The publishing rights to music by the late, great Prince have a new home.
Full story below…
Moments ago, it was announced that the Purple one’s colossal catalogue will now be looked after by Universal Music Publishing Group.
The news comes after fierce competition for the coveted rights to material by the singer; unsurprising given the 100 million + records over the course of his career.
Per the press release, UMPG (under the leadership of Jody Gerson) will service and administer the star’s catalog and “work closely with Prince’s estate to develop new creative outlets for his music.”
They will strive to maximise the commercial potential of his output.
Speaking on the deal, Universal head Lucian Grainge said:
“We are looking forward to continuing Prince’s legacy and ensuring that generations to come will know his unique brilliance. I congratulate Jody and her team on this landmark deal. Since joining UMPG as Chairman and CEO in 2015, Jody has done a remarkable job at developing and signing some of the most important songwriters and recording artists in contemporary music highlighted by the addition of Prince’s incredible catalog of work.” [Source]
It’s important to highlight that the new deal pertains specifically to publishing – with a view to explore opportunities in the realms of film, TV, and many other mediums. Think Michael Jackson‘s posthumous “career” (‘Circus Soleil’ et al).
On the record label front, Prince’s longtime home Warner have already lined up a 40-song greatest hits; they’re also readying a deluxe ‘Purple Rain’ re-issue with new material. Both are due next year.
According to Billboard, the label’s lengthy relationship with the icon (which, despite its troubles, ran right up until his death) bodes well for their involvement with his output moving forward. So much so that one source claims the rights to provide “label services” for Prince’s classic material as well as his vault of unheard tracks is “Warner’s to lose.”
Needless to say, things are about to get really interesting.