Warner grows roster of songwriters


Warner/Chappell increase their share of the UK music scene. Image by vLADISLAV1989

The world-famous publisher signs another big name to its impressive list of songwriters, as they dominate the UK music scene

Since Mike Smith became managing director of Warner/Chappell he has made a string of signings that has led to a growth in global revenue. The signings of Liam Gallagher, Katy B and Andy Partridge has been added to by the announcement that Siobhan Fahey is joining the Warner collective.

Fahey will be better known as a singer in Shakespeares Sister and Bananarama. Included in the deal is all of Fahey’s back catalogue, future compositions and work with other artists. The signing ties in Bananarama’s reunion tour later this year.

Smith told Music Week that hip-hop and grime played a major part in revenue growth in the UK; the company publish Stormzy and Skepta, while they’ve also had success with Rag ‘N’ Bone Man. Warner also has deals with classic artists like Gorillaz, Elbow, Gold Frapp and London Grammar.

When asked if growing Warner’s catalogue was part of his strategy, Smith said: “Yeah, it has to be if we’re going to grow the business. It’s about acquiring songwriters and it’s about acquiring catalogues.”

Adding: [At Columbia] we had an amazing roster of [heritage] artists: Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Barbra Streisand or Neil Diamond. My approach was always to try and work them as frontline artists and by doing that we had incredible success and an amazing run of platinum records.”

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