Former TV boss Michael Grade invests in British music rights business

Former TV boss Michael Grade invests in British music rights business
FILE PHOTO - Michael Grade, former chairman of the BBC and executive chairman of ITV, arrives to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press at the High Court in London January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
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LONDON (Reuters) – Michael Grade, the British media executive who chaired the BBC and ITV, has invested in One Media IP Group, a music rights holder that he said was set to benefit from the growth in streaming services.

Grade has teamed up with Ivan Dunleavy, former chief executive of Pinewood Studios, which Grade has also chaired, to take a stake in OMIP, spending 375,000 pounds in total for two holdings of 8.715 percent each.

He said that the popularity of services like Spotify was helping revitalise an industry that was facing a bleak future only a few years ago.

“Streaming is now seen as real growth engine for people who own intellectual property in the music sector whether they be composers, writers or music publishers,” he told Reuters by phone on Monday.

“This is a really exciting space to be in, and there are very few companies that enable you to have a pure play in music publishing, because all the big music publishers are owned by massive international conglomerates.”

OMIP’s catalogue comprises 250,000 nostalgic music tracks from the last 50 years, including artists such as Ricky Valance, Anita Harris, The Tremeloes, the Troggs and Marv Johnson.

Grade said the tracks, some of which are rarely played on radio, could find a new lease of life on streaming services thanks to play lists and algorithms that curate music for users.

He said that he and Dunleavy, who both become non-executive directors, would use their industry contracts to gain more rights.

Shares in the company rose 29 percent on Monday, valuing the group at about 3.9 million pounds.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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