of music. As the ways in which we generate revenues on behalf of our songwriters continue to change, it’s never been more important for us to band together as an industry—putting competitive differences aside—and work to ensure a legal framework that enables songwriters to be fairly compensated for all uses of their music. 


Where are the most promising new revenue streams coming from?
We custom-tailor the types of services we provide to each and every one of our songwriters to best suit their needs. Warner/Chappell isn’t a traditional publisher in the sense that we just help collect the check. We are a very creative and proactive music company that helps songwriters achieve long-term success.

Across all services we provide—including A&R, legal, admin, digital, and sync—our teams work well together to deliver results. Sometimes the most promising revenue stream for a songwriter can be a cut with a big artist, sometimes it can be helping an artist/songwriter land a record deal, sometimes it’s the song we take a chance on with a new artist that breaks through—it really depends on the songwriter.


Vaughn, (center) Warner/Chappell boss Jon Platt and manager Jason Owen pose with Little Big Town. Later, this photo was remixed by Pharrell.

Nowhere is songwriting more essential to the DNA of a musical community than with Nashville. How do you see the craft evolving in the current climate, both musically and thematically?
Nashville songwriters are expanding their creative base widely. The songwriters are writing in all different musical styles, and it feels like we’re experiencing an influx of out-of-genre songwriters and artists. We encourage creative experimentation and, if what we’re hearing behind the scenes is any indication, this mixing of minds will result in some amazing new sounds.


Several top Nashville acts began behind the scenes as writers. What’s involved in helping them make that transition?
Having the right team behind them. It’s important how the songwriter and soon-to-be artist is positioned in the marketplace, which is where a good, modern music publisher can help. A lot of labels are hyper-focused on the development of artists, so they often look to publishers as reliable sources in the discovery of strong talent.


How pricey does the bidding get for a hot songwriter right now? Have you closed a writer when bigger checks were offered elsewhere? If so, how?
The publishing relationship is a partnership. While we don’t shy away from rewarding talent, we are looking for people who want to press into the long-game and build value together. Crazy initial money can lead to short deals and options that can’t be picked up. Songwriters playing musical chairs all over the market rarely works out for them. The smart songwriters understand they need to be with publishers that can move the needle for them in the market over the long haul.