A new rights management company called Interstellar Music Services has launched, and has made two high-profile appointments from Kobalt Music Publishing and BMG Rights Management.
Former Kobalt Music Publishing SVP David Wille will join Interstellar as Global Head of Sync and Brand Partnerships, while Sarah Bargiela, former BMG Senior Manager for Income Tracking, will serve as Head of Copyright and Royalties.
Launched by artist manager Andy Robinson and “cross asset speculator” Sean Stockdale, UK-based Interstellar describes itself as a music rights management company “established for artists, songwriters and creators”.
The company claims that it focuses on “maximising the value and income potential of music rights by taking a forensic, hands on and bespoke approach to metadata analysis, distribution, publishing administration, neighbouring rights and music licensing”.
The company was founded by Robinson and Stockdale, who first met during the COVID-19 pandemic and conceived the company during lockdown together in Barcelona.
With over 15 years of music industry experience, Robinson covers music marketing and strategy, music publishing, rights management, and artist and label services. He started his career as an artist manager with Interstellar Music Services, establishing units Interstellar Music and Interstellar Publishing.
“Through my time in the industry, particularly as an artist manager, I have seen first hand how complicated it is for artists and their teams to ensure that their music is correctly registered and that they are benefitting from the value of their creations through the right licensing opportunities. It should not be so burdensome,” said Robinson.
“Changing industry dynamics now mean that artists – rightly – have more choice and autonomy over how they can release and manage their music. We want to support this by providing a professional music rights management service that enables them to maximize the value of their creations.”
“Changing industry dynamics now mean that artists – rightly – have more choice and autonomy over how they can release and manage their music. We want to support this by providing a professional music rights management service that enables them to maximize the value of their creations without the need to relinquish any ownership of their work.”
Meanwhile, Stockdale is an asset manager with 13 years’ experience in global financial markets,. Stockdale will also apply his expertise in ‘sabermetrics’ to Interstellar Music.
“Coming from outside the industry has given me a unique perspective on the challenges that exist in how music is valued and compensated. Not only are artists all individuals, so are the songs that they create; every copyright has different requirements and should be treated as such,” Stockdale said.
“As an asset manager, it is my role to optimize the opportunities for the music we have the honour of representing, rather than simply telling artists to make more, try harder or change their process.”
Stockdale added: “The opportunities for music are vast and I believe it is time to work more proactively and to think creatively about how to place music on behalf of clients. The creators do their bit, then it is up to us to find the opportunities for their music, whatever their individual sound may be. That is the mission for Interstellar.”
Former Kobalt executive David Wille has over 30 years of experience in the music industry working across major and indie record labels, music publishers, advertising agencies, global brands and tech start-ups.
At Kobalt, Wille spent five years building an award-winning sync team. Prior to that, he held senior roles at Warner Music, Atlantic and London Records, and founded and built the sync and brand agency One Tree Music.
Commenting on his appointment, Wille said: “Andy and Sean have a clear vision of what they want to achieve with Interstellar and the focus on mission and culture is what ultimately motivated me to join. In today’s ecosystem, artists, songwriters and rightsholders are working hard to service a new set of demands and expectations, but there are also many opportunities that are overlooked; music is not bound by borders, and neither will we be.”
“I am driven by the opportunities that are out there to support songwriters and artists and I want to use the knowledge and networks that I have built over many years to ultimately support the value of their creations,” added Wille.
Interstellar Music also hired Sarah Bargiela from BMG Rights Management, where she was Senior Income Tracking Manager for five years, focusing on sub-publishing. In that role, Bargiela managed a global portfolio of rights, tracking, identifying and addressing revenue opportunities and inconsistencies through data manipulation.
The appointment came about two months after Bargiela announced on LinkedIn that she was leaving her role at BMG after five years.
Before joining BMG, she held various senior international roles at PRS for Music, where she worked for 10 years.
“the attraction of Interstellar, which is taking a success focused and forensic approach to metadata analysis and licensing, is the boutique element whereby the team is motivated to explore every opportunity and every overlooked data source and income stream that artists can access.”
“For me the attraction of Interstellar, which is taking a success focused and forensic approach to metadata analysis and licensing, is the boutique element whereby the team is motivated to explore every opportunity and every overlooked data source and income stream that artists can access,” says Bargiela.
“The strategy of combining technology and human resources to leverage tech and augment experienced individuals rather than replace them, ensures that all bases are covered and no opportunities are overlooked. I am looking forward to working with a team that understands the value of metadata and the need to remain agile in a fast-evolving industry. Our aim is to build something special at Interstellar,” Bargiela continued.
Music Business Worldwide