NBC’s ‘Songland’ Strikes a Publishing and Recording Partnership with BMG

Music conglomerate BMG has just bagged a major partnership with NBC.

The deal will give BMG the reigns to publish and distribute music created on the network’s ‘Songland‘ show.

‘Songland,’ which premiered on NBC on May 28th, features songwriters competing against each other.  Each week, the winning contestant wins a publishing and recording contract from BMG.

BMG will also have the right to release compositions from second- and third-place finalists.  Non-winners may also have access to the BMG partnership.

BMG will publish the compositions through its Eligible Music subsidiary, while its Songland Records subsidiary will distribute the music across the world.  In other words: this is a pretty serious JV, with BMG flexing its growing muscles across the publishing and recording realms.

The show had earlier been criticized within the music industry, because of a contract that would have required contestants to relinquish all rights to the songs that they performed on the show.

That’s a classically-raw deal, but commonplace in many contestant-focused music shows.  But it looks like it didn’t fly for BMG.  Eventually, the show’s producers amended the contract to allow songwriters to retain all rights to their compositions.

A number of major music artists are scheduled to perform during show’s first season.  The list includes:

  • John Legend
  • The Jonas Brothers
  • will.i.am

The show’s judges are also in the heavyweight category:

  • Ryan Tedder
  • Ester Dean
  • Shane McAnally

Dave Stewart, who is an executive producer of ‘Songland’ and one of its creators, noted that the show is dedicated to providing music artists with transparency in how it operates.

In addition to Stewart, Audrey Morrissey, Ivan Dudynsky, Chad Hines and Adam Levine are also serving as executive producers of the show, which will be produced by One Republic’s Ryan Tedder and Josh Gummersall.

Thomas Scherer, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Repertoire at BMG, is also an integral figure in this deal.