UMPG ups David Kokakis to chief counsel

David Kokakis

Universal Music Publishing Group has promoted David Kokakis to the new role of chief counsel.

The move comes after Kokakis played a key role in forging UMPG licensing deals with the likes of Facebook and YouTube, as well as assisting on a number of key songwriter deals. Previously EVP/head of UMPG’s business and legal affairs team, he will continue to lead that division and oversee the company’s digital rights management.

According to UMPG, Kokakis’ new role will see him work closely with labels at parent company Universal Music Group to “maximise synergies between, and digital revenues for, publishing and recorded music assets”. He will continue to be based at Universal’s Santa Monica HQ and report into Marc Cimino, UMPG COO, and Jeff Harleston, general counsel and EVP of business & legal affairs for UMG.

“In this elevated role, David will be strategically positioned to help Universal continue to stay ahead in providing UMG’s songwriters and artists with best-in-class service in maximising royalty streams in the modern day music industry," said Cimino.

“David’s deep expertise across the legal, international and digital business will be a tremendous asset as we develop collaborative strategies between publishing and recorded music," said Harleston. “By coordinating these efforts, we hope to unlock new commercial opportunities for recording artists, songwriters and catalogues."

“There is significant growth potential as global consumption of music-centric content continues its steady transition to digital platforms, and opportunities can be maximised through greater collaboration between UMG and UMPG,” said Kokakis. “I am grateful to Marc, Jeff and UMPG’s chairman and CEO Jody Gerson for entrusting me to develop joint initiatives that will add value for our songwriters and artists.”

This year, UMPG has done deals with the likes of Carly Simon, Chris Young, Greylan James, Fenne Lily, Josh Hoge and Asa Taccone.

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