Lorde signs publishing deal worth up to $US4m

17-year-old signs with company that specialises in catching royalties from new online channels like Spotify and Pandora. PLUS: Lorde named "Most Influential Teen of 2013" by Time magazine.

Kiwi pop star Lorde has signed a deal with a music publisher worth up to $US4 million, the Wall Street Journal reports in a story splashed across its home page.

The paper says it is rare for a new artist to get a $US1 million advance on royalties.

But 17-year-old singer-songwriter has bagged up to four times that amount after a months-long bidding war.

Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor) was courted by all of the established global publishing giants, the Journal reports.

But in the end she signed with the little-known Songs Music Publishing Inc, a boutique outfit with just 30 staff that specialises in collecting royalties not just from traditional channels like radio airplay, but streaming and internet radio services like Spotifiy and Pandora. 

Lorde's manager, Tim Youngson, told the Journal the decision wasn't made because Songs Music Publishing offered the highest bid, but because of its skills mopping up royalties from hidden nooks and crannies on the net. The company had also introduced Lorde to potential new song writing partners.

Mr Youngson wouldn't comment on on the size of the deal, but said some bids had reached $US4 million.

Matt Pincus, founder and CEO of Songs said his final bid was "competitive," in the millions of dollars. 

Terms of the deal, including its duration, are confidential.

Lorde's songwriting partner, 30-year-old New Zealand producer Joel Little, who receives a half-share of the song writing couple's royalties, earlier signed with Sony Music's publishing arm, the Journal says.

Beyond radio, digital and performance royalties covered by her new publishing deal, Lorde pundits expected the 17-year-old to be a millionaire by Christmas by sales of her hit "Royals", which topped charts around the world including six weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

The Wall Street Journal front page story was just half of a big media day for the Auckland singer-songwriter in the US.

Lorde was also named at number one on Time magazine's list of the Most Influential Teens of 2013.

Kiwi golf sensation Lydia Ko was number two on Time's list.


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