Universal Music Publishing Group is partnering with Midem in an exclusive operation to get in touch with new worldwide talent in June 2019. Via 1to1 talks with artists, songwriters and producers, Universal specialists will give advice on how to optimise chances of securing a publishing deal, grow awareness locally and internationally, and generate revenues in today’s fast-moving and diversified music ecosystem. Interested? Submit your artist profile before April 1st

Want to find out more about Universal Music Publishing? Discover the vision of one of the world’s leading publishing companies, with Bertil David, Managing Director, Universal Music Publishing France.

> What would you say is the one thing that defines the role of music publisher today? How has this role evolved in recent years? Do publishers increasingly act like labels, for example?

Bertil DavidThe publishing business is versatile. We discover, develop and then support artists as long as we possibly can. We are in the relationship business, whether it is when they write for themselves, for others, or with others. We are a hub. We help them decide the best way to release their music, what partners to choose. We can also be a solution for artists who don’t have a label yet. But the idea is never to be a substitute to labels. As soon as the artist finds the right label, we go back to our original position. And regarding the great proximity between the teams, our artists are often signed on a Universal Music France label (and vice versa !).

The promotion of our catalogue is also a quite important part of our job and our team: we synchronize songs to ads, TV shows or movies, do covers, lyrics-oriented projects, etc…

But all of this would be pointless without our administrative responsibilities, we register the artists’ work, we track the rights and make sure everybody gets paid in the rightful way.

At Universal Music Publishing, we are more and more active in the creation of repertoire in all musical genres. We went from the organization of one writing camp every two years, to almost once a week! We have launched a production music department, which is active in advertising, cinema, and documentary films. The department is also working on voice-over, that used to be restricted to a very small circle of professionals, which we are opening to our artists for example, quite unusual.

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> What is unique about the way Universal Music Publishing works, compared with other publishers?

We have many distinctive features compared to the other publishers, that is why we don’t look like any other. The permanent creation of original music, the strength of our music for image department, our activity of production music with UPPM and Kapagama, the diversity of our catalogue from Classic to Pop, and the fact we deal the synchronization rights for the master side as well, all those points make our uniqueness.

Also, our artistic team is the biggest on the market, which allows us to develop at best our artists’ careers, supporting them in the creation of their repertoire, organizing writing camps with them, or for them. It is a genuine expertise, that has developed Universal Music Publishing in the past few years.

We also distinguish ourselves by the strength of our links with all our affiliates (Latin America, US, UK, Africa, Germany…), a process that has be institutionalized, as we have a person in charge of international coordination in-house that is super pro-active.

> What are the best ways for an artist to secure a publishing deal?

The best way to secure a publishing deal for an artist is to be hardworking, develop his network and collaborate with other artists.

> Do you have a local-to-global artist success story you’d like to share?

We have had several major successes outside of France. Maître Gims has reached the Shazam Top 20, and Apple Top in several countries, his last album is granted with a triple platinum certification.

Ibeyi’s band went on a major international tour in 2017, with 25 shows including Coachella, and a lot of international press. Both Pitchfork and Billboard put their album in their 2017 Top.

Outside of France, the producer Kungs did over 60 shows and his track “This Girl” has over 1 billion streams. It reached number one in Top iTunes in 45 countries. His has a Diamond certification for his album outside of France. Kungs was also strongly supported by many American and UK radio stations (KCRW, KROQ, KITS, BBC…).

We also work on exporting songs such as Réseaux from Niska which was released again in the UK with Stefflon Don, or Damso’s Mwaka Moon for instance.

International success can also be due to a pertinent synchronization. Our last ones were Claire Laffut’s Mojo which you can hear in the last Apple Watch international web campaign, or Todiefor and Shoeba’s Signals in Uber’s last web campaign.

> What criteria do you look for in an artist?

An artist has to be unique. The most important criteria for us would be singularity.

> What kind of artists do you hope to meet at Midem? Why did you decide to look for new talents at Midem in particular?

We are a global publisher, and we are looking for unique artists. We want to be at the birth of major global hits, which doesn’t necessarily mean we are reaching for a global success straight forward. For instance, we are trying more and more to develop Continental Europe as one territory.

We are also looking for our French talents to work with artists, interpreters from different countries. For example, our artist Black M put his voice on the German artist Namika’s – signed at Universal Music Publishing Group Germany –major hit “Je ne parle pas français” in April.

We are very happy to make this happening at Midem, as it is an international hub for artists and the music industry in general. Their communication will allow us to reach artists from all over the world.

It is a very interesting collaboration and we can’t wait for it to happen!


Submit your artist profile before April 1st  here. The Universal team will review all submissions and select a handful of Midem delegates to take part in an exclusive meeting next June in Cannes.

Find out more about how Midem 2019 supports artists here!


About Author

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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