Primary Wave Music Publishing made two announcements today that could position it to dominate the market for film, TV, digital and advertising rights to the most popular songs of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
The independent publishing and talent management firm unveiled a partnership with Smokey Robinson allowing to market his likeness as well as hits including “My Girl,” “Tears of a Clown” and “Crusin’.”
“Smokey’s music has resonated in people’s lives for over five decades,” Primary Wave CEO Lawrence Mestel said. “We are excited to work with him to create new opportunities that will introduce his music to a new generation of music fans.”
In conjunction with the announcement, his company forged an investing partnership with BlackRock Alternative Investors to help purchase what the publisher describes as “iconic and legendary artists and songs.”
The arrangement “gives our clients access to a unique alternative asset class along with the benefit of Primary Wave’s deep industry knowledge, relationships and expertise in music publishing,” said Blackrock Managing Director Patrick Riordan.
The companies didn’t disclose financial terms, but we hear Primary Wave is looking to buy about $300 million worth of assets, including about $22 million for the interest in Robinson’s songs. It acquired publishing and writer’s share rights, though the compositions remain in Motown’s Jobete catalog at Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Primary Wave controls copyrights to more than 15,000 songs from the catalogs of musicians including Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Def Leppard, Hall & Oates, Chicago, Maurice White, Graham Parker, Daniel Johnston, Steven Curtis Chapman, Lamont Dozier and Steve Cropper.
Its Film/TV production arm helped to develop CeeLo Green’s The Good Life and the Charlize Theron movie The Coldest City.