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SPINNIN’ RECORDS LAUNCHES IN ASIA

Spinnin’ Records is building upon its global presence with the launch of Spinnin’ Records Asia. The leader in the dance and electronic music space will look to sign and work with artists of Asian heritage from every part of the world, bringing their music to a global audience.

“We’re very excited about the launch of Spinnin’ Records Asia,” says Spinnin’s CEO, Roger de Graaf. “This is a region that’s already delivered groundbreaking artists and is currently reshaping the dance and pop music environment with a burst of exciting new acts. We’re proud and eager to start working with them, as they’ll surely help take the Spinnin’ brand to the next level.”

Spinnin’ Records Asia’s first release will be the single “Feel The Light,” scheduled for release on November 29th. The track comes from U.S.–based DJ duo BEAUZ, who have Indonesian and Taiwanese heritage.

Spinnin’ Records Asia will operate together with Warner Music Group (WMG), working closely with the company’s local affiliates to both sign artists and promote them on a worldwide scale. Subsequently, well–known artists from Spinnin’ and WMG’s rosters will also work with the label on collaborations with some of Asia’s upcoming stars.

Simon Robson, President, Warner Music Asia, says, “There’s a dance music revolution taking place in Asia. We’re seeing a new generation of DJs and producers coming through who are inspiring fans and building scenes that rivals those in Europe and America. The launch of Spinnin’ Records Asia will help ensure that we’re the first choice for these artists as they seek to build their careers at home and around the world.”


WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT CELEBRATES 10–YEAR MILESTONE IN BURBANK AS PART OF CALIFORNIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEK

After nine years of bringing together thought–leaders from across the global broadcast landscape, Worldwide Radio Summit (WWRS) is gearing up to celebrate a decade of innovation and inspiration at its 2020 edition, set to take place from March 25th – 27th.

WWRS will return to the hills of Burbank, CA at Castaway as part of California Entertainment Week 2020 from March 22nd – 27th, which joins together the Global Synch & Brands Summit, A&R Summit and the globally–respected MUSEXPO music and media conference and showcase event, taking place from March 22nd – 25th.

All Access President & Publisher Joel Denver comments, “Once again this year, we’ve gathered the best of the best from radio, music, social/digital from all over the globe for Worldwide Radio Summit 2020. Look for more fresh, cutting–edge sessions with great information about content, metrics, personalities, tactical and strategic planning and the latest innovations in audio, technology and facts about your audience that you must have to continue to win.”

To check out the agenda for WWRS 2020 click HERE. For more information regarding WWRS 2020 including Early Bird discount registration, discount hotel bookings and more, visit www.worldwideradiosummit.com.


A&R WORLDWIDE JOINS INDIA’S SAREGAMA FOR AN EXCLUSIVE NETWORKING EVENT IN LOS ANGELES


Last week, Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide, alongside Vikram Mehra, CEO and MD of Saregama, one of India’s leading and most influential music and publishing companies, hosted a special networking dinner event at Spice Affair in Beverly Hills. The event brought together a diverse group of executives from record labels, publishing companies, music supervision, legal, management and more for an evening of authentic Indian cuisine, music and networking!

Below is a pictorial overview of the spicy dinner affair!

INDULGING IN A GREAT CONVERSATION (l–r) were Sat Bisla (President & Founder, A&R Worldwide / MUSEXPO), legendary Indian lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar (Chairman, IPRS) and Vikram Mehra (CEO & MD, Saregama India Ltd.). IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC: Discussing the burgeoning Indian music market and beyond were (l–r) Greg Hammer (Managing Director, Red Bull Records), Saregama India Ltd.’s U.S. executive Jai Prateek and Kenny “Tick” Salcido (Sr. VP A&R, Red Bull Records).
HAVING A DIVERSE CHAT regarding all aspects of the global music industry were (l–r) Eddie Caldwell (CEO & Founder, Music of The Sea, Inc.), Georgette Bivins (Music Supervisor & Head of Business Affairs, Panay Films / Blk–Ops), A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla, Yvette Metoyer (Music Supervisor, SuperMusicVision), Luke McGrellis (VP A&R, Universal Music Publishing Group) and Jay Greenwood (Head of Global A&R, Audio Network).
GETTING A FLAVOR OF INDIA and learning about its burgeoning A&R landscape were (l–r) Ronnie Benarie (Founder, RB Management), Jared Lane (Associate Director, Creative Services, Downtown Music Publishing) and Roahn “First Born” Hylton (Songwriter/producer [Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Ne–Yo, Trey Songz]). SHARING INSPIRATIONAL CONVERSATION ON A&R were (l–r) Aton Ben–Horin (Global Vice President, A&R, Warner Music Group), RB Management’s Ronnie Benarie and UMPG’s Luke McGrellis.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Discussing the spectrum of music within film from Hollywood to Bollywood were (l–r) William Bogard (President, CDA Management Company, LLC) actor Drew Van Acker (Pretty Little Liars, Training Day, Devious Maids, Spy Intervention) and film producer Sunil Perkash. CHATTING ABOUT INTERACTIVE GAMING & E–SPORTS were (l–r) Brandon Young (Sr. Director of Music Affairs, Activision) and Christopher Payton (Director of Sales, Live Nation).
DISCUSSING ARTIST MANAGEMENT & THE LIVE BUSINESS with guests at Spice Affair was Greg Thompson, President, Maverick Management (pictured second from the right). ENJOYING THE CONVERSATION & VIBES AT SPICE AFFAIR were (l–r) Music of The Sea’s Eddie Caldwell, James Cheney (Vice President of Creative and A&R, Reservoir), producer/writer Tristan Weisgal and songwriter/artist Lou Ella.
HAVING A ROBUST CHAT REGARDING PRODUCING, MIXING AND A&R are (l–r) A&R Worldwide’s Sat Bisla, legendary producer and engineer Jack Joseph Puig (U2, Stone Temple Pilots, No Doubt, Panic! At The Disco, Green Day), producer, mixer and engineer Ryan Benyo, producer/writer Roahn “First Born” Hylton and A&R Worldwide’s William Aman.
TWO’S COMPANY, THREE’S A CROWD: Having a spicy conversation on artist management were (l–r) Andy Gould (manager Rob Zombie) and former Linkin Park manager Rob McDermott. SPEAKING ABOUT THE BURGEONING GLOBAL MUSIC INDUSTRY were (l–r) attorney Ben McLane and Mike Daly (Executive Director, A&R/Music Publishing, Disney Music Group).


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Reeperbahn Festival, the leading European conference and showcase event taking place annually in Hamburg, Germany, has partnered with global music and media confab, MUSEXPO, to see the Burbank, California–based conference becoming the Los Angeles portion of its Reeperbahn Festival International initiative. In addition to supporting European music and media professionals to join the MUSEXPO Creative Summit 2020 delegation, the partnership will see those attending under the initiative benefitting from a number of key opportunities to interact with local and global industry leaders through matchmaking sessions and site visits in the “Media Capital of the World.” Additionally, Reeperbahn will host its own special networking and showcase event to cap off the MUSEXPO Creative Summit programming. For more information on the partnership, and to apply for the delegation, click HERE.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has rolled out a new app under the banner of Universal Music Artists (UMA) allowing its artists and their teams a centralized platform to access analytics from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and YouTube, as well as social media outlets including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Deezer analytics are set to be included in 2020. UMA’s artist dashboard will offer insights such as total audience and total streams as well as highlights and detailed stats on specific songs and videos. Additionally, the platform’s music tab will break down the performance of artists’ top 40 songs, viewable by platform, globally and by country, as well as show YouTube view counts. Additionally, metrics include listener and stream counts over time across each platform; audience demographic overviews; insights on engagement for streams; and an overview of their top streaming platforms. The UMA platform will refresh every 30 minutes and allows for sending of push notifications when tracks are added to a top global playlist in real–time. On the social front, UMA will keep tabs on followers, comments, retweets, likes and shares, while highlighting which platforms are performing best around the various interactions.

In other UMG news, as China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. continues its moves to acquire a minority stake of the major from parent company Vivendi, it has entered conversations to engage potential co–investors for the purchase. Among the potential investors already approached by Tencent are Hillhouse Capital and GIC Pte. As reported by Bloomberg, sources close to the conversations say that Tencent intends to lead the transaction with a 10% stake while raising $1.1 billion in debt for funding of the deal with the remainder likely funded in equity and is looking to finalize the deal in the coming months. Vivendi revealed in August that it had commenced early discussions with Tencent, basing negotiations on a valuation of $33 billion, with Tencent also offered a one–year “call” option to purchase an additional 10% under the same terms.

Apple Music is targeting the background music arena with the launch of its new Apple Music for Business, a partnership with PlayNetwork. The platform will deliver fully–licensed and customizable soundtrack alternatives to retail spaces, restaurants and other commercial outlets. The move sees Apple Music competing with fellow DSPs such as Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify–backed Soundtrack Your Business, all of which have rolled out their own background music offerings. According to Apple Music for Business, the service claims to be breaking “new ground” in the space, with music experts on–hand to help “develop the music identity of your brand,” as well as features allowing for flexible levels of control on what music is played at the corporate and store level. Additionally, the platform includes an integrated marketing platform working to support brands connection with customers websites and social media as well as other channels.

eBay’s StubHub has been acquired by Viagogo in a deal reaching $4.05 billion in cash. Based in Switzerland, Viagogo commented that the deal “will unite the two businesses which share the same fundamental principle of providing a secure platform for people to buy and sell tickets to live events.” Viagogo’s CEO, Eric Baker is also a Co–Founder of StubHub, though he departed prior to its sale to eBay in 2007 for $310 million. Anticipated to close by the end of 2020’s first quarter, the sale is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Peter Gray has joined Columbia Records as EVP and Head of Promotion, returning to the Sony Music family having been on the RCA Music Group team between 2002 and 2011. Most recently, Gray spent seven years as Warner Bros. Records’ EVP and GM prior to parting ways with the company in October of last year. Gray’s career started at Tristate Promotion as VP where he worked across radio campaigns for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Jimmy Eat World. Other acts he’s supported radio success for across his career include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Muse and The Black Keys. Gray also spent a two–year–stint as President for City Of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Board which he wrapped up in December of 2017.

A new partnership has been finalized between Dolby Laboratories and Warner Music Group (WMG) to see music from the label making its way to Dolby’s immersive surround sound audio format, Dolby Atmos. The deal marks Dolby’s second with a major having already joined with Universal Music Group to see works from its back catalog being remastered in Dolby Atmos. Dolby commented that it’s in talks with DSPs and manufacturers to make the Atmos format more widely available though, for the moment, music from the WMG catalog in Atmos is available via Amazon Music HD on the Echo Studio.

Amazon Music has opened up its free tier to users of the Amazon Music app across iOS, Android, FireTV, and its desktop version. The move brings an ad–supported version of the service, which had previously been available only on Echo devices, to Amazon Music users who haven’t subscribed to Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited. The free tier is available to users in the U.S., U.K. and Germany with access to playlists such as All Hits, Fuego Latino and Country Heat.

Spirit Music Group has acquired the majority of the catalog of singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. The acquisition encompasses Michaelson’s publishing and master recordings, the latter of which were originally owned by her. Michaelson’s synch–friend catalog has already generated hundreds of high–profile placements in shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill, among others. Included under the acquisition of Michaelson’s 12–year catalog are hit songs such as “The Way I Am,” “Be OK,” “You and I,” and “Girls Chase Boys,” as well as six albums and two EPs, including Girls & Boys (2006), Be OK (2008), Everybody (2009), Human Again (2012), Lights Out (2014), Alter Egos (2017) and Snowfall (2017).

Guns N’ RosesNot In This Lifetime...Tour has become the No.3 highest–grossing tour of all time on Billboard’s Boxscore chart. The tour kicked off in 2016 and saw the iconic rock outfit playing 158 concerts across six continents which moved 5,371,891 tickets and grossed $584.2 million. Reuniting original band members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagen, the tour marked the first the trio had played together since the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1993.

In its first acquisition as a public company, Sonos has purchased Snips SAS, a Paris–based AI voice assistant firm, for $37.5 million. Under the deal, over 50 Snips staffers across engineering, machine learning and product development as well as the company’s strategic IP join the Sonos ecosystem. According to a press release, voice assistants from the Snips platform are set–up to function in tandem with those currently available via Sonos such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Founded in 2013, the acquisition will see Snips maintaining its offices in France with the firm also counting a Tokyo location.

Kobalt has revealed the promotion of Jeannette Perez to the newly–created role of Chief Experience Officer from her previous role as President of Global Synch and Brand Partnerships. Perez is tasked with restructuring the client administration function by setting up a writer and publisher relations team while maintaining oversight of the global synch and brand partnerships operations. Perez will also look after the global TV and film publishing business, alongside Kobalt’s Australia and Sweden offices. Having come to Kobalt in 2014, Perez has expanded its synch business by 163%, assembling a team of 50 international creative synch and licensing experts across the firm’s 14 offices. The past fiscal year has seen Kobalt’s synch division garnering more than 14,000 synch deals across hundreds of national campaigns. Prior to Kobalt, Perez was with Sony Music for 12 years, rising to VP of Music for Brands and Advertising.

In other Kobalt news, the company has announced a publishing deal with singer, songwriter and producer, mxmtoon. The worldwide agreement offers mxmtoon with administration, synchronization, and creative support for her current catalogue as well as future works. On her debut full–length, the masquerade, mxmtoon delivers what she calls “rhyming diary entries” with tracks including lead single, “prom dress.” the masquerade comes following the release of a debut EP titled plum blossom. While continuing to build and bond with her audience, mxmtoon has also made a point of using her platform to speak out on issues like immigration and LGBTQ+ rights.

In a report by OC&C, commissioned by the ERA, it was revealed that the streaming market in the U.K. could grow by two times over the next four years, reaching a value of £1.6 billion by 2023. The report shared that this growth hinges on the ability of new platforms to target specific consumers and music fans. If the streaming arena remains on track as it is in the territory, growth is still anticipated though reaching only £1.1 billion by 2023. Included in the report, OC&C also broke down the demographic of listeners showing that 16–19–year–olds make up 69% of listening time while 45–54–year–olds only account for 16%. The report also referenced how platforms in other arenas such as Netflix have spurred growth by diversifying its service to cater to the needs of different consumer groups.

UK Music also revealed in its “Music By Numbers” report that Britain’s overall music business saw growth for 2018 as it reached a milestone £5.2 billion. The study showed increases across all sectors of the business with U.K. music exports growing by 10% to £2.7 billion year–over–year. The U.K. live industry saw a 10% increase to £1.1 billion with just under 30 million fans taking in live music events in the territory for 2018. Of that total, 5 million fans attended festivals which was a 23% increase over 2017. Other key figures, which account for the music industry’s contribution to the overall economy of Britain, revealed that record labels brought in £568 million (up 5% over last year) with the bulk coming from exports, increasing by 8% and totaling £478 million. The publishing sector generated £459 million, counting £618 million in exports and retail reached £402 million. For the full report, click HERE.

Big Deal Music Group and Mad Decent Publishing have finalized a global publishing agreement with electronic DJ/Producer Dillon Francis. The deal marks the first under the Big Deal/Mad Decent JV formed earlier this year and encompasses Francis’ latest release, a 7–song mixtape entitled Magic Is Real, which was released this month on the Mad Decent label, as well as all future works. Dillon Francis has also released previously via Diplo’s Mad Decent his debut full–length Money Sucks Friends Rule and the highly acclaimed This Mixtape Is Fire through Columbia Records. Francis has also remixed and collaborated with a diverse range of artists such as Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, Diplo, A–trak, Zedd, DJ Snake, Flux Pavillion and others. His YouTube channel counts over 2 million subscribers and he continues to headline premiere shows and festivals worldwide, performing for record crowds in the U.K. (including Reading & Leeds Festivals), Brazil, Argentina, Chile, France, Australia, and Lollapalooza in Chicago.

Spotify has unveiled a new playlist offering that looks to bring a discovery element to its podcast offering in the same way it promotes new music. As the name suggests, Your Daily Podcasts will be a daily playlist offering up personalized podcast options to users with a goal of introducing them to new shows.

African streaming platform, Boomplay Music, has now finalized licensing agreements with all three major labels with Sony Music Entertainment signing off last week. The move sees Sony following suit with Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group, who both finalized deals in November of last year. The Boomplay catalog counts over 10 million songs and claims to reach over 60 million users in African territories Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Owned by China–based Transsnet Music Limited, Boomplay currently offers Android, iOS and web capability with daily, weekly and monthly subscription plans available.

A&R Worldwide has learned that Zach Crandall has joined the team at Tap Music. Based in Los Angeles, Crandall takes on a new role with the firm’s A&R team, working across their management, publishing and recordings division. Crandall had most recently been working in the A&R department at Warner Music Group.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has finalized an exclusive global administration deal with DaBaby who is signed on the recording side to South Coast Music Group (SCMG) via a partnership with Interscope. The artist counts hits such as the RIAA double Platinum–certified “Suge,” which has generated 248 million streams, as well as “Baby Sitter ft. Offset,” “Goin Baby,” “Bop,” “Vibez,” and “Intro.” Kirk, DaBaby’s debut full–length, was released in September and topped charts, with collaborations on the set including those with Chance The Rapper, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Lil Baby, Kevin Gates, Stunna4Vegas and Migos. Other credits include featuring on Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts,” “Panini” by Lil Nas X, “Richer Than Errybody” by Gucci Mane, “Enemies” by Post Malone, “Stop Snitchin” by YG, and “Cash Shit” from Megan Thee Stallion. On Spotify, DaBaby counts 17 million listeners monthly, as well as 6.8 million followers on Instagram, 429,000 on Twitter and 2.2 million subscribers on YouTube.

Deezer Hi–Fi has debuted via the DSP’s mobile app with the platform previously having only offered the high–res tier through its PC and Mac applications, as well as on high–end sound systems and speakers from the likes Bang & Olufsen and Sonos. More than 52 million songs are offered in 16–bit FLAC–quality audio, streaming at 1,411 kbps in comparison to the 320 kbps quality through Deezer’s $10/month Premium subscription. Deezer reported an increase of 45% in Hi–Fi subscribership last year, 18% from the U.S. alone, and has delivered 11 million more songs to the lossless tier. Deezer is currently offering a limited time discount to the Hi–Fi subscription, currently at $14.99 monthly following a 90–day free trial.

First–party data management platform, Audigent, has finalized a Series A financing round of $6.7 million to bring the firm’s total funding to $14.5 million. Launched in 2015, Audigent bills itself as “the first all–in–one solution tackling the biggest challenge in entertainment – audience ownership growth and first–party data monetization.” The recent funding round was spearheaded by Raised in Space, the JV composed of Ithaca Holdings and Ripple’s Xpring. Among the existing and new investors who also joined the funding round are Galaxy Digital, Broadscale Group, Warner Music Group and SVK Crypto, with personal investment coming from Alibaba Entertainment’s Chairman Gao Xiaosong. Joining the Audigent board are Shara Senderoff, President, Raised in Space, and Sam Englebardt, Co–Founder & Partner of Galaxy Digital. Audigent has revealed that the investment will see the company “aggressively expand” across sales and marketing in addition to continuing the development of its data platform and proprietary data products. Among those offerings are included an A.I.–driven audience verification tool. Also offered is a full–service data strategy and programmatic trade desk division to support brands on “audience–driven optimization and media execution.”

AEG has announced that American Express will be the new presenting partner for AEG’s leading European festival, BST Hyde Park. The new partnership with AEG was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships and sees the festival returning in July 2020 as American Express Presents BST Hyde Park. American Express cardmembers will have exclusive pre–sale access to tickets to all of the shows and a range of on–site benefits at the festival. AEG’s work with American Express began more than 15 years ago and has grown into a multi–faceted global partnership with more than 100 properties spanning five continents covering venues, sports teams and events including LA Live, AEG Presents Global Touring, The O2, LA Galaxy, Mercedes–Benz Arena, Stockholm Globe Arenas, Accor Hotel Arena Paris, All Points East, Brisbane Entertainment Centre and others.

Primary Wave Music Publishing (PWMP) has tapped David Weitzman to join their team with a focus on acquisition of iconic and legendary songwriters for Primary Wave Music IP Fund 2 and its portfolio. Weitzman will be based out of the company’s Los Angeles office and work closely with Founder & CEO, Lawrence Mestel, as well as President of PWMP, Justin Shukat. Weitzman comes to Primary Wave from Anthem Entertainment Group. His industry career began working with record labels such as American Recordings, Epitaph Records, Skunk Records and Red Ant Records. Weitzman’s work in the A&R and radio promotion space includes that with platinum artists such as Sublime, Rancid, The Black Crowes, Sir Mix–a–Lot, Ozzy Osbourne, Love & Rockets, and others. He then transitioned to digital distributor Emusic where he signed up independent labels and artists to exclusive digital distribution deals. Weitzman also has music supervision experience, mostly in television, including MTV’s Jackass, Wildboyz, Rob & Big and Run’s House. His entry to the music publishing and asset acquisition arena came at ole, where he signed super producer, Timbaland for catalog and futures, led the acquisition of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s music publishing assets, acquired the production music library, Jingle Punks, acquired RedOne’s 2101 Songs catalog, and purchased catalog and futures of veteran songwriter, Jeff Trott among other successful transactions.

In other Primary Wave Music Publishing news, the company has entered into a marketing and administration agreement with recording artist and songwriter Robbie Robertson to represent the majority of Robertson’s catalog, both past and present, while working with Robertson to not only market his catalog of music, but also his name and likeness. Within Robertson’s catalog are included some of the biggest hits from The Band such as “Up On Cripple Creek,” “Rag Mama Rag,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” In addition to his work as lead guitarist and primary songwriter for The Band, Robertson’s career has seen success as a solo recording artist. He also wrote for, and recorded and toured with, Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks and in 1965, Bob Dylan recruited him to play guitar for his backup band. The Hawks would eventually become The Band signing to Capitol Records, recording and touring throughout the 70s and, after 16 years together, calling it quits with their Last Waltz concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The concert was filmed by Martin Scorsese and Robertson would continue to work with Scorsese, scoring many of his films in the 80s, becoming a highly sought–after film soundtrack producer and composer. Robertson has released six solo albums including 2019’s Sinematic. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a member of The Band, and has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, both with The Band and on his own among many other recognitions.

It was revealed last week that TikTok has surpassed 1.5 billion downloads across the App Store and Google Play. The increase is a jump from nine months ago where the platform counted one billion downloads having reached that milestone in February. Mobile insights company, Sensor Tower, has reported that TikTok has also taken the third–place spot in the ranking of most downloaded non–gaming apps for the year with 614 million. Holding the No.1 and No.2 spot are WhatsApp and Messenger, respectively. Among the platform’s key territories are India, which is driving downloads, with China and the U.S. also among the leading countries.

As TikTok continues to grow its user base, the video platform’s parent company, ByteDance, has revealed its gearing up to deliver its own music subscription offering. According to the Financial Times, the Chinese firm is currently in discussions to finalize licensing deals with Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music. The service, which is reported to be rolling out as early as next month, will target emerging markets including India, Indonesia and Brazil at its launch prior to entering the U.S. market. ByteDance has revealed that the new platform will also incorporate user–generated content from the TikTok platform.

Pictured l–r are Charles Caldas, CEO, Merlin and Kees van Weijen, President, STOMP & IMPALA
Dutch trade association STOMP has awarded Charles Caldas Independent of the Year 2019 to honor him for his great work for independents in his role as CEO of Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent label sector. The STOMP Board stated, “As CEO, Charles Caldas has been a key figure for Merlin and its independent members for over a decade. Since the very beginning of the agency, Charles has been a driving force, making an immense contribution to Merlin’s success. During Charles’ time at Merlin, the record industry evolved to embrace music streaming as a new format. Merlin has made deals with numerous key digital services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Facebook, Deezer, Alibaba, NetEase, Tencent and many more. During his 12 years as CEO, Caldas has connected nearly 900 members, based in 66 different countries, to Merlin. The agency now embodies more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors. Charles has played a huge role in protecting the rights of independent record labels and creating a level playing field. Led by Charles, the independent sector now enjoys a considerable share of the digital music market. The STOMP board has no doubt that Charles Caldas is the right person to receive the STOMP Independent of the Year Award 2019.”

Glastonbury Festival has revealed Paul McCartney will join the bill as Saturday night’s headliner for the festival’s 50–year–anniversary. McCartney’s performance marks his second headline slot at Glastonbury having previously taken the stage in 2004. The former Beatle joins the legendary soul artist, Diana Ross, on Glastonbury’s 2021 line–up as she is set to perform the event’s Sunday teatime set.

Artist management firm YMU Group has named Fiona McAuley as Head of Digital – U.K. Music. Based in London, McAuley will report directly to Iain Watt, Managing Director of the company’s U.K. music division. She joins YMU Group from her previous role at Polydor Records where she was Sr. Digital Marketing Manager. At Polydor, she created award–winning digital marketing campaigns for domestic and international artists such as Years & Years, Mabel, Ellie Goulding, Mura Masa, Lana Del Rey, Madonna and Snow Patrol. Prior, she held a senior position at WMA, as well as roles at Universal Music Global Insights and Audiences NI. In her new role at YMU Group, McAuley will be tasked with leading digital strategy across the company’s roster, working closely with digital partners to drive innovative and engaging partnership opportunities and for growing the YMU Group U.K. music digital team.

BMG has launched Modern Recordings, a label for new classical, jazz and electronic music, primarily instrumental but also extending to singer/songwriters. The label marks the first new imprint to be launched by BMG since its launch in 2008 and will be helmed by renowned Berlin–based music executive, Christian Kellersmann as Sr. VP, New Classics & Jazz. The first signings to Modern Recordings include Scottish composer Craig Armstrong, producer Robot Koch, composer Meredi, and producer, composer and conceptual artist, Hendrik Weber (aka Pantha du Prince). Its first release came as German countertenor Andreas Scholl and pianist Tamar Halparin’s Twilight People. Kellersmann reports to BMG EVP Global Repertoire & Marketing Fred Casimir. Prior to joining BMG in February, Kellersmann served in classical music and jazz division at Universal Music in Germany. Key projects included the innovative classical club format Yellow Lounge, which he launched and ran for 12 years as well as the Recomposed series in which British composer Max Richter notably reworked Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” His signings included Platinum–selling Max Raabe, founder and leader of the Palast Orchester, and trumpeter Till Brönner. Kellersmann was also responsible for marketing campaigns for the likes of Anna Netrebko, Lang Lang, Melody Gardot and Diana Krall. Upon parting ways with Universal, he launched the label Neue Meister at Edel and reactivated the German jazz label MPS.

Hasbro’s planned acquisition of Entertainment One (eOne) is set to be reviewed by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to decide whether the deal “may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.” The CMA began its examination of the proposed $4 billion deal last week with a deadline set for January 21st to reveal its “Phase 2” investigation.

Renee Meriste (pictured left) receives his award from the American Chamber of Commerce Estonia.
Recently, the American Chamber of Commerce Estonia recognized Renee Meriste as its “Transatlantic Promoter of the Year 2019” for his work in connecting businesses within Estonia and the U.S. Meriste tells A&R Worldwide, “My first efforts to build relationships between the two countries originated 13 years ago, when I brought my business and artists to participate at MUSEXPO 2008 in Los Angeles, which resulted in numerous creative and business opportunities for us and other Estonians. I’m excited about the recent major achievement with the opening of the Estonian Consulate in San Francisco, CA, which will allow us to continue fostering new opportunities in the music and creative industries, and beyond!”

Create Music Group has announced the signing of First Order Music to a global distribution deal. Based in South Florida, First Order Music is helmed by music industry veteran Spiff Tv, who is known for his work bringing together the Hip–Hop and Reggaeton, working with artists such as Rick Ross, J Balvin, Meek Mills, DJ Khaled, Yandel, Daddy Yankee and others. He was also an early supporter of Puerto Rican star Anuel AA, who he continues to advise. Marking the first release under the new deal was “LHNA” by Robgz featuring Anuel AA, earlier this summer. The track has garnered over 46 million views on YouTube and is already certified Gold. Robgz’s EP is set for release in the coming months with a project by Puerto Rican rapper Papi Sousa also in the works.

Proper Music Group has finalized a deal with RSK Entertainment to cover fulfilment for the U.K. and Republic of Ireland, as well as the coordination of its international logistics. Proper will pick, pack and ship stock throughout the British Isles while also acting as a logistics hub for RSK’s third party relationships, delivering physical music globally. Proper already counts 10% of the U.K.’s physical market with this newest deal adding 11,000 lines of product to the firm’s inventory, bringing the total distributed to more than 100,000, including many of RSK’s renowned classical label clients such as Alpha Classics, Channel Classics, Delphian Records, Brilliant Classics, Pentatone, Linn Records and Supraphon, as well as its prestigious rock label clients such as Cleopatra Records, Repertoire Records and SideOneDummy Records.

Anthem Entertainment recently acquired a catalog of songs from songwriter/producer Doc McKinney. The catalog counts a number of songs from The Weeknd’s debut triple–Platinum compilation album Trilogy, including “Wicked Games” and “The Morning.” Additionally, the catalog is home to songs from The Weeknd’s Grammy Award–winning, triple–Platinum full–length Starboy, including the album’s title track, which is 7x Platinum in the U.S. and multi–Platinum in 11 countries worldwide. Starboy is The Weeknd’s second No.1 album and saw all of it’s 18 songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the second album to ever accomplish the feat. The catalog also includes McKinney’s co–writes on “Die For You,” “I Feel It Coming,” “Secrets,” “Sidewalks,” “Party Monster,” and The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar’s multi–Platinum collaboration “Pray for Me,” featured in the 2018 film Black Panther as well as songs recorded by Drake, Khalid and others.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sarah Schneider, Vanessa Kanapin, Michael Brauer, George Ergatoudis, Michael Howe, Rob Stevenson, Lucy Dickins, Ron Perry, Maureen Kenny, Martin Dodd, Robert Swerdlow, Rachel Levy, Neil Warnock, Andrew Brightman and Thomas Scherer.


JACKASS OF THE WEEK

Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E–mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Those holiday shopping discounts are just a few days away as many shoppers prepare for Black Friday retail mayhem. Click HERE to see some jackass holiday shoppers go bonkers for those special discounted retail items.


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK" – FOREST BLAKK



Singer–songwriter Forest Blakk, deemed an “artist on the rise” by Billboard, has accumulated over 22 million streams worldwide with the debut EP, Minutes, featuring the standout single “Love Me.” The EP earned editorial support via Parade, Alternative Press, Ones To Watch and more. A compelling live performer, Blakk spent the early part of the year on tour supporting Gavin James, following performances last year in support of NEEDTOBREATHE, along their North American tour. He recently released his uplifting single, “Put Your Hands Up” via Atlantic Records. The track made its debut in a September episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and can be heard in the end credits of Paramount PicturesPlaying With Fire, starring John Cena. The song was co–written with Carl Ryden (Ricky Martin, David Guetta) and co–produced by Ollie Green (Freya Ridings, Gavin James), pairs inspiring lyrics with mounting chants for what is sure to become an anthem of resilience. Blakk is currently in the studio, putting the finishing touches on his forthcoming sophomore EP, arriving early next year. Listen to “Put Your Hands Up” by Forest Blakk HERE, and contact Atlantic Records’ Ted Sullivan at ted.sullivan@atlanticrecords.com for all inquiries.


A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – DOTAN

Dutch singer–songwriter Dotan released his debut album in 2014, which he wrote, produced and recorded in his living room. The 7 Layers album resulted in a multi–Platinum success and led to countless festival performances such as Pinkpop, Sziget, MUSEXPO, SXSW and Pukkelpop. Despite the success, Dotan hid behind his music, and chose not to appear in the artwork and videos. Instead, he used the newly–found attention to help showcase upcoming singer–songwriters through his 7 Layers brand, rather than focusing on new music for himself. Without releasing any material for an extended period of time, Dotan returned with the single “Numb,” the first taste from his sophomore album. The single quickly earned Top 10 airplay at Dutch radio, Top 6 Shazam in other territories, a Top 20 single in the Netherlands and earned over 8 million streams so far. Dotan has unleashed a follow–up single written and recorded in Los Angeles titled “Letting Go.” The single is a reflection of his own personal life, as he touches on the tough periods that he has gone through. The lyrics are honest, compelling and very impactful, much like the music video. Watch the visual for “Letting Go” HERE, and contact Matt Johnson of Red Light Management at matt.johnson@redlightmanagement.com, as Dotan is available for publishing and masters opportunities.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 11/25/2019



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, November 25th, 2019: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 60 radio stations on six continents weekly including: The World Famous KROQ 106.7FM Los Angeles, Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; KNRK–FM Portland OR; KNDD “The End” Seattle WA; WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” NY 107.7FM; WZRH–FM New Orleans; KBZT–FM 94.9FM San Diego CA; KKDO “94.7FM” Sacramento CA; KWSS “93.9FM” Phoenix AZ; KRML “102.1FM” Carmel CA, KFRR “New Rock 104.1FM” Fresno CA; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; KSKI–FM, Sun Valley/Twin Falls, ID; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, New York; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia, WRUR 88.5FM Rochester New York; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY and on The Independent FM (iHeartRadio) in the United States and many others. Also, on the worldwide web and twice–weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany, as well as streaming on one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms, JioSaavn.

Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:

LONGFELLOW – “Brooklyn” (Unsigned, UK)
MOONLIGHT BREAKFAST – “Summer” (Echoism Records, France)
PICTURE THIS – “One Night” (Warner Music, Ireland)
LARKINS – “Not Enough Love” (Good Soldier Songs, UK)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Nothing Hurts Like You” (3Beat/Universal, UK)
JAMES DEACON – “Not Givin’ Up” (Bad Future, South Africa)
BRANDON JACKS & THE ARTIFACTS – “Modern Day Distractions” (Sureshaker, Australia)
THE SWOONS – “Conspiracy Of Silence” (Unsigned, N. America)
SEA GIRLS – “Violet” (Unsigned, UK)
TALISCO – “Moments” (Roy Music, France)
AMBER RUN – “What Could Be As Lonely As Love” (Easy Life, UK)
FOREST BLAKK – “Put Your Hands Up” (Warner Music, Canada)
BOY PABLO – “Feeling Lonely” (777 Music, Norway)
LAUREN HIBBERD – “Frankie’s Girlfriend” (Unsigned, UK)
FEELDS – “Glass Arms” (Unsigned, Australia)
STICKY FINGERS – “Teenage Vertigo” (Sureshaker, Australia)
THE FAIM – “Words Apart” (BMG, Australia)
KING NUN – “Bug” (Dirty Hit, UK)
CORTNEY DIXON – “What You Wanna Do?” (Unsigned, UK)
HONEYMOAN – “Low Blow” (Unsigned, South Africa)
SEAFRET – “Fall” (Unsigned, UK)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Peace In Greece” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
TRIBE FRIDAY – “Badger” (Unsigned, Sweden)
SHE’S A WOMAN – “The Art Of Pleasing” (Unsigned, Germany)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Autoportrait” (SO Recordings, UK)
LIME CORDIALE – “Robbery” (Chugg Music, Australia)
WIDE EYED BOY – “Calling (I Hear You)” (Polygonia Music, UK)
LOLA MARSH – “Echoes” (Anova Music, Israel)
SPACEY JANE – “Good For You” (Unsigned, Australia)
SHLOMI ASH – “To The River” (Unsigned, Israel)
THE MYSTERINES – “Take Control” (Unsigned, UK)
MAGNUS MIA – “Head Like A Hole” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Boy Pablo, Waiting For Smith and Moonlight Breakfast)