Music Business

Music Publishing News Roundup 6.26.15: Downtown Publishing • Sturgill Simpson • “Uptown Funk”

Sturgill-simposonThe CEO of Downtown Publishing joins the NMPA board, Sturgill Simpson signs a new deal, and how "Uptown Funk" royalties were divided among eleven songwriters top this week's music publishing news.


CEO of Downtown Music Publishing Justin Kalifowitz  has been elected as a new member of the Board of Directors of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). David Israelite, President of the NMPA, announced along with his new board members the commencement of the new S.O.N.G.S. Foundation (Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters) this fall. S.O.N.G.S. main goal is to back beginner songwriters with grants to help propel their work and help the continuation of music education. 

Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson has just signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Downtown Music Publishing. This new agreement is inclusive to Sturgill’s Billboard Country Top 10 album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (High Top Mountain/Thirty Tigers) amongst all of his previous studio albums. Downtown’s SVP Creative Services Jedd Katrancha is thrilled to have Sturgill on the roster and “be a part of the cross-genre level of excitement.”

How do you split $2 MIllion between 11 people? Ask all the “Uptown Funk” songwriters. Originally having 6 songwriters on the record breaking Hot 100 hit, the roster jumped to 11 writers after the makers of “Oops Up Side Your Head” by The Gap Band were added due to a claim by their publisher. Excluding TV and film synch revenue, “Uptown Funk” made about $2 million in its historic run. The initial 6 songwriters, including Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and Trinidad James, receive between 5 and 20% of the cut, leaving the 5 songwriters from The Gap Band to split 12% amongst themselves according to individual agreements.

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