Sony Music Publishing Inks Deal with Alberts to Administer AC/DC and Vanda, Young, & Wright Catalogs

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The Central Business District of Sydney, Australia, where Alberts is headquartered. Photo Credit: MDRX

Sony Music Publishing is officially set to administer the entire catalog of AC/DC, as part of a broader partnership with Australian music company Alberts.

Sony Music Publishing – which inked a global publishing deal with Relative Music Group late last month – unveiled its agreement with Alberts via a general release this morning. For reference, the Albert family sold J. Albert & Son, the publishing and recording division of their company (which was founded by Jacques Albert as a repair shop for clocks and watches way back in 1885), to BMG in 2016.

However, they retained rights to the (formerly BMG-administered) catalogs of AC/DC and songwriting/production team Harry Vanda, George Young, and Stevie Wright (of The Easybeats). Now, the “worldwide” Sony Music Publishing-Alberts deal will bring AC/DC’s “publishing and recording rights together under the Sony banner for the first time.”

The continued popularity of the 48-year-old AC/DC goes without saying, as the act still boasts 22.66 million or so monthly Spotify streams – a similar play total as those of high-profile (newer) artists such as Lana Del Rey (19.17 million monthly Spotify plays) and NBA YoungBoy (20.12 million monthly Spotify plays). Plus, the group’s best-known hits have garnered hundreds of millions of Spotify plays, with 820.75 million streams for “Back in Black” and 790.44 million streams for “Highway to Hell.”

Vanda and Young, for their part, have the sole songwriting and production credits on works like John Paul Young’s 1977 hits “Standing in the Rain” and “Love Is in the Air” – besides songwriting credits on the majority of the tracks from The Easybeats’ last three albums, with Wright and Young having co-authored the majority of the initial three records (including songs like “Sorry” and “Come and See Her”).

Addressing the deal – the financial terms of which weren’t publicly disclosed – in a statement, Alberts CEO David Albert said: “We are looking forward to working with Sony Music Publishing and continuing to create opportunities to showcase these great catalogues.

“We have built over a number of years a very close working relationship with Rob Stringer and the team at Columbia and were impressed with Damian Trotter and Jon Platt’s vision for the catalogues and the alignment with our approach to business,” finished David, who is one of several Albert family members currently holding an executive position at Alberts.

The overarching Sony Music Entertainment is facing a possible class-action lawsuit from former employees at its Australian division, and though major music publishers including Universal Music Publishing Group are pursuing legal action against Roblox, SME and the online platform announced a “strategic partnership” last week. Finally, Sony Music Publishing about one month ago hired former Warner Music A&R director Francisco Granados as VP of creative for U.S. Latin.