Hipgnosis Links With SACEM and Peermusic for ‘Cost-Effective’ Royalty Collection

The partnerships mark the next steps in a years-long plan by Hipgnosis to reduce administration costs for its vast catalog.

Merck Mercuriadis and his dog Louis photographed on February 8, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Spencer Lowell

As part of its annual report released Thursday (July 14), Hipgnosis Songs Fund revealed it will be entering partnerships with SACEM, the French collection society, and peermusic, one of the largest independent music publishers and neighboring rights administration companies, to ensure the administration of its catalog “is carried out as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.”

After the financial year end, Hipgnosis will team up with SACEM to collect digital royalties, primarily in the U.K. and E.U., for the writer’s share of income for 30 of its catalogs. SACEM will pay out these monies directly to Hipgnosis to “eliminate one link in the royalty collection process” and “reduce third party administration and collection fees and the length of time it takes to collect digital revenues,” including those from on-demand streaming and digital radio.

The rightsholder will also link with peermusic for the sub-publishing of “specific” catalogs in areas like Latin America and Asia, where its publishing arm, Hipgnosis Songs Group (HSG), and SACEM are not already collecting. (Hipgnosis has not yet responded to Billboard’s request for information on which catalogs this deal will include and how many.) According to the annual report, “this deal allows [Hipgnosis] to help maximize local Synch markets through [peermusic’s] worldwide offices.”

The two new announcements mark the next steps in a years-long plan by the rightsholder to reduce administration costs for its vast catalog — which has grown over the last year to include Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fleetwood Mac‘s Christine McVie and, most recently, Justin Timberlake. This began with the acquisition of independent publisher Big Deal Music in September 2020, which the company rebranded to Hipgnosis Songs Group, marking their foray into music publishing and in-house administration in the U.S.

Since then, HSG has signed current hitmakers like Normani and begun administering the U.S. income for 32 of the fund’s catalogs, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, McVie, Neil Young, Benny Blanco, Brian Higgins, Itaal Shur, Johnta Austin, Sam Hollander and Tom DeLonge. The company says it anticipates that more of its catalog will move to HSG’s in-house administration in the coming months.

As part of its acquisition of Big Deal Music, Hipgnosis also inherited its joint ventures, including Ricky Reed‘s Nice Life publishing arm, Julian Bunetta and John Ryan‘s The Big Family, Diplo‘s Mad Decent Publishing and more. The rebranded HSG continues to be a third-party administration partner, working with hits like “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo (released under Nice Life’s record label) and “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals, among others.

As of March 31, 2022, 29 of Hipgnosis’ catalogs remain under publishing administration deals with Kobalt Music.

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