Things are looking up for songwriters. In 2022, the Copyright Royalty Board, the governmental agency which sets royalty rates for songwriters as it relates to DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music, increased streaming payouts for the 2023 to 2027 term by nearly 5 percent — from 10.5% to 15.1% with another increase (to 15.35%) on deck. And next month, the Grammy Awards will present its first ever Songwriter of the Year honor on the Feb. 5 show. But getting to this point has been a long haul and Carianne Marshall, co-chair and COO of Warner Chappell Music Publishing, is here for it.
In April 2018, Marshall became one of the top executives in the highly specialized world of music publishing, arriving from reputable indie, SONGS Music Publishing, where she was a partner. SONGS was itself a powerhouse — over the course of just 12 years, the company signed Lorde, the Weeknd, Diplo and DJ Mustard, among others, to publishing deals before being sold to Kobalt in 2017 for $150 million.
In that role, Marshall oversaw the creative-licensing staff responsible for placing compositions by the company’s writers in film, television, commercials, video games, and other forms of visual media; it was an extension of previous film and TV-related roles she held at Universal and DreamWorks Music Publishing.
A year into her position at Warner -Chappell, Marshall added co-chair to her title, sharing the top job with former Sony/ATV president of worldwide creative Guy Moot, whose songwriter signings have included Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey, Mark Ronson and Sia, among others. The two are now four years into their respective roles, and seeing their work yield positive returns — in its third quarter of 2022, Warner Chappell reported overall revenue rose 35% year-over-year, with digital dollars growing by 32% and sync by 21%.
On the latest episode of Variety‘s “Strictly Business,” Marshall talks about the challenges songwriters have faced in recent years, and the triumphs the community has seen. Listen below, or wherever you get your podcasts.