Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis named Ted Cockle president and Amy Thomson as chief catalogue officer of the company.
Cockle was most recently president of Virgin EMI in the U.K., which under his tenure managed the recorded music for artists including Queen, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, George Michael, Justin Bieber, Emeli Sande, The Killers, Lorde and Lewis Capaldi. Previously, Cockle served for 10 years at Sony Music before joining Universal to as co-president Island Records.
Thomson is a veteran manager of artists including Swedish House Mafia, DJ Snake, Seal and others. She managed Swedish House Mafia to the peak of their success, which included a sold-out headlining concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden and a farewell tour in 2013 (they have since reunited), and DJ Snake during the time of his global 2019 smash “Taki Taki.” She also worked with Kanye West on the marketing of his “Yeezus” album. She closed her management business in December to focus on catalogue management and designed an online system to help artists find, track and trace their catalogs; that product will launch, including Hipgnosis’ catalog, in 2021.
Hipgnosis Songs recently released its annual report, which showed its revenues soaring in its first full year of business, climbing to $81 million in the 12 month period ended in March 2020 from around $8.9 million in the preceding period. The firm, which has been on an unprecedented acquisition binge of hit songwriter and producer catalogs — been buying up catalogs by hitmakers ranging from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker — began trading on the London Stock Exchange in July of 2018. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.
Mercuriadis said, “It’s a testament to the iconic song catalog that we have assembled over the last two-plus years, and our songwriters, that we have been able to attract executives with the extraordinary talent, pedigree and success of Ted and Amy. I’ve been very vocal about disrupting the world of traditional publishing with “Song Management.” In Song Management we actively manage our songs with great responsibility to higher levels of success. I don’t believe there’s a traditional publisher that has brought together this level of expertise to manage its songs.”
Cockle said, “Each year of my career, I’ve witnessed how the excellence and magic of individual songs proves to be the catalyst for streaming success, album sales, artist careers, filled venues and growing market shares. Alongside Merck, Amy and the Hipgnosis team I’m very much looking forward to help re-establish and to help grow the value of these classic songs.”
Thomson said, “I genuinely love managing songs. They’re like stories to me, chapters in the life of the songwriter and the impact they have in creating new stories for the listener. Over the last three years I became obsessed with diving into the care of catalog as we see songs become pensions. The care and attention of nurturing it for its entire life. Songs are legacies and managing them as if each one was its own artist has become a passion and now I have a chance to work on some of the greatest catalogs on earth.”