UMG EXTENDS AGREEMENT WITH TENCENT MUSIC ENT’T
& FINALIZES NEW DEAL WITH NETEASE CLOUD MUSIC
Universal Music Group (UMG) and Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) have finalized a multi–year extension of their licensing agreement. Additionally, the companies unveiled a new joint venture music label which will be dedicated to reaching audiences across China through cultivating, developing, producing, and showcasing talented domestic artists and their premium original music.
With the extension of the licensing agreement, TME will continue to distribute music from UMG’s record labels and its stable of domestic and global recording stars on its platforms. These platforms include QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music. UMG’s content will also be licensed for use on TME’s online Karaoke platform, WeSing, along with other live streaming and expanded digital services.
UMG and TME have been working closely to reinforce a sustainable music licensing ecosystem in order to help support the industry’s evolution in China. Under the existing partnership, TME has promoted UMG’s licensed premium music to hundreds of millions of music fans through TME’s leading marketing capabilities and in–depth user insights. The two companies have also collaborated on music product innovations, including online music shows and videos, to provide users with a first–class online music entertainment experience in China.
The announcement comes as TME recently revealed Q2 results that showed an increase in online music paying users by 51.9% to 47.1 million, year–upon–year. Also increasing was average revenue per user which rose 8.1% year–upon–year while mobile monthly average users for online music remained stable at 651 million. Revenues for TME grew by 17.5% to reach RMB6.93 billion and online music subscriptions also increased 64.7% to RMB1.31 billion, year–upon–year. Operating profit was reported at RMB1.11 billion.
Additionally, UMG and interactive music streaming service provider, NetEase Cloud Music, have announced a multi–year licensing agreement. Under the agreement, NetEase Cloud Music will directly distribute UMG’s music, including domestic and international recording artists, on its streaming NetEase Cloud Music platform and associated digital services in China, bringing subscribers access to music on demand from UMG’s full roster of artists, catalog, distributed labels.
NetEase Cloud Music and UMG will also work together to create innovative campaigns and initiatives that will allow music fans in China to engage with both domestic artists from China and UMG’s international talent from around the world. The agreement will also increase the scope of premium offerings and experiences available to music fans in China via NetEase Cloud Music.
CTM ANNOUNCES WORLDWIDE PUBLISHING PARTNERSHIP WITH INSOMNIAC – SIGNS GLOBAL DEAL WITH U.K. SONGWRITER/PRODUCER
Insomniac, the world’s leading dance music promotor best known for its flagship Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) music festival, has signed a long–term exclusive worldwide music publishing partnership, in connection with its record label umbrella Insomniac Music Group, with global indie music publisher CTM Publishing. Major new releases are planned, for which music publishing rights signings will be announced via this new partnership that will operate under the banner of Sounds That Never Sleep Publishing.
Since entering the record label business in 2014 with Insomniac Records, the firm has placed itself as a prominent player in the industry with a catalog that has welcomed artists such as Chris Lake, Dombresky, Habstrakt, Redlight and others. In addition to having released more than 200 tracks, Insomniac Records has also curated an annual EDC compilation series, featuring four EDC Las Vegas and one EDC Mexico master soundtracks containing tracks pulled directly from the festival’s line–ups.
In 2018, Insomniac Records rolled–out Insomniac Music Group, a multi–faceted operation that allowed them to work across various areas of the music industry. Outside of its existing network of labels, which includes internal brand imprints such as HARD Recs, Bassrush Records, IN / ROTATION, Dreamstate Records and Discovery Project, they have also partnered up with select artists to drive a number of artist–centric labels.
CTM’s CEO, André de Raaff, says, “It is a logical step for Insomniac to expand their activities with music publishing rights. We are pleased and proud that they have chosen CTM as their partner and we are convinced that we can be the right company for them based on our music publishing experience, network and worldwide knowledge and we look forward to making Sounds That Never Sleep Publishing a leading player in the music publishing space of the dance music world, where Insomniac is already a dominant player in many areas.”
Insomniac’s Joe Wiseman comments, “Launching a publishing entity was a necessary move in the expansion of Insomniac Music Group. We are beyond excited to partner with CTM to continue to grow Insomniac’s footprint in the dance music space. It’s our mission to develop and support emerging talent, as well as support the publishing needs of familiar names in the Insomniac network.”
In other CTM news, the company has signed a worldwide catalog and futures publishing deal with James Sanger. The award–winning U.K. producer, musician and composer has worked with artists such as U2, Dido, Phil Collins and Genesis, and has composed for the likes of Keane, Annie Lennox, Sugababes, Siobhán Donaghy and others. His Keane composition, “This Is The Last Time,” charted all over the world. Collectively, Sanger is credited with record sales of more than 67 million units worldwide as an artist, artist developer, songwriter, producer, programmer, engineer, instrumentalist or mixer. His work has earned him four BRIT Awards, 18 Grammys and two Ivor Novellos as well as 17 Top 10 Albums, 11 Top 5 Albums, and 5 Top Five Singles to–date. The deal was initiated by A&R Worldwide bringing Sanger to the attention of CTM.
Currently, Sanger is writing and producing a promising new act, SpaceAcre, to be released later this year.
Andre de Raaff said of the signing, “We are proud and pleased to look after such a great catalogue with quality compositions with many commercial worldwide successes; at the same we see that the catalogue is underexploited for synchs, being one of the specialties of CTM Publishing, which will boost the earnings of the catalogue. We are also very excited to be involved with James’ future compositions.”
Sanger added, “I’m really happy to have found a new home for my musical output. I’m working with some fantastic acts at the moment and am really excited to have such a great team in place at CTM.”
ASTRALWERKS ASIA NAMES CINDY GU AS HEAD OF LABEL –
WEIRD GENIUS MARK FIRST SIGNING IN THE REGION
Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced the appointment of Cindy Gu as Head of Astralwerks Asia, the company’s label division dedicated to electronic music within Asia, effective immediately. Gu will lead the label’s operations across Southeast Asia, Korea and China and will be based within UMG’s regional headquarters in Singapore, working closely alongside Astralwerks GM, Toby Andrews to generate opportunities and success for Astralwerks artists throughout the continent.
At the same time, the label revealed details of their first artist signing from the region, with popular Indonesian EDM group, Weird Genius joining the global Astralwerks roster. Since founding in 2016, Weird Genius has quickly gained recognition from fans and accumulated hundreds of millions of streams across all platforms. Their current release “LATHI” has already been streamed in excess of 100 million times, having found popularity across social and streaming platforms. The track reached No.1 on Spotify’s main chart in Indonesia and No.2 on their Global Viral 50 Chart, as it continues to grow in popularity across Southeast Asia.
In making the announcement, Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development at UMG said, “Since we announced the launch of Astralwerks Asia at Music Matters in September, we have been looking for the right person to lead and execute our vision for further developing dance music across the region. Cindy is a true dance music enthusiast and this great passion for electronic music, combined with her proven history of executing successful artist campaigns will be vital to establishing Astralwerks Asia as the trusted home for the genre in Asia. What better way to start than with the biggest viral dance record to come out of the region in years! We are very excited to have Weird Genius join the Astralwerks family and look forward to hearing much more from them in years to come.”
Andrews said, “We’re very excited to have Cindy join the Astralwerks team, as we continue to expand our presence within Asia. Cindy’s experience across the electronic music space is a perfect match for us and we’re looking forward to watching her bring projects like ZHU, Surf Mesa and others to life, across South East Asia, Korea and China. I look forward to building our ongoing and now heightened collaboration with Calvin, Adam and the teams across the region and welcome Weird Genius to our roster. “Lathi” is the hottest record to come out of Southeast Asia in recent months and we are excited to help them reach new audiences around the world, both now and across future releases.”
Gu said, “I am delighted to have joined the global Astralwerks family and am committed to bringing the best electronic music to fans across Asia, starting with the signing of Weird Genius. I look forward to working alongside Toby, Calvin, Adam, Evan and the teams throughout the region to create innovative and groundbreaking campaigns that will help establish Astralwerks and our artists throughout Asia and beyond.”
An experienced marketeer and specialist in electronic music, Gu joins UMG from Warner Music Asia, where she served as Regional Marketing Manager & Dance Music Product Manager, spearheading all priority music campaigns across the genre. Over the past two years, Gu was responsible for the launch and expansion of Spinnin’ Records into Greater China, Korea and across Southeast Asia, helping deliver success and build new audiences for international talent while creating new opportunities for domestic dance artists in the region.
Gu joins Evan Baker, Director Astralwerks Asia, who over the past six months has spearheaded label activity within Asia, successfully building campaigns to break international tracks including; Surf Mesa’s “ily (I love you baby)” and Marshmello & Halsey’s “Be Kind” in the region. Baker will continue to be based in the U.S. and will work alongside Gu to build the future of the label worldwide.
A&R WORLDWIDE RETROSPECTIVE
Each week, A&R Worldwide’s newsletter will see us digging back through some of our archives to revisit memorable and defining moments in A&R Worldwide’s 20+ year history. A&R Worldwide has helped the global music industry with discovering and signing world–conquering artists; many of whom have gone on to multi–Platinum international success, assisted companies, executives and artists with broad business and creative opportunities, and curated priceless networking events all over the world with its broad relationships; work that continues to this day!
One of the U.K.’s top–selling female artists ever – Dido, hangs out with A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla at his office back in 1996 prior to her global success.
Dido is one of the most successful U.K. female artists, who ranks alongside Adele and Amy Winehouse as one of the highest–selling British artists of all time, with sales of over 30 million albums including her 1999 debut, No Angel, which sold over 21 million albums worldwide. Dido also won numerous awards, including two BRIT Awards for “Best British Female” and “Best British Album,” and the MTV Europe Music Award for “Best New Act.” She also had the first verse of her single, “Thank You,” sampled in the song “Stan” in a collaboration with Eminem, which became a No.1 international hit in many territories.
A&R Worldwide Founder Sat Bisla first came across Dido in 1994, when she was signed to the independent U.K. record label Cheeky Records, co–founded by Dido’s brother Rollo Armstrong (a multi–Platinum selling producer/writer and remixer and a founding member of Faithless) and the legendary Mel Medalie, who signed Will Smith, Robin S, Faithless, Rob Dougan, Salt–N–Pepa and Kristine W amongst many others.
Sat discovered Dido through Mel Medalie and his Head of Marketing Morgan Nelson who sent him the demos of Faithless back in 1994, where Dido was featured on the song “Flowerstand Man.” Sat thought her voice was amazing and Mel agreed and informed Sat that he was having Dido record some demos, which Mel sent to Sat. Sat began playing the demos on his radio show – giving Dido her first–ever global radio exposure back in early 1995 in the U.S., two years prior to Dido’s official release. The reaction from radio listeners was instant and very positive, information which Sat shared with Mel and Rollo, which led to them recording additional songs with Dido.
Sat worked alongside Mel Medalie, Rollo Armstrong and their label team and helped introduce Dido to numerous U.S. major labels; however, they all passed on signing Dido at the time. A year later, Mel, with support from Hosh Gureli, Keith Naftaly, Peter Edge (now CEO of RCA Records) and Clive Davis (then Chairman of Arista Records), was able to get Dido signed with Arista Records to a worldwide deal outside of the U.K., which led to her international success.
Dido recently released her most recent album, Still On My Mind, last year on BMG and is set to release new music and embark on a new tour in 2021.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Universal Music China has unveiled Magic Muses, China’s first label dedicated solely to film soundtrack and score. Based in Beijing, Magic Muses is the first domestic label to be launched by Universal Music China in over a decade and will work closely with local artists and composer talent to create bespoke musical works for high–profile film and TV projects in China. The label will be led by veteran film marketing executive Kelvin Hou, who has been appointed as CEO. Hou was previously the Founder and former CEO of China’s top online movie database and community, Mtime. The company also revealed its first collaborative film project, which will see Magic Muses produce and release the original film soundtrack, as well as provide musical promotion and marketing for the forthcoming film, My People My Homeland. For the soundtrack, Magic Muses’ musicians will create original pieces, influenced by the distinctive culture of the five provinces featured in the film. Additionally, Universal Music China also announced the launch of Hi! Movie Music, China’s first original online series dedicated to the promotion of Chinese movie and TV music. The first episode debuted online on August 12th, featuring Lang Lang, the celebrated piano virtuoso signed to UMG’s Deutsche Grammophon, singer Chen Chusheng, who shot to fame for winning the 2007 hit show Super Boy, alongside performances from Sa Dingding.
In other Universal Music China news, the country’s Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) operations have announced a partnership with Riot Games China that resulted in a songwriting camp which took place from July 24th – 27th. The camp was tasked with delivering six promotional songs for the upcoming 10th League of Legends World Championship, taking place in Shanghai September 25th – October 31st. The camp brought together 14 UMPG songwriters including Matzka, Gong and CHIYO, as well as additional writers Moi Yang, NIA Yang, Tian Mi, JunFeng Xiao, Rtruenahmean, JZlee, Daniel Kim, Dru Chen, Laird Yu, Chris Lyon and Rabitt.
Republic Records has announced the promotion of Michael Horton to EVP where he will maintain oversight of promotion campaigns for hip–hop and R&B artists across the Republic and Island Records rosters. Among the acts included under Horton’s remit are Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, The Weeknd and Post Malone, in addition to emerging talent and breakthrough artists such as Jacquees, Kiana Ledé and Pop Smoke. Horton will be based in New York. He joined the promotions team at Republic in 1996 following stints with Capitol Records and Interscope.
Universal Music Group (UMG) and Soundtrack Your Brand have finalized a new global deal. Soundtrack Your Brand provides a B2B music streaming platform to brands and businesses and the new partnership with UMG will see the company’s artists and songwriters benefitting from usage–based compensation and transparent accountability when their music is played within businesses and public places. Soundtrack Your Brand’s proprietary technology and data insight offers businesses an in–depth analysis on how music use that communicates the values of the brand impacts business from driving sales to influencing the satisfaction of customers.
After receiving first–time corporate credit ratings of B1 and B+ from Moody’s and S&P last month, Concord recently announced that it has closed on a $600 million term loan B debt offering which, in addition to its existing $450 million revolving credit facility, provides the company with access to over $1 billion of total debt financing. The term loan B offering, which was placed with 90 investment firms by J.P. Morgan, was upsized from an initially proposed $400 million issuance due to more than 6x oversubscription after a two–week marketing process. Proceeds from the new debt will be used to partially pay down the company’s revolving credit facility, allowing for significant additional capital availability for future acquisitions and working capital. Concord has increased its revenue nearly four–fold over the last five years, due to organic growth and strategic acquisitions to which it has committed over $1 billion since 2017. In January, Concord acquired a substantial equity position in PULSE Music Group signaling the company’s move into chart–focused A&R. Last month, Concord signed songwriting superstar Hillary Lindsey to an exclusive worldwide co–publishing agreement for her future works, while also acquiring an interest in her back catalog and forming a new JV to develop upcoming country songwriters. And, just last week, Concord announced the purchase of the publishing catalog of pop–rock superstars Imagine Dragons, encompassing four singles that each hit 1 billion streams on Spotify including the RIAA Diamond single, “Radioactive.”
Silva Screen Music Group, in conjunction with Supreme Songs, recently launched SoundsofIndia.org, having become one of the top sources worldwide for one stop master and publishing clearances of music from India and Pakistan. Representing such respected companies as Times Music, Turnkey, EMI Pakistan and Inreco (The Indian Record Company), among others, the initiative is to manage and exploit publishing and recording rights from the sub–continent across all media, synchs, neighbouring rights and sampling. Jointly led by Amarpal Gaind, Silva Screen’s Head of Strategy, and Supreme Songs CEO, Ellis Rich, both companies are in the process of signing several other significant repertoire owners for representation.
Warner Records has promoted Mark Flaherty to EVP, Marketing. Flaherty joined the label in 2017 and oversees the company’s marketing strategy for its pop, rock and alternative artist roster. Based in Los Angeles, he reports to the label’s Co–Chairman & COO, Tom Corson. With Warner, Flaherty has created and driven marketing campaigns for global acts such as Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha. In 2018, Rexha garnered dual Grammy nominations, for Best New Artist and for her No.1 hit, “Meant to Be,” with Florida Georgia Line. That same year, Lipa garnered the Best New Artist Grammy as well as Best Dance Recording for “Electricity.” Prior to joining Warner Records as Sr. VP/Head of Marketing, Flaherty held the same title at Interscope Records for five years, working with artists including Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, The 1975, OneRepublic and Selena Gomez. He previously worked at Sony Music in various roles, including Sr. VP/Head of Strategic Marketing & Brand Partnerships and Sr. VP of Marketing & Digital Media. Flaherty also has extensive experience as a songwriter, publisher, and performer.
Warner Music Group (WMG) announced the acquisition of digital media company, IMGN Media, last week. Founded in 2015, IMGN is headquartered in New York and Tel Aviv and will continue to be led by its CEO, Barak Shragai, as a stand–alone entity with journalistic autonomy. IMGN creates and curates shareable social media content on mobile–first platforms. The startup’s portfolio of media brands it owns and operates covers esports, gaming, entertainment, ASMR and more.
Superstar songwriting/production team Red Triangle have signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with BMG. Consisting of Rick Parkhouse and George Tizzard, Red Triangle are credited with more than 100 major label cuts, have sold over 15 million records, and have had records released with global chart topping acts such as Charlie Puth, David Guetta, Green Day, James Arthur, Machine Gun Kelly, Little Mix, The Vamps, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lukas Graham, Take That, Faouzia and Sabrina Carpenter among others. Current projects include those with James Arthur, Alesso, Jared Leto and Jason Derulo. Red Triangle are managed exclusively by Karma Artists Management.
Facebook has unveiled a new tool that provides small businesses the ability to charge for access to online events taking place via the social site. The new feature, which makes its way to 20 countries including the U.S., offers a new revenue stream for the music community who is still navigating the effects of the pandemic on the live industry. According to Facebook, the offering’s testing phase included panel sessions, podcast recordings, cooking classes, and meet–and–greets. Pages are now able to host events through Facebook Live with paid events also being tested via Messenger Rooms to create a more intimate environment. At this time, Facebook will not participate in fees generated by online events with online transactions and those across Android platform’s maintaining 100% of event revenue. Facebook revealed that Apple denied its request to waive the 30% App Store tax that it collects on iOS devices meaning that those using the paid event feature on Apple devices will only receive 70% of revenue generated.
Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) has tapped veteran live events executive Joe Litvag to serve as President of Live Events. With more than 25 years of experience, Litvag will take on oversight of operations across DWP’s festivals and concerts while leading the company’s expansion into venue management, booking, national touring, event services and more. Litvag’s career began in St. Louis at Contemporary Productions before he transitioned to executive roles with SFX Entertainment and Clear Channel Entertainment. He went on to spend 15 years at AEG Presents as a senior executive before his most recent stop at Blackbird Presents as President of Live Entertainment. Alongside Danny Wimmer, Gary Spivack (Sr. EVP of Talent/Curation, DWP) and former partner Del Williams, Litvag co–created and launched successful rock festival brands Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion and Northern Invasion. With the recent launch of its Offstage with DWP digital series, the company is preparing to roll–out additional digital content initiatives such as Pay Per View Livestreams and other online series in moving forward.
ICM Partners has added Simon Clarkson to its team to lead its domestic Electronic Music Department. Based in Los Angeles, Clarkson brings with him to ICM clients such as Skrillex, Alison Wonderland (both outside N. America), Aluna George and San Holo. The new operations join Primary Talent International’s Decked Out dance division with ICM having teamed up with Primary earlier in the year. Previously, Clarkson spent eight years at WME as an agent following his time running Mainstage Artists. Clarkson has played a key role in the live development of artists including Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Kygo, Eric Prydz, Adam Beyer and Above & Beyond.
In other ICM news, the agency has promoted Robert Gibbs to Head of Contemporary Music. Having been with ICM for 14 years, Gibbs became a partner in 2016 with his newest role making him the first African American to head up a division of a major agency music department. Prior to joining ICM in 2006, Gibbs spent five years with CAA. Alongside his new duties as department head, Gibbs will maintain his representation of acts J Cole, PartyNextDoor, Roy Wood$ and the complete roster of Dreamville Records.
Robomagic Live, the firm founded by former head of AEG U.K. Rob Hallett, has parted ways with Live Nation after three years. Hallett founded Robomagic in 2015 and before joining the Live Nation portfolio, counted projects such as a Duran Duran arena tour, festival partnerships with Caught By The River Thames and Fold, and BBK Takeover in 2017 which was co–promoted alongside Festival Republic.
Reservoir has signed multi–Platinum rapper DIVINE to a worldwide publishing deal. The deal encompasses global rights to his catalog, as well as future works. At the same time, Reservoir has finalized a JV with DIVINE’s Gully Gang Entertainment, the umbrella company which houses his label Gully Gang Records, to sign and develop new songwriting talent, marking the first deal of its kind for India. DIVINE (real name Vivian Fernandes) has been a key figure in the rise of hip–hop across India, gaining fame as one of the most popular rappers and prompting the increase in popularity of the “gully rap” movement. Following several successful singles including “Yeh Mera Bombay,” “Kohinoor,” “Jungli Sher,” “Kaam 25,” and his breakthrough track “Meri Gully Mein,” he released his debut album, Kohinoor, in 2019, in partnership with Nas’ label, Mass Appeal India. Nearly all tracks from the set became a mainstay on audio streaming charts in India. To follow–up Kohinoor, he released the pandemic–inspired hip–hop and rap compilation album SHUTDOWN on Mass Appeal India this year. To date, DIVINE has garnered more than 1 billion audio and video streams. With his story, DIVINE influenced Bollywood director Zoya Akhtar, to create the award–winning hit musical drama Gully Boy, which featured DIVINE on five tracks of the soundtrack, including the popular “Apna Time Ayega.” DIVINE is expected to release music later this year and has already been working with other Reservoir roster talent.
Apple has unveiled two new live global radio offerings on Apple Music, now available to music fans in 165 countries. As of last week, Beats 1 was rebranded as Apple Music 1 with two additional radio stations launching as Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country. With state–of–the–art studios in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and London, Apple Music 1 provides pop culture conversation and artist–led programming, and is a global destination for artists from around the world to release new music, break news, and speak directly to their fans. Apple Music 1 is led by cornerstone presenters Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, Brooke Reese, Dotty, Hanuman Welch, Matt Wilkinson, Nadeska, Rebecca Judd and Travis Mills, and offers a lineup of shows from the likes of Action Bronson, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Joe Kay, Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, Vince Staples and The Weeknd, as well as new shows from Aitch, Kerwin Frost, HAIM, Lady Gaga, Nile Rodgers, Travis Scott, Young M.A, and others. Apple Music 1 also features several shows dedicated to celebrating the vibrancy of Latin music around the world, including a new show from J Balvin and listener favorites ¡Dale Play! with Sandra Peña and La Fórmula Radio with El Guru. The station is also home to Africa Now Radio with Cuppy, showcasing the best local African music and artists.
In other Apple news, it was recently reported by Bloomberg that the tech firm is preparing to launch a bundled subscription package for its various services, to roll–out alongside the new iPhone offering as early as October. Under the working title of Apple One, the bundles will feature different levels including a basic tier with Apple Music and Apple TV+; as well as higher–priced offerings that will incorporate Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and additional iCloud storage. It has also been revealed that Apple’s upcoming virtual fitness platform will be added to higher–priced packages. Apple is also looking at bundles that would bring together software and hardware including free service add–ons for purchases of Apple devices.
Amazon Music has added Ellie Goulding to the list of artists to feature as part of its livestream series. Friday evening saw Goulding perform an intimate set and interact with her fans on Amazon Live, providing an opportunity to hear the artist’s latest No.1 full–length, Brightest Blue, live. Additional acts who have joined the livestream events include Katy Perry, John Legend, Dua Lipa, Deadmau5, Luke Bryan, Norah Jones, Charlie Puth and Gabby Barrett.
YouTube Originals is set to deliver three new music documentaries in the fall based around GRM Daily, Anne–Marie and YouTuber Behzinga. Together We Rise: The Uncompromised Story Of GRM Daily is a four–episode series that makes its way to the platform on September 28th. The title will detail the online platform and record businesses history and feature Skepta, Stormzy, Giggs, Julie Adenuga and others.
7digital and Triller have finalized a new contract to see the latter powering the social music video app. Triller recently reached 250 million downloads and has become a popular substitute for TikTok, which has been blocked in India and is facing a similar ban in the U.S. Triller also recently rolled–out a number of features to provide credit and revenue to artists, labels and publishers including a full–song, in–app streaming option for paying subscribers, which will be supported by 7digital’s technical integration moving forward. Additionally, 7digital will offer Triller access to its global catalog of over 80 million tracks by licensing its API for music sampling and full–length audio streaming. 7digital will also provide Triller with back–end support for tracking usage and reporting to labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Merlin and Warner Music Group. The agreement is already in effect with 7digital receiving a monthly licensing fee and usage–based payments to capture Triller’s growth.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed a worldwide publishing administration agreement with Grammy–winning songwriter and recording artist Jozzy. Jocelyn Donald, better known as Jozzy, has collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Usher, Summer Walker, Lil Wayne, Coldplay, Ella Mai, 21 Savage and others. Among her most notable work was pioneering a blend of hip–hop and country by writing Billy Ray Cyrus’ verse on Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road Remix.” Alongside her achievements as a songwriter, Jozzy is also now focusing on her career as an artist and recently signed with Columbia Records. Her debut track as an artist came with “Sucka Free,” featuring Lil Wayne, a longtime collaborator and friend. Jozzy is currently at work on a forthcoming EP called Soul Therapy: Apartment 215 and has released singles “Let You Down Let You Go” and “I’m Gone” featuring Tommy Genesis. Jozzy has also embraced activism and, as an LGBTQ+, woman of color, has repeatedly spoken out about the issues she faces and her hope for more diverse voices to be recognized in all areas of the music industry.
Following a competitive signing situation, PULSE Music Group has finalized an exclusive global co–publishing agreement with rap artist Flo Milli, it was recently announced by PULSE’s Co–CEO Scott Cutler, and Sr. VP/Head of Creative, Ashley Calhoun. PULSE Music’s deal with Flo Milli encompasses her entire catalog and includes a go–forward co–publishing deal. Flo is best known for her singles “Beef FloMix” and “In The Party” which both went viral on Instagram and TikTok, resulting in co–signs from the likes of Cardi B, SZA, Doja Cat, Rico Nasty, Kehlani, and others. Milli began rapping at age eleven and co–founded the group Pink Mafia. She released her first solo track “No Hook” at age sixteen. She has appeared on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart and New Music Friday and was just featured on Spotify’s Times Square outdoor billboard. Flo Milli was profiled on XXL’s “The Break” and included in Complex’s “20 Rappers to Watch in 2020” list. She released her mixtape Ho, Why Is You Here? on July 24th. Flo Milli’s breakout single, “Beef FloMix” went viral on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, reaching No.2 on Spotify’s Viral 50 chart, and was followed by “In the Party,” which has garnered over 50 million music streams and 15 million YouTube views.
Ticketmaster has announced a round of promotions for its executive team as it looks to realign the company to a global business model. Among the executives promoted are Jared Smith who is elevated from his role as President for Ticketmaster’s N. American operations to Global Chairman, assuming oversight of the ticketer’s business in 31 international territories along with N. America; Mark Yovich rises from President of International to President of Global Business; and Amy Howe, who had been serving as President and Chief Operating Officer, becomes Global Chief Operating Officer.
The catalog of No ID (real name Ernest “Dion” Wilson) has become the latest acquisition for Hipgnosis Songs. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of the hip–hop and R&B producer’s worldwide copyrights and publishing royalties, encompassing writer’s share of income, for a catalog of 273 works. No ID’s credits include works such as “Run This Town” by Jay–Z ft. Kayne West and Rihanna, “Holy Grail” by Jay–Z ft. Justin Timberlake, “Find Your Love” by Drake, “Black Skinhead,” “Bound 2” and “Dark Fantasy” by Kanye West, as well as Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me.”
Hipgnosis has also revealed today the acquisition of a portion of a song catalog from Wu–Tang Clan member Robert “RZA” Diggs. According to a press release, Hipgnosis has acquired 50% of RZA’s worldwide copyrights, including publishing and writer share, in his catalog encompassing 814 songs. Collectively, RZA’s works which include those with the Wu–Tang Clan as well as its related solo projects such as RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killer, and others, as well as production for the likes of Kanye West, have garnered over three billion streams globally.
Cooking Vinyl has confirmed a new licensing and distribution deal with China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME). The deal brings Cooking Vinyl’s catalog to TME–owned DSPs such as QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing. Additionally, Kobalt Music Group has announced a strategic cooperation for the licensing and distribution of its publishing and AWAL recording catalogs via TME’s streaming platforms. The deal between TME and Kobalt will also see the latter supporting Kobalt’s expansion into concerts, music festivals, online live streaming and other arenas.
A new partnership has been finalized between SyncFloor and JioSaavn’s Artist Originals (AO) label and artist services operations. The move brings AO’s catalog from over 40 artists to the SyncFloor database where the music can be searched and licensed directly by creators using the platform to secure music for their projects. In addition to the ability for AO’s catalog to be searched on SyncFloor’s general and podcast–specific marketplaces, the company has also created a dedicated SyncSite for AO content. AO’s roster includes South Asian artists such as Lost Stories and Abhijeet Srivastava, encompassing genres such as Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada and English.
Sony Music India has named Mairu Gupta as Director, Digital Business where he will take the lead across digital business for the company with its DSP partners locally while collaborating with Sony Music’s global network. Gupta brings over 15 years of experience to the role having most recently led content and media distribution for the NBA for over three years. Prior to his role with the NBA, Gupta spent almost two years with Jack In The Box Worldwide as VP and Business Head, launching the New Dehli office for the company as well as leading its operations.
Starting next year, all passenger cars in the U.K. will come standard with DAB digital compatible radios. The regulations were approved by Parliament after consulting from the Department For Transport and do not apply to commercial vehicles.
SILO: Music and Prescription Songs have teamed–up for their second trailer/promo–based writing camp, this time as a virtual event. Happening now, the international undertaking commenced last month and will finish in late August. Among the members of the Prescription Songs team collaborating on the project are Sara Walker, Megan Wood–Petersen, Marlee Kula and Jillian Rutstein as well as SILO: Music’s Jack Ormandy, Neil Ormandy, Reuben Sears, Adrianne Jauregui and Jessica Thomas. The 2020 SILO:/Prescription camp includes nine producers and 13 topliners mixed from each roster, who are organized into a total of 18 virtual sessions. The virtual setting offers an opportunity to not only double the number of participants as last year, but to connect songwriters and producers from all over the world. Taking a lead A&R role on the project is SILO: Music’s Sr. VP of Trailers & Promos and Independent Music Supervisor, Reuben Sears. This year is the follow–up to the 2019 camp which produced two industry EP releases and a significant number of placements in the past year including features in promos for HBO, A&E and Airbnb, as well as TV placements in Siren, Dark, and the upcoming season of Lucifer. Standout track “Inside” by Chris Avantgarde and Red Rosamond, featured in the third season of Netflix’s hit series Dark and made it to No.1 spot on the Shazam Discovery Top 50 and No.48 on the Shazam Global Top 400. the track has also generated over 1 million streams across Spotify, Shazam and Youtube.
Round Hill Music has finalized an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with acclaimed songwriting/publishing collective 4 Horsemen Music. With a combined total of upwards of 155 million albums sold and thirty–five No.1 hits in multiple genres over three decades, 4 Horsemen Music is composed of Marti Frederiksen, Zac Maloy, Blair Daly and Scott Stevens. The collective currently has the No.1 single at Active Rock with Shinedown’s “Atlas Falls” co–written by Zac Maloy and are at No.3 in the format with Daughtry’s “World On Fire,” a collaboration with Frederiksen and Stevens. Frederiksen began his career as a musician in several signed alternative and rock bands in the ’80s and ’90s and as a songwriter and producer, counts longtime collaborators, Aerosmith, as well as credits with the likes of Def Leppard, Mick Jagger, Faith Hill, Sheryl Crow, Eminem, Pink, Daughtry, Ozzy Osbourne, Buckcherry and others. Founding member of The Nixons, Maloy’s work as a creative includes that with Daughtry, Tim McGraw, Skillet and Shinedown. Daly’s songwriting resume counts work with Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Scott Stapp, Sixx:AM, Halestorm, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Backstreet Boys and Uncle Kracker’s international hit “Smile,” as well as five No.1 hits including Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us,” Kip Moore’s “Beer Money” and Rascal Flatts’ “Stand.” Stevens songwriting and production credits include work with Shinedown, Scott Stapp, American Authors, Halestorm, Nothing More, Highly Suspect, Daughtry and others, counting nine No.1 Active Rock songs, twenty Top 5 hits and twenty–eight Top 10 songs.
In other Round Hill Music news, the company has announced the appointment of respected industry executive Steve Clark as its Global Chief Operating Officer. Clark comes to Round Hill from Warner Chappell Music where he spent over two decades, most recently as EVP of Global Operations. Based primarily in London, Clark’s appointment is effective immediately and he will report to Round Hill Founder & CEO, Josh Gruss. An accomplished musician, Clark’s industry career began at sheet music specialists IMP as a music editor and many of his published arrangements are still in print today. During his 10 years at IMP, Clark rose through the ranks to head up all production, copyright and licensing, before joining Warner Chappell Music as Head of Copyright in 1998. At Warner Chappell, Clark’s duties extended to all copyright and royalty administration across Europe before he was appointed EVP, Global Operations, during which time he led the build and rollout of the company’s new global contracts, copyright and royalty system. Clark has also been influential on a number of music industry committees, having sat on the U.K. boards of MPA, the ICMP and IMPA. In December 2019, he was awarded the MPA’s Tony Pool Award for his outstanding contribution to administration within the music industry.
Modern Sky Entertainment has agreed to a sub–publishing deal with Royalty Network for its Chinese music catalog. The deal is for N. America and marks the first time Modern Sky’s Chinese copyrights will be represented for publishing outside of their home territory. The catalog will be overseen and managed by Modern Sky U.K., led by the company’s U.K. & N. America CEO, David Pichilingi. Modern Sky is home to 200+ artists and has a music catalog of 4,500 songs. The Top 10 most popular artists within Modern Sky’s Chinese catalog generated a combined total of 1.9 billion streams on the Tencent Music–owned QQ Music platform in 2019. Dongye Song was Modern Sky’s most streamed artist on the platform last year, with over 800 million streams, and was followed by Di Ma with 235 million streams and Ke Ding with 193 million.
Widely respected music brand, NME, is making its way to Asia with the recent launch of NME.com/Asia which will focus initially on Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The platform will provide daily music and pop culture news from the region and globally as well as weekly New Music Monday features and overviews from the music, gaming, film and TV arenas. There will also be a monthly regional artist spotlight to offer a new platform for artists looking to grow their footprint outside of their local market to a broader regional and global fanbase. Last year, NME also made its way to Australia with NME.com/Australia with that offering generating more than half a million unique readers each month.
Currently in beta, the iLiveYouToo live streaming platform is placing a focus on supporting artist and venue relationships through creative lineup curation, green screen technology and monetization. With free RSVP options available, iLiveYouToo drives a wider pre–event audience to a variety of ticketing tier options composed of music bundles, Zoom meet–and–greets, and merch packaged via preferred ticketing partner, DICE.fm. Participating venues also have the option to attach comps, gift cards and merch. With all events streaming through Twitch, additional options for monetization are open to viewers throughout the shows, including donations. In June, iLiveYouToo produced a pilot on Twitch to use green screen technology with hi–res venue stage photos that were applied as a live act’s backdrop. iLiveYouToo works directly with acts by providing them with a Resources & Tools PDF, a pre–production Zoom meeting, and sound check stream tests. Prior to confirming an event date, a curated artist lineup is presented to venues, their promoters and talent buyers for booking consideration. Along with DICE.fm, iLiveYouToo is working with the American Nightlife Association to offer live music venues iLiveYouToo as a revenue generating opportunity for establishments in the U.S. and globally. Additionally, iLiveYouToo has formed a media partnership with the DoStuff Media Network via their DoStuff [At Home] initiative to help promote collaborative events with specific venue relations.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Lyor Cohen, Vikram Mehra, Maureen Kenny, Kevin Weatherly, Jay Brown, Golnar Khosrowshahi, Billy Mann, Chris Williams, Alex Luke, Jeremy Lascelles, Jennifer Knoepfle, Sam Riback, Nick Burgess, Alicen C. Schneider, Nadja Kuppel, Richard Russell, Mark Beaven and David Joseph.
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. With people having more free time on their hands than ever before due to the pandemic, it means more jackass moments! Click HERE for a collection of flips, flops, fails and more from animals to humans from around the globe!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– DRY CLEAN ONLY
Directly from Queens, New York is the punk/pop/rock trio Dry Clean Only. The band was formed by guitarist and vocalist Joey Wunsch, bassist Connor McClelland and drummer Ronnie Bruno, who have been playing together since their early teens and it shows in their tight and energetic live performances. Having played many iconic venues in and around New York City, as well as the East Coast, Dry Clean Only have supported the likes of Andrew W.K., Hawthorne Heights and Wheatus. The three–piece are set to release their upcoming sophomore album, featuring their infectious new single, “Lonely Love.” Listen to the brand new single “Lonely Love” HERE, and contact Raymond McGlamery at firstname.lastname@example.org, as the band are available for label, publishing, synch and brand opportunities.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – TIM SCHOU
Danish singer–songwriter Tim Schou creates honest and organic music, pulling inspiration from his nomad life as a traveler, combining modern beats, various styles, catchy melodies and authentic lyrics. In 2017, he released his debut “Novocaine,” which earned him the ‘Best Pop Song’ by the Akademia Music Awards and secured him the IAMA awards ‘Best Male Artist’ and ‘Overall Grand Prize.’ His 2019 single “Acapella” earned over 4 million streams and went into rotation on VH1 and P4 (Danish National Radio). This kickstarted a new round of his Never–ending Vagabond Tour with over 50 private living room concerts, and a show in the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen. The traveling bohemian lifestyle and profound authenticity was exactly the qualities that led to Tim being handpicked by BMW to market their i3 model in December. Furthermore, Tim is replacing the voice of Justin Timberlake in the Danish version of Trolls 2 and starring in an anniversary concert for Jesus Christ Superstar. Tim, along with his record company Iceberg Records, signed a contract with the British label PIAS Records for rest of the world outside of Scandinavia with the new single “Where You Are.” The song is a personal processing of the longing that arises when one’s loved ones are out of reach as Tim sings with his long–distance relationship in mind. After the first lines were written poolside in California together with Danish singer–songwriter, Viktoria Sif Hansen, it was initially producer Mike Green (Paramore, 5 Seconds of Summer), who laid the vocal tracks. It then came into the hands of producer Tyler Spry (OneRepublic, U2), who built on, and ultimately the song found its true self in a basement in Copenhagen in the hands of Andreas Ringblom, mixed by British mixer Ant Whiting. Tim is adding the finishing touches to his debut album, together with producers Søren Christensen and Andreas Ringblom, expected to be released in the beginning of 2021. Watch his video for “Where You Are” HERE and contact Manfred Zähringer at email@example.com for all inquiries.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 8/23/2020
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, August 23rd, 2020: 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:
SYCCO – “Dribble” (Future Classic/Wilder Records, Australia)
SEA GIRLS – “All I Want To Hear You Say” (Polydor, UK)
ROBERT GRACE – “Fake Fine” (Sony, Ireland)
THE HARA – “Tokyo Hit” (Sign Of The Times, UK)
KODALINE – “Sometimes” (B-Unique/ Sony RCA, Ireland)
LARKINS – “Are We Having Any Fun Yet? (Remix)” (Good Soldier, UK)
HOCKEY DAD – “In This State” (Farmer & The Owl/BMG, Australia)
ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Obvious Guy” (Chess Club, UK)
VISTAS – “Everything Changes In The End” (Unsigned, Scotland)
GIZMO VARILLAS – “Born Again” (Muisica Records, Spain)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Mouth Of A Tiger” (3Beat/Universal, Scotland)
THE LULU RAES – “Can’t Run No More” (Verge/Sony, Australia)
SCHOOL OF X – “Forget Me On The Moon” (Tambourhinoceros, Denmark)
BLACK SATELLITE – “Void” (Unsigned, N. America)
DRY CLEAN ONLY – “Lonely Love” (Unsigned, N. America)
BLU DETIGER – “Figure It Out” (Unsigned, N. America)
SLIDE – “Hello Spirit” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
THE LOTTERY WINNERS – “Headlock” (Modern Sky, UK)
MASI MASI – “Favourite Gold” (Unsigned, UK)
THE CAPOLLOS – “Electrify” (Unsigned, Scotland)
BLANKS – “Dance Alone” (Unsigned, Holland)
STEREOTIDE – “Someday” (Unsigned, Germany)
DEVON – “Belong 2 U” (Universal, UK)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “When I’m Back Alone” (If Music Could Talk, Sweden)
MELLAH – “Family Fun” (Columbia Records, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Keep It Together” (Universal Music, South Africa)
GIANT ROOKS – “What I Know Is All Quicksand” (AR Entertainment, Germany)
NUALA – “Split Down The Middle” (Unsigned, UK)
AJ HANS – “On My Own” (Unsigned, UK)
BLOSSOMS – “If You Think This Is Real Life” (Virgin/EMI, UK)
FLAWED MANGOES FEATURING WILL JAY – “Fatal Flaw” (Unsigned, N. America)
BONGLOARD – “I Want It Now” (Unsigned, Holland)
LAUREN WALLER – “Best Coast” (Ginge Binge LLC, N. America)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Hockey Dad, Blu DeTiger, Keir, Blanks and Love Fame Tragedy)