Amy Thomson departs Hipgnosis to launch rights management platform

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By | Published on Friday 23 September 2022

Hipgnosis Songs Fund

Chief Catalogue Officer at the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Amy Thomson, has announced that she is stepping down from her full-time role at the company, so that she can focus on launching a new platform to help other rights owners manage their catalogues.

Thomson’s key role at Hipgnosis was to oversee the development of such a platform to help the company better manage the many catalogues it has acquired in recent years.

Speaking to Billboard, she says that it took her and her team two years to get that done, but now the platform is in place at Hipgnosis she wants to focus on helping other artists, songwriters and music companies to more easily manage their rights.

With song catalogues in particular, it can be hard for songwriters and publishers to constantly and accurately administer and monitor their rights and royalties. The fact that song copyrights are routinely co-owned, that collecting societies rather than publishers control elements of the rights, and that both publishers and societies have traditionally relied on other entities to monetise their catalogues in foreign markets, makes things complicated.

Add in all the issues around hidden and missing music rights data, and the many disputes over copyright ownership, many of which occur without the knowledge of the songwriters, plus the general lack of transparency around how collecting societies process monies, and the continued existence of the black box even with revenue streams that come with super accurate usage data, and manually administrating anything but the biggest songs can become more expensive than the monies said song is going to generate.

Thomson tells Billboard that the service she is now launching will allows artists, writers and their managers to easily understand “what they own and how to care for it”.

She adds: “After the work at Hipgnosis, which had customised elements especially designed for their needs, we are tailoring the platform for artists and managers. There is already a waiting list, but the first clients I have are not only iconic but will push me to really think about every element and to maintain one key part – that it is equally clear to the artist as it is to the lawyers and business managers. This has to be a tool everyone uses”.

In a lengthy statement to Music Business Worldwide confirming Thomson’s departure from her full time role at the company, Hipgnosis boss Merck Mercuriadis says: “Amy was already one of the most successful people in our industry well before she came to Hipgnosis and the confidence that came with that has been a massive asset for us as we took what was the traditional publishing business and reinvented it as song management”.

Confirming that Thomson will continue to consult for his company, Mercuriadis adds: “I’m delighted that she will continue to be part of the Hipgnosis family through the new consulting arrangement we’ve put in place. Over the last years no matter where I am in the world I know I’m either going to wake up or go to bed with a flurry of emails from Amy and long may that continue”.


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