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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: KOS WEAVER
7/13/16

EVP, BMG Nashville

Challenges and opportunities: Doors are being opened for music exposure that were not there before, especially for developing writer/artists. I am a big believer in growing the team after the “initial buzz,” and that typically means finding a great label partner.

In my mind, the most important immediate challenge is the continued erosion of music value. Progress has been made, but I worry that the publisher and songwriter concerns are not being treated as fairly as other players at the table.

 There has been debate about how the extreme trough in mechanical royalties has affected songwriters that were perhaps more well known for “album-cut type songs” than “hit singles.” Some would say that when album cuts had more financial impact, the songwriter community in general felt more creative freedom to “just write songs that they love” instead of trying to craft a hit single.

 At BMG, we don’t see it—or hear it—that way. When we listen to new songs by an amazing writer like Hillary Lindsey, it hits us in the musical heart. Fortunately for us, that also lands us great cuts. It’s about inspiration for us. Sure, we have conversations with writers about what it takes to be competitive, but we work with each writer individually in a way that works for them to help them achieve what they are after, creatively and financially.  


Weaver with members of Alabama, Jason Aldean and Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group backstage at the Ryman during the ACMs. Later, Donald Trump came through and tried to play the pedal steel, but ended up telling it that it was fired. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

Transitioning writers to writer/artists: We see every one of our writers as artists on some level, One of the great things about the publisher perspective is you have relationships and a window into other vital cogs of the music industry to help, [such as recommending] an exceptional booking agent. We think the most important thing to help them understand is the commitment it takes to pursue the artist path.



On Bidding Wars: It depends if a catalog is being sold in conjunction with a go-forward pub agreement or if it’s a straight advance situation. Typically, more money will be involved on a catalog sell. I’ve seen times when valuations have been stronger, but it has certainly been a brisk market for the top tier in the last several years.

It’s all about the relationship you have or develop with the writer. At BMG we call it “getting your hands dirty music publishing.” You have to dig in with that writer and ensure that it’s the best fit for you both. We are fortunate to have a company full of people on both the creative and administrative side of publishing that are passionate about “getting it right” for a songwriter.