The Norths and Zarets had a world-wide recapture of rights in Unchained Melody around the end of 2011. "I went to my own family and the family of the lyricist and said: 'You know what, I think I can do this better than it's being done now, because I know a little bit about administration and would like to learn about global music publishing,'" she tells me. Having a personal relationship and connection to the song, Abby believed that she would pay more attention to it than if it was with some publisher that has hundreds of thousands of works. This was the start of Unchained Melody Publishing LLC.
Immediately affiliating with several collection management organizations around the world and exploring the world of publishing, other families who controlled their copyrights began asking Abby if she could do the same for them, which led her to found North Music Group
. "We publish, administer; we still are in production music and control a lot of film and TV works that are our own, but [we] also [do administration] on behalf of other libraries," the founder elucidates. "We have a lot of legacy songs and we do a lot of work with sound recordings now as well, help[ing] the copyright owners with digital distribution of their sound recordings, licens[ing] the mechanicals for them, pay[ing] those mechanicals."
Because Abby had no software tools to register works back when she was working on the music library, North Music Group began building its own to help with managing royalties. "Developing software gave me a very deep understanding of the metadata, which is [what] gets us paid," Abby conveys. "We can create really awesome music, but if we don't manage the metadata accurately and comprehensively, we won't get paid." Therefore, the founder made it her mission to make sure that composers, songwriters, and music publishers have the tools they need to be able to register their works, keep track of the metadata, understand it, and be able to make money, which is not so easy now.