Irving Berlin Estate Expands Decade-Long UMPG Deal With ‘Exclusive Global Publishing Agreement’

Irving Berlin. Photo Credit: Al Aumuller

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has announced an expanded deal to “exclusively represent” the catalog of Irving Berlin worldwide.

Universal Music Group’s publishing division and the estate of Irving Berlin unveiled their newly inked agreement this morning. Prior to this bolstered pact, UMPG had since 2012 served as catalog administrator (excluding the United States) for the estate of Irving Berlin, whose more than 1,500 songwriting credits include hits such as “White Christmas” and “Anything You Can Do.”

As part of the all-encompassing tie-up – and the overarching goal of helping to “drive maximized value for Berlin’s legacy” – UMPG disclosed that it had already launched a sync website for the “God Bless America” songwriter’s body of work. According to higher-ups, the platform “strategically uses themed playlists and intuitive tagging to empower sync clients to discover the perfect Irving Berlin song for any audiovisual usage.”

A cursory examination of the website shows that one can apply all manner of filters (duration, “mood/feel,” and genre among them) to the “Always” creator’s library, which has also been categorized into playlists and by performing artist.

UMPG team members are likewise serving “as representatives for the Berlin estate’s brand and social marketing efforts,” the company said. And in keeping with these duties, the UMG subsidiary promptly rolled out an Irving Berlin profile on TikTok, which has enabled several decades-old tracks to find entirely new audiences.

(Other Irving Berlin social accounts are up and running, and on Twitter, UMPG is directing users to the aforesaid TikTok profile and working to draw attention to obscure works like “The Haunted House.”)

Touting the deal in a statement, UMPG president of North America Evan Lamberg said: “I’ve been in the music publishing business my entire working life. It doesn’t get any better than UMPG having the honor of representing the timeless cultural songs of Irving Berlin, as well as working with the wonderful Irving Berlin family and Estate.”

Earlier in 2022, Universal Music Publishing Group revealed new agreements with the Juan Gabriel estate, The Weeknd, and Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley, to name some. Meanwhile, Sony Music Publishing has scored deals with the Muddy Waters estate, Lostboy, Taiko, BTS songwriter Max, and Jonas Jeberg, among others.

Lastly, Warner Chappell, having kicked off 2022 by acquiring the “entire” David Bowie publishing catalog, followed the play with a March strategic alliance with Ultra Music Publishing as well as a September agreement with TikTok rival Kuaishou and, that same month, a renewed partnership with Chris Stapleton.