Alisa Coleman is the Chief Operating Officer of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc., overseeing the day-to-day operations as well as the business development and global licensing of the music publishing, record, and film catalogs for one of the foremost independent entertainment companies in the world. ABKCO’s catalog includes compositions, recordings, and films by Sam Cooke, The Rolling Stones, Bobby Womack, Eric Burdon, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, Marianne Faithfull, Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, and The Kinks; the Cameo Parkway master recordings; and the works of cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Coleman first joined ABKCO in 1985, as an assistant in the licensing and royalty departments, and has gone on to work in every division of the company. In 2016 she was named the company’s first COO. During her tenure at ABKCO, she has greatly expanded the exposure of the company’s legendary catalog, increasing its reputation and value, and is known for her innovative deal structures that focus on the long-term value of intellectual property and licensing partnerships.
A key element in Coleman’s strategy is to find inventive ways to introduce ABKCO’s catalog to new generations. She says, “With many of our assets more than 50 years old, our challenge is how to keep these songs and films vital and exciting. I’m constantly looking for ways to reimagine them, with deals that connect all the dots – audio, video, and composition – to maximize revenue, interest, and exposure for this amazing catalog.”
ABKCO had been historically reticent with synch, digital, and derivative work licensing; in the first five years Coleman ran the licensing department, she was able to quadruple their synch licensing by building bridges back into the music supervision community and expanding into the new media and technology arenas. She likes to make deals that go beyond licensing to include promotional components, working with the licensing partner to find the best path to success for the song, the partner, and for ABKCO.
For example, in 2014, Lyric Culture wanted to license Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ song lyrics for use on different merchandise. Coleman went with Lyric Culture to the Home Shopping Network (HSN) to create a special program that included ABKCO’s other Rolling Stones audio and video assets. The November broadcast was one of the most successful in HSN’s history, selling out all the products halfway through the 90-minute show. Every sale also included a download card, furthering the cross-promotion of ABKCO’s Rolling Stones catalog. Coleman says, “In working with composition assets, music publishers need to look past traditional licensing and drive opportunities to increase exposure and revenue for songs by cross branding and promotional opportunities.”