Songwriters competing on the new NBC show “Songland,” which premieres tonight, will see their music released through BMG. The company announced a global recordings and publishing partnership with the show. BMG will serve as worldwide distributor for Songland Records and its publishing arm will administer the show’s publishing company, called Eligible Music.
Original music is created and recorded throughout the series, with one songwriter winning each episode of “Songland.” The victor sees his or her song recorded and released by a major recording artist that same episode. BMG has committed to releasing the winner’s composition along with two runners-up following each show.
The show had come under some fire for having an onerous contract which stipulated that potential participants waive all rights to their song(s) before appearing on the show. The contract was amended following a report in The Wrap which noted that the “Songland” casting website had assured that songwriter contestants “will keep intact all trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property notices.”
Artists lined up to participate this season include John Legend, Jonas Brothers, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore, Aloe Blacc, Old Dominion and Leona Lewis. The panel of judges include hitmakers Ryan Tedder, frontman for OneRepublic and a writer on hits by Beyonce and Adele, among many others; Ester Dean, who’s written for Rihanna, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj; and Shane McAnally, an award-winning songwriter and producer for Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson and Sam Hunt.
Said Dave Stewart, co-creator and executive producer of “Songland”: “I’ve worked with BMG for a number of years in many capacities and have seen how passionate they are not only about creating success for their writers but their persistence in changing an industry by creating transparency for their writers and artists.”
Audrey Morrissey, co-creator and executive producer of “Songland,” and an Emmy winner for her work on “The Voice,” described the show’s mission as being “of fairness and transparency for the creative community.”
Added Thomas Scherer, BMG Los Angeles-based EVP of marketing and repertoire: “’Songland’ pays respect to the art and allows the viewer an unprecedented look at the process, inspiration, vulnerability, and craft of songwriting. We are proud to be part of the team, amplifying and sharing their works with an undoubtedly eager audience of listeners each week.”
Songland is executive produced by Morrissey (“The Voice”), Stewart, Ivan Dudynsky, Chad Hines and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. Josh Gummersall serves as producer along with One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. The concept was conceived by Stewart, Morrissey and Dudynsky and the show is produced by Live Animals in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, Dave Stewart Entertainment and 222 Productions.