SIMON ROBSON NAMED PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL, RECORDED MUSIC FOR WARNER MUSIC GROUP
Warner Music Group (WMG) has named Simon Robson as President, International, Recorded Music for the company. Robson assumes oversight of the company’s operations ex–U.S. and U.K. Reporting to WMG’s Global CEO of Recorded Music, Max Lousada, Robson will be based in London.
With over 20 years at WMG, Robson has most recently held the post of President of Warner Music Asia since 2015. Under his guidance, the company’s footprint grew in key markets including China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia, as well as rolling–out a new Vietnam affiliate. He also led Warner’s transition to a digital–first business model in Asia, while supporting the oversight of new label launches in the region, counting Spinnin’ Asia and Japanese rap label +809.
Max Lousada said, “In most places on the planet, domestic music is increasingly important and influential. At the same time, we have the power to ignite worldwide careers out of almost any territory. Music travels faster and more fluidly than ever. Simon’s worldwide perspective and dynamic expertise will be invaluable as we invest in our global growth, accelerate our drive into emerging markets, and build a ‘one Warner’ platform for talent. He has an impressive track record of curating a roster of local artists with global potential, cultivating new audiences for our worldwide superstars, and fostering a culture of collaboration, openness, and creativity.”
Robson commented, “Our business is more international than ever, with incredible music coming from all parts of the globe. I’m looking forward to helping build our local rosters, foster artistic pollination across territories, and develop long–term, global careers for our artists. The paths to international success are multiplying rapidly, and it’ll be fantastic to work with Warner’s talented leadership around the world, many of whom I’ve already had the pleasure of knowing over the years. I’ve learned so much from my time in Asia, I’m delighted to be taking on this exciting new role, and I’m hugely ambitious for our artists, our people, and our future.”
Robson’s new role will see him working closely with Eric Wong, President and CMO, Recorded Music, as well as Maria Weaver, recently appointed President of WEA.
An announcement on Robson’s successor for his Warner Music Asia post is forthcoming.
DOMINIQUE CASIMIR TO LEAD BMG’S REPERTOIRE TEAMS
OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA AND U.K.
BMG announced last week that EVP Continental Europe Repertoire & Marketing, Dominique Casimir, has assumed additional responsibility for its repertoire operations outside North America and the U.K. She will continue reporting directly to Hartwig Masuch, BMG’s CEO. Casimir had already been overseeing the signing, promoting and servicing of artist and songwriter clients across 15 territories in Continental Europe, including GSA, Benelux, France, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia. Additionally, she adds oversight of BMG’s music publishing and recorded music operations in Australia, Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico, China and Hong Kong.
Together the territories now reporting to Casimir account for around a third of BMG’s revenues. BMG’s operations in Australia, China and Brazil have been established for several years. Recent highlights include the signing of a strategic content partnership with NetEase Cloud Music in China.
Hartwig Masuch said, “Dominique has done an excellent job in developing our repertoire operation in Continental Europe. With her deep understanding of BMG’s distinct culture and business model, I am confident she will help us build further scale in territories across the world.”
Said Casimir, “I am excited to be given the opportunity to further develop BMG’s business across these diverse territories, some of them with very strong domestic markets. By further strengthening international cooperation and making use of parallels in language and genre, we will develop synergies and nurture growth across borders.”
Casimir came to BMG in 2008, playing an important role in developing the blueprint for BMG’s artist–friendly recordings business and building its European marketing team. After working on productions including Deutschland ’86 and Babylon Berlin as Sr. VP International Coordination & Music Supervision, she was promoted to BMG Managing Director GSA at the end of 2016. She took on her current role with a responsibility for Continental Europe early 2019.
Casimir takes up her appointment with immediate effect.
ATLANTIC RECORDS, APG & ADA EXTEND PARTNERSHIP
Atlantic Records, Artist Partner Group (APG) and ADA revealed last week a new phase in their partnership which originally started in 2012. Artists signed under the original agreement will now be brought fully into the Atlantic fold. Artist Partner also adds ADA, Warner Music Group’s (WMG) independent artist and label services division, as an additional channel partner for future signings.
Artist Partner has been behind the success of artists such as Alec Benjamin, Ava Max, Bazzi, Charlie Puth, Don Toliver, Kehlani, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies, YoungBoy Never Broke Again and others.
APG was founded as a sister music company to Artist Publishing Group, which will continue to publish artists signed to Atlantic Records such as Pink Sweat$ and Charlie Puth, as well as songwriters and producers not affiliated with Atlantic including Madison Love, Taz Taylor, Hitmaka, 24kGoldn, Amy Allen and Derrick Millano.
APG CEO Mike Caren said, “This is an exciting new chapter for Artist Partner Group and the amazing roster of artists we have worked with over the last 8 years. I am thankful to the entire APG and Atlantic teams and all of the incredible talent that continually inspire us. I look forward to the ongoing growth and success of all of our partners and to continuing to build Artist Partner as a home to artists in the evolving market landscape.”
Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman and Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald said, “We’re super proud of what we’ve achieved together with Mike and the APG team, and we couldn’t be happier to support and nurture the careers of these extraordinary, visionary artists.”
Max Lousada, CEO of Global Recorded Music, WMG said, “This move evolves and updates a hugely successful partnership. Artist Partner’s existing roster of diverse, original voices will now be backed by the full power of Atlantic Records’ creative expertise and worldwide reach, while Artist Partner and its new signings will have access to our global network and comprehensive menu of artist services.”
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced that Maria Weaver has been named President of WEA, Warner Recorded Music’s global artist and label services network. Weaver most recently served as Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer at Comcast Advertising and previously held senior marketing and creative services posts at Interactive One, HBO and Showtime. Based in New York, she reports to Max Lousada, Global CEO of Recorded Music for WMG. Weaver will oversee the array of expertise and resources under the WEA umbrella, including streaming account management and playlisting, direct–to–fan and merchandising operations, consumer acquisition, content creation, legal and business affairs and finance. In addition, she will lead the growth of Warner’s network of owned–and–operated consumer brands, which includes EMP, the merchandising e–tailer; HipHopDX, the music news site; Songkick, the live music app; and UPROXX, the youth culture website, among other digital destinations.
Electric Feel Publishing Europe is launching as a result of a new deal between Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) and Electric Feel Entertainment. Helmed by Lucas Teuchner and Alex Strehl, the agreement expands Electric Feel’s presence further into Europe. Founded in 2013 by Austin Rosen, Electric Feel’s mandate was to uncover new talent, working across music and brands. Among the artists the firm has worked with are Post Malone, Rich The Kid, Travis Scott, Louis Bell, Frank Dukes, Nick Mira, Andrew Watt, Billy Walsh, Brian Lee, 24KGoldn, Iann Dior, Omer Fedi, Blake Slatkin and others.
It was announced last week by Island Records President & CEO, Darcus Beese, that the label is rebooting its 4th & Broadway imprint and will be led by LaTrice Burnette, who assumes the role of President. The New York–based executive will maintain her EVP duties with Island in addition to the new title. Burnette, who also serves as the Chair of the Programming and Curation Committee for Universal Music Group’s Task Force for Meaningful Change, has guided creative strategies for acts such as Shawn Mendes, Jessie Reyez, Toni Braxton, Demi Lovato and Skip Marley. Having initially launched in 1984 as an Island Records imprint, 4th & Broadway was a home for hip–hop and dance music, counting acts such as Eric B. & Rakim. The label was shuttered in 1998 when Island was included in the merger between PolyGram and Seagram’s MCA Records, which led to the eventual formation of Universal Music Group. It returned for a short time in 2013 as a dance–centric imprint. It was also announced that the revitalized 4th & Broadway, and its newly appointed staff, will form a strategic alliance with Island and Republic Records.
Regarded hip–hop label, Cash Money, has announced a new Latin division with emerging act Luis Armando marking the launch of the new operation. The new Latin division, a JV with Taste Music Group, will tap into major label support via Republic Records and Universal Music Latin. Launched in 1992 by Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams, Cash Money has served as the label home for the likes of Drake, Lil’ Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
The complete pre–2020 catalog of global rock act The Killers has been acquired by Eldridge, marking the firm’s first music publishing move. Included under the acquisition are hits such as “Mr. Brightside,” “Human,” “When You Were Young” and others from The Killers’ first five albums. In addition to the publishing rights, Eldridge also acquires the writers’ share from the works with the band maintaining its master recording royalties ownership. Administration from The Killers’ catalog will remain with Universal Music Publishing Group. According to Nielsen/MRC Data, The Killers have generated 10.8 million album consumption units in the U.S., with the announcement revealing worldwide album sales of 28 million. The acquisition adds to Eldridge’s portfolio that includes stakes in TV and film production companies MRC, dick clark productions, A24 and Fulwell 23, as well as the Billboard–Hollywood Reporter Media Group, Rolling Stone and Variety, and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Spectrum SportsNet LA.
Country act Florida Georgia Line (FGL) have finalized a long–term touring agreement with Live Nation. While FGL, composed of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, have worked with the live event firm previously, the new multi–year deal sees Live Nation becoming the band’s exclusive promoter for N. America. Pre–COVID, FGL put up significant live touring figures with total gross during the aughts, encompassing 319 shows, reaching $191 million, as reported to Billboard Boxscore. Over 25% of that total was generated by the Can’t Say I Ain’t Country tour in 2019, which grossed $50.7 million from 727,739 tickets sold across 41 shows, posting the group’s highest–earning tour to–date. FGL is booked by WME and managed by Irving Azoff and Jeffrey Azoff (Full Stop Management). The band recently had to cancel their CMA Awards participation, having been nominated for Best Duo, after Hubbard revealed he’d tested positive for COVID–19.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing has promoted Amy Cranford to Sr. VP, Administration for the company. Based in Nashville, Cranford reports to Dale Esworthy, EVP, Worldwide Administration. In her new role, Cranford is responsible for overseeing Sony/ATV’s administration initiatives to better support its songwriters, including the client portal SCORE and its app, and she will continue leading the company’s audit team. Additionally, she will serve as the business liaison for the global publishing system TEMPO and work to create and implement strategies to further advance its capabilities. Since joining Sony/ATV in 1994, Cranford has led numerous efforts which have strengthened the company’s administration services, including the “Cash Out” feature, which enables songwriters to request some or all their current royalty balance to be paid immediately. Under her watch, Sony/ATV also introduced real–time processing for all its foreign earnings. As a result, foreign earnings will now be reported and paid in the same period in which they are collected.
Sony/ATV has also announced the promotion of Sarah Lockhart to Head of A&R for the company’s U.K. division. Lockhart is based in the publisher’s London office and reports directly to President and Co–Managing Director David Ventura. In her new role, Lockhart leads the U.K. team’s revamped A&R department and oversees its roster of talent. She also leads A&R initiatives for discovering and supporting talent, as well as creating new opportunities for songwriters globally. Lockhart, an expert in the U.K.’s underground music scene, launched her music industry career in the club culture of the late 90’s U.K. Garage scene, working in record shops and vinyl distribution. She held the role of A&R Manager at EMI Music Publishing in 2000 when she also founded the club FWD>>, which developed dubstep and grime. In 2005, Lockhart began working on the Rinse FM radio station, where she campaigned for its radio license and built it into a leading platform within the industry.
In other Sony/ATV news, the publisher and Bleeding Fingers Music have announced they have established a Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship for Black composition students within the Screen Scoring Master’s Program at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. The scholarship, which falls under Sony Music Group’s Social Justice Fund efforts, seeks to encourage inclusivity and expand opportunities for Black composers, who are vastly underrepresented across the film and scoring community. The Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship will cover the full cost of USC Thornton’s Screen Scoring Master’s program, including tuition, housing and meals, application fee reimbursement, equipment, applicable relocation costs, and software purchases. It will also include an apprenticeship opportunity at Bleeding Fingers Music, the leading custom scoring company in the film and television industry, founded by Hans Zimmer, Steve Kofsky and Russell Emanuel. Eligible applicants will be automatically considered for the scholarship.
Sony/ATV’s Nashville office has announced the acquisition of the River House Artists catalog of top charting country songs, counting Luke Combs’ No.1 hits “Forever After All,” “Beautiful Crazy,” “When It Rains It Pours,” and “Lovin’ On You.” The company also signed a JV with River House Artists to provide creative services to its talent. Launched in 2016 by veteran industry executive Lynn Oliver–Cline, River House Artists is an independent record label and publishing company that focuses on developing new artists and songwriters. The company is home to some of today’s top country hitmakers, including Luke Combs’ long–time friend and collaborator Ray Fulcher, as well as Drew Parker.
Award–winning U.K. booking agent, Jon Ollier, has unveiled plans for a new, independent live booking agency under the banner of One Fiinix Live. Ollier counts clients such as Ed Sheeran, Anne–Marie, Lauv, 2Cellos and JC Stewart, among others. Headquartered in London, One Fiinix Live opens its doors as Ollier recently parted ways with CAA after an almost six–year tenure, which was announced in October. As CEO of the new venture, Ollier retains his personal roster and has set out a vision that includes providing a first–class service to his existing clients while investing time and resources into developing new innovations and strategies to maximize opportunities in a post–COVID world. Also joining Ollier at One Fiinix Live will be Emma Davis, who was his long–time right–hand at CAA. Ollier started his career at booking agency Helter Skelter before heading to Free Trade Agency in 2008, where he began developing his own roster and working with artists such as Ed Sheeran, JP Cooper and Jamie Lawson. In 2015, he moved to CAA as a senior agent and expanded his roster to include Anne–Marie, Lauv, Calum Scott, 2Cellos and classical star Hauser, among others.
Acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny has signed a new recording agreement with Modern Recordings, one of BMG’s newest imprints. The deal marks Metheny’s first new label home in over two decades as he joins a growing artist roster at Modern Recordings which launched in November 2019. Releasing over forty albums throughout his career, 20–time Grammy winner, Metheny is the only artist to be awarded Grammys in 12 different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo and Best Instrumental Composition, among others. First entering the international scene in 1974, Metheny has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Milton Nascimento and David Bowie. His output has generated three Gold–certified albums for Still Life (Talking), Letter From Home and Secret Story as well as numerous other recognitions and honors.
Round Hill Music Royalty Partners has announced the successful close of its third private fund, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund III with total equity commitments of $291 million. Fund III is Round Hill Music’s largest fund to–date. In line with Round Hill Music&rsquops investment strategy for Funds I and II, Fund III will invest in royalty–producing IP related to music through the acquisition of high quality rights from songwriters, artists and other third–party rights holders. The Fund targets blue chip and classic songs that have gained significant popularity, earning a steady level of royalties across a variety of media streams and diversified by vintage and genre. To–date, Fund III has deployed over $200 million on notable deals, adding hit songs performed by the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Black Sabbath, The Dropkick Murphy’s, Daughtry, Craig David, Kiss, Limp Bizkit, Blues Traveler, Bruno Mars, Skid Row, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Night Ranger and others. Since inception, Round Hill Music has acquired rights to over 128,000 songs.
Reservoir has finalized a JV agreement with Atlantic Screen Music, one of the world’s leading film score and soundtrack production companies, in which the two will invest in a series of film score and soundtrack projects together. Operating across several different verticals, Atlantic Screen Music has built an expertise in the acquisition, financing, supervision, and publishing of major film scores since its inception in 2009. Some of the company’s most successful projects include Atomic Blonde, Lone Survivor and Escape Plan. Under this new agreement, Atlantic Screen Music and Reservoir will be partnering on upcoming films such as The War With Grandpa, The Asset, Mothering Sunday and Cosmic Sin. Atlantic Screen Music’s award–winning music supervision company, Redfive, has supervised films such as the Oscar and BAFTA nominated The Wife and the BAFTA nominated McQueen, as well as television shows such as The Trip to Greece and the new Apple TV series Long Way Up. RedFive will be supervising most of the films Reservoir will be co–financing.
Shazam has crossed the 200 million monthly active user–threshold worldwide, it was revealed last week. Additionally, “Dance Monkey” by Tones And I sits as the most Shazamed track ever with more than 3.6 million tags since it was released in May of last year. In 2018, Shazam was acquired by Apple.
As the holiday season approaches, Spotify has unveiled a subscriber offer to both previous and new users as it looks to target up to 154 million subscribers this quarter. Until December 31st, Spotify Premium is available to eligible first time users as a three month free trial while those who previously subscribed to the tier and make their way back have access to a $9.99/month fee for three months. In order to access the returning customer deal, users must have cancelled their Premium subscription before October 17th.
Vevo is collaborating with smart TV systems provider, NetRange, to bring the video music platform to 11 countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. The partnership encompasses smart TV services driven by the NetRange Smart TV App Store. NetRange becomes the latest addition to Vevo’s partnerships portfolio which includes YouTube, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Roku, PlutoTV, Apple TV, Virgin Media, Sky, Vewd, Xumo, Samsung TV Plus and others.
Apple revealed last week a new developer program to accelerate innovation and help small businesses and independent developers move their businesses forward with the next generation of apps on the App Store. The new App Store Small Business Program will provide developers with a reduced commission on paid apps and in–app purchases. Developers can qualify for the program and a reduced, 15% commission, if they earned up to $1 million in proceeds during the previous calendar year. The App Store Small Business Program will launch at the top of next year. The App Store’s standard commission rate of 30% will be maintained for apps generating over $1 million in proceeds.
In other Apple news, the company announced last week the winners of the second annual Apple Music Awards, recognizing the best musicians of 2020 and their impact on global culture. The Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five categories. The winners for global Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Breakthrough Artist of the Year were hand–selected by Apple Music’s global editorial team and tastemakers, and the awards for Top Song of the Year and Top Album of the Year are based on streaming data that is reflective of what Apple Music subscribers have been listening to this year. The Apple Music Awards celebration kicks off Monday, December 14th, with a week of special performances, fan events, interviews, and more, streaming worldwide on Apple Music, Apple Music TV and the Apple TV app.
Blacktag, a new online platform for Black content and creators, is preparing to launch early next year driven by $3.75 million in backing from Content Ventures, the investment group set–up by CAA and New Enterprise Associates. Additional investors include David Rogier (Founder, MasterClass) and David Jones (You & Mr Jones). Blacktag will seek to place itself as a destination for alternative Black content that will include both user–generated and premium, produced content. The platform’s Founders, Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko, have tapped Issa Rae and Common to support the original content initiatives for the platform and a deal with Janelle Monae is also in process.
Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired the music publishing catalog and master royalty stream of the multi–Platinum band Disturbed. The multi–million–dollar deal encompasses the Grammy–nominated band’s publishing and master income stream for their compositions and masters across their entire career to–date including titles such as “Indestructible,” “The Vengeful One,” and “Stricken.” Also encompassed under the deal is Disturbed’s hit “Down With The Sickness,” their first single to be certified Platinum in the U.S., as well as their 2015 cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic hit “Sound Of Silence.” Their version of the song, which has been streamed nearly a half billion times, became an instant classic, debuting at No.1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Digital Songs and Mainstream Rock charts, ultimately garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance in 2017. Terms of the deal also include access to the publishing firm’s marketing team and publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities and film & TV production. Primary Wave will additionally work with the band to market their name and likeness.
Concert livestream platform, Sessions, which was launched in April by Tim Westergren, Co–Founder & former CEO of Pandora, has revealed a $75 million fund for the marketing of each artist’s show on its platform in an effort to grow audiences. The fund looks to help solve the issue of increasing competition in the crowded livestreaming market by using its analytics–based marketing growth offering to target music listeners most likely to gravitate towards specific acts with digital advertising, at no cost to the artist. Applications to stream on Sessions are open to any artists with the platform now active in over 200 countries and counting more than 500 artist shows hosted weekly. Artists have the option to charge for entry or not with viewers able to interact via a live chat box and pay extra to send special emoticons over the course of the show. According to Westergren, amateur musicians are pulling in as much as $700 for an hour–long performance with professionals reaching $20,000 per show. That total comes after Sessions receives 30% of all revenue generated through the site, while revenue made through the official app is split 40% to the artist, 30% to Apple (for its App Store tax) and 30% to Sessions. Sessions’ main user base is largely less well–known acts, though it has welcomed more high–profile talent such as Icona Pop, Ally Brooke, Jake Miller and Matthew Goode, with upcoming performances set from Hank Williams Jr., En Vogue and Scotty McCreery.
Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) Group has finalized a strategic partnership and minority equity investment in Wave, an interactive virtual entertainment firm. The partnership will see TME broadcasting Wave experiences in China via all of its platforms counting QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing. Additionally, the collaboration will see the companies creating virtual concert content for TME Live, a live performance division which pairs offline concerts with an online experience. TME Live brought a presentation of Billie Eilish’s recent livestream show to China today. Wave has already hosted over 50 events such as those for The Weeknd, John Legend, Tinashe and Lindsey Stirling.
Coca–Cola and Katy Perry have announced the launch of a new music project, seeing the two very different pop icons joining forces to refresh the world. Perry and Coca–Cola have come together to re–imagine “Resilient,” a song from the global act’s new album, Smile. Partnering with DJ/producer Tiësto and featuring vocals from emerging talent Aitana, the remix launched on November 13th with a first play on BBC Radio 1 “Best New Pop.”
peermusic has signed songwriting/production duo Los Hitmen which is composed of Emanuel “Jazz” Infante and Kristian “Lelo” Ginorio. The exclusive global publishing administration deal encompasses Los Hitmen’s complete back catalog of hits such as “La Curiosidad” (Jay Wheeler and Myke Towers), as well as tracks from De La Ghetto’s Los Chulitos full–length. The duo is managed by Joel Albelo, who also looks after De La Ghetto, with Los Hitmen’s career crossing over 13 years. Other credits for Los Hitmen include “Loco Por Verte” (Los Hitmen ft. Justin Quiles & Lenny Tavarez), “Tussi” (Arcangel ft. De La Ghetto, Justin Quiles & Eladio Carrión), “Otra Copa” (J. Quiles ft. Farruko), “Mastika” (MC Ceja), “Perder” (Dalex ft. Jay Wheeler), and “Si Se Riran” (Jowell and Randy ft. Don Omar), as well as others.
Entertainment One (eOne) has finalized a long–term publishing deal with British artist, producer, songwriter, singer, DJ and remixer, Tim Worthington, aka Maths Time Joy. Maths Time Joy has been involved in many releases in the last few years, including tracks for artists Snakehips, Mahalia, Kevin Garrett, Mary J. Blige, Bebe Rexha, Roman and Gallant, whose debut album Ology earned Tim a Grammy nomination for his contribution. In addition, as a classical composer he is set to work on soundtracks alongside eOne’s film & TV division. eOne will also be releasing the Maths Time Joy artist project.
Rotor Videos, the intelligent app that makes music video creation easy and affordable, has announced an exclusive deal with SoundCloud. The partnership with Rotor sees SoundCloud Pro Unlimited members benefit from a 20% discount on all its video and subscription packages. The deal also boosts Rotor’s roster of DIY distribution service partners, adding to CD Baby, ReverbNation, TuneCore, Horus Music and Beatchain, and is announced as the company launches its new subscriptions model. Rotor’s new subscription plans offer the choice of three tiers of affordable options for artists and small labels to create music, lyric, promo and teaser videos in increased volumes according to their business and budget requirements, connecting artists with fans by enabling the creation of pro–quality promotional content from the safety of home. Available via desktop and mobile browsers, Rotor’s cloud–based AI tool enables the creation of videos in a few simple steps – upload your track, pick your video clips (your own or from the Rotor library), and choose an editing and effects style. Rotor listens to the music and cuts everything together for the artist, adjusting the timings of clips and effects based on the rhythm, tempo and intensity of the track. A preview video is created and made available to purchase and download as is, or with further customisation including added text, lyrics and changes to edits.
Twitter’s newest feature now allows users to make posts that will disappear from the platform after 24 hours. The feature, under the banner of Fleets, made its way to Twitter’s 187 million daily active users last week and falls in line with similar features already available from the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
U.K.-based management firm, Tap Music, has revealed the launch of a new division under the banner of Tap Sports which will provide global athlete management, and music/entertainment consulting for the sports arena. Tap Sports operate alongside the music management operation, providing consultancy and creative marketing services for clubs and other sports entities, as well as strategic athlete brand and commercial management. Tap Sports will be led by Managing Director, Zoe Prothero whose previous work has included a number of campaigns intersecting music and sports such as the NBA All Star Games, UEFA European Championships, FIFA World Cup while at Coca–Cola and most recently, the UEFA Champions League and Premier League while at Fuse. Prothero has previously collaborated with Tap Sports Founder Ben Mawson when Dua Lipa (a Tap Music management client) performed at the Champions League Final Opening Ceremony in 2018. Former Warner Music partnerships executive, Max Boffee, also joins the Tap Sports team. Initial clients for Tap Sports include Leeds United, with the club’s Kalvin Phillips the first athlete client. Additionally, Tap is working on the release for the soundtrack from the documentary for Liverpool FC’s title–winning season, a charity endeavor in support of Liverpool’s Foundation.
Live streaming platform, LiveXLive Media, is entering the music publishing arena with the launch of a new division, led by industry veteran David Schulhof. Schulhof came to LiveXLive last year as Chief Development Officer and now serves as President of the new publishing operations. He brings a wealth of experience to the new role including time as VP of Music for Miramax Films, Co–Founder of Evergreen Copyrights, a music publishing operation that was sold to BMG for $80 million; and with IM Global Film as President of Music, as well as other positions. According to Schulhof, the new publishing arm will sign songwriters as well as seek to acquire song catalogs, with music from those songwriters accessing an enhanced revenue stream via the company’s flywheel business model which includes both a paid subscription and ad–supported tier. LiveXLive’s global platform encompasses live stream and on–demand audio, music video and podcasts, comedy and pop culture, and counts ownership of Slacker Radio and Podcast One while hosting live events and also recently having agreed to the acquisition of Custom Personalization Solutions, offering LiveXLive full control of a merchandise division.
Stuart Hackley, Founder of Loud Crowd, John Curley from Paradigm Presents and Joe Quade from BAM Creates have joined forces with live veteran and nightlife owner/operator, Nick Karounos, to launch Auris Presents, which will consult for Spring Awakening Festival. Karounos was the former Principal and Managing Partner at React Presents which created Spring Awakening in 2006 and has been one of the biggest dance music promoters of Chicago venues such as The Mid. React Presents was sold to SFX and is now owned by LiveXLive. In January 2018, Karounos left LiveStyle, the company that emerged from the SFX bankruptcy, but remained a consultant for Spring Awakening. Auris will host events over four properties in Chicago that include Radius, a 4,000–capacity venue that opened weeks before the pandemic, Prysm nightclub, and Concord Music Hall. Auris is a member of the National Independent Venue Association and Chicago Independent Venue League with a line–up of socially distanced experiences for the rest of this year.
Marc Anthony’s Magnus Studios production firm has finalized a first–look deal with ViacomCBS’ ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS). The agreement falls under the global strategy from VIS for “establishing alliances with best talents in the entertainment industry to create and produce entertainment content for global audiences.” The news follows a recent development deal between VIS and animated children’s series, Gloria Wants to Know It All, with Magnus, Juan José Campanella’s Mundoloco Animation Studios and Lanugo Media.
ONErpm has announced a new partnership with Young Musicians Unite (YMU). Through this agreement, ONErpm has donated funds to support YMU’s mission to provide a vibrant music education for students throughout the Miami Gardens and Miami–Dade County Public School communities and have financed and built a new studio where students are able to write, record and collaborate. In celebration of the new partnership, ONErpm has released “Make It Easy,” a song from YMU student Ceci Leon (a member of the Lotus Quartet) who wrote, recorded and mixed the song at the new studio. “Make It Easy” is the first release from the ONErpm and YMU collaboration. ONErpm’s recording studio provides both the Miami Gardens and Miami–Dade Public School communities free audio/recording training and recording time for students as well as non-profit organizations and arts teachers. Additionally, students are supported in creating their own audition tapes, writing and releasing their own music and leading their own podcasts. The program also enables students to share their stories and new works to help them become leaders and contributors in their community. Students will also own their masters with all original music being released digitally through platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. The studio is currently open two days a week with plans to be open seven days a week in the future.
The 63rd annual Grammy Award nominations are set to arrive soon, and the Recording Academy has welcomed 1,722 new voting and non–voting “professional members” to their ranks in an attempt to diversify its membership. Of the invitees who accepted their invitations, 40% were women, 50% were non–white members and 25% accounted for people under the age of 39. However, the overall percentage of members who are women has not changed with minimal percentage gains in non–white communities and people who are younger than 39. The acceptance rate and amount of members invited increased significantly this year which may be attributed to the membership fees being waived this year due to the COVID–19 pandemic. The increase in the amount of invitations extended by The Academy can be accredited to the recently promoted VP of Membership and Industry Relations, Kelley Purcell, who states they had more time to work on their freshman class this year and have become more efficient with its peer–review membership model. Purcell’s recent appointment to the executive leadership team marks the first time in 20 years that the executive team is evenly divided between men and women at the Academy, as well as the Grammy Museum and its philanthropic arm, MusiCares.
#loverecordstores is launching a new initiative with the inaugural “Independent Albums of the Year” list. This new campaign is aimed primarily at the U.K.’s wider indie music sector, including artists and record labels, in time for the last quarter of 2020 and leading up to the all–important holiday season. The #loverecordstores “Independent Albums of the Year” list is 2020â€™s favorite releases from independent labels voted for by a cross section of notable independent record stores including Drift, Resident, Rough Trade, Normans, Piccadilly, Bear Tree, Assai, Banquet, Stranger Than Paradise, Bleep and Monorail among others. The full list is set to be revealed on December 3rd. To celebrate the launch, independent record stores across the U.K. will be making exclusive vinyl pressings of albums included in the list available to buy and pre–order starting December 5th.
IMPEL has expanded its reach into Japan with the addition of NexTone to its membership. NexTone is the only private–sector company in the music copyright administration business in Japan. It has been managing mechanical, digital and broadcasting copyrights in the territory since it launched in 2000. The company was re–established as a JV between e–License Inc. and Japan Rights Clearance Inc in 2016 and, in March 2020, became a publicly listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market. NexTone works with a wide range of rights holders including the publishing arms of global video games companies and animation studios, major and independent music publishers, and individual songwriters. Today, it represents approximately 200,000 works including popular songs by Japanese artists such as VAMPS, Susumu Hirasawa and Maki Ohguro, as well as songs from various world–famous video games.
IMPEL has also added the first Brazil–based publisher to its ranks with John Telfer’s Rocking Gorillas joining the independent collective. An industry veteran, Telfer has created successful companies in three different continents over a long career in publishing, records and management. His first company, formed in 1978, was Basement Music, which included such legendary writers as Augustus Pablo and Dennis Brown on its roster. Telfer then headed to New York, created Basement Music Inc, and became the manager of David Bowie, Television, Tom Verlaine, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Liona Boyd and The Proclaimers. In 1995, he was asked to become Head of International at the innovative Rykodisc record label. After five years at Rykodisc, Telfer moved to Brazil where he founded Basement Brazil, which rapidly became the leading independent publisher in the territory. In 2016, Telfer sold his company to BMG and became Managing Director of BMG Brazil for almost a year before parting ways. In 2018, Telfer helped create Rocking Gorillas with partners, Maira Colucci and Helena Cavalcanti. The company inked sub–publishing deals for catalogs from the likes of Reservoir Media, Domino and JIM in its first year. Since then, it has signed a number of talented writers to its roster including Portugal’s Andre Viamonte, and Brazilian natives Rakta, Labaq and O Tarot.
A partnership between Music Publishers Canada and the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) has resulted in the successful conclusion of their first–ever joint virtual songwriting camp which took place from November 17th – 20th. In light of the ongoing challenges associated with the COVID–19 pandemic, this virtual songwriting camp showcased the innovation and adaptability of songwriters and music publishers, who are finding new ways to forge creative and business relationships virtually in a global marketplace. The virtual songwriting camp, called Create 49 from the 49th, featured a total of 53 international and U.S. participants and 29 Canadian participants across 46 virtual writing rooms. To view the full list of participants, click HERE.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ben Mortimer, Shabs Jobanputra, Jens–Markus Wegener, Cassandra Gracey, Gina Tucci, Paul Wiltshire, Amanda Samii, Miles Beard, Alexandra Patsavas, Dallas Martin, Allison Jones, Jason Bentley, Luke Mitzman, Darcus Beese, Paramdeep Singh and Lucas Keller.
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. Even with a global pandemic, nothing can slow down or stop jackass moments from occurring. Click HERE for a belly full of Covid free laughter!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– FOREST BLAKK
Singer–songwriter Forest Blakk garnered very early support in his career from A&R Worldwide, who helped him land a record deal with Atlantic Records and sub–publishing deal with Sony/ATV worldwide. Since then, he’s been deemed an “artist on the rise” by Billboard, has accumulated millions of 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. His music has been featured in a variety of television shows and major motion pictures, including Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and Paramount Pictures’ Playing With Fire. Earlier this year, it was announced that Forest would tour with the Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse, which would have begun in July, but due to the pandemic, the tour was put on hold. Forest continued to write and record during this time away from the stage and has since released the single “If You Love Her,” co–written by Steve Solomon (James Arthur, Dean Lewis) The track was feature in the season finale of Love Island and quickly earned over 100,000 streams in less than 24 hours on Amazon Music. In fact, the song is his best–ever streamed song counting weekly streams and continues to build each week since its release. Listen to “If You Love Her” by Forest Blakk HERE, and contact Rene Renner at email@example.com for all inquiries.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – JEREMY LOOPS
For nearly a decade now, Cape Town, South Africa’s Jeremy Loops has been building up a loyal following. Jeremy Loops garnered his first–ever international support from A&R Worldwide back in 2012, which led to him the following year securing a brand synch deal, a licensing deal in the U.S., and live opportunities internationally including sold–out shows across India with the support of MTV and Viacom 18 Live. The one–man folk band creates music on the spot with a loop pedal, creating a mash–up of a number of genres, namely folk, reggae, hip hop and gypsy–jazz. Now a household name in South Africa, and doing well in Germany, Jeremy has toured the world, collaborated with Ed Sheeran, Simone Felice and Cam Blackwood, and has earned over 95 million combined streams. He recently released a new single called “‘Til I Found You” which has seen immediate reaction at Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer, while being included on a number of influential playlists. The new tune also comes with a new video which happens to be Jeremy’s directorial debut. Watch the video for “‘Til I Found You” HERE and contact Damon Forbes at Damon@breakout.co.za for all inquiries.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 11/22/2020
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, November 22nd, 2020: The weekly import show. Heard on more than 50 radio stations on six continents weekly including: Flux FM Berlin, Germany; JioSaavn (worldwide); Radio Doble Nueve, Lima, Peru; WZRH–FM New Orleans, LA; 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); 96.2 ZFM The Netherlands; WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, OH; 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; Rock 96.5FM Zambia; 897 FM Bratislava, Slovakia; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, NY; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia; WRUR 88.5FM Rochester, NY; WCRU–FM Hamilton, NY; KZND Anchorage, AK; KQCJ Quad Cities, IL; Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany; Indie Xfm Los Angeles and on The Independent FM (iHeartRadio) in the United States, as well as many others internationally.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
GIANT ROOKS – “All We Are” (AR Entertainment, Germany)
MELLAH – “Hitchin” (Columbia Records, UK)
G FLIP – “You & I” (Future Classic, Australia)
CRYSTAL TIDES – “Courtney Love” (Unsigned, UK)
MIA RODRIGUEZ – “Beautiful & Bittersweet” (City Pop, Australia)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “Django” (Cloud Hills, Sweden)
DOWN FOR TOMORROW – “Survive” (Good Intent, Australia)
CRUCCHI GANG – “La La La io non ti amo non mi ami Aha Aha Aha” (Universal, Germany)
COACH PARTY – “Can’t Talk, Won’t” (Unsigned, Isle of Wight)
BOY DESTROY – “Warpaint” (Bud Fox, Sweden)
SAM AND SOUNDS – “Addicted To You” (Unsigned, UK)
ROOSEVELT – “Feels Right” (Greco Roman, Germany)
LAURAN HIBBERD – “Boy Bye” (Unsigned, Isle of Wight)
LOVEBREAKERS – “Horizons” (Little Rocket / Sabbath City, UK)
RICH BEESTON – “Coincidences” (Unsigned, Australia)
SAAHIL BHARGAVA – “Plug In Baby” (Unsigned, India)
GOLD MEMBER – “Chilli & Cocoa” (Sureshaker, Australia)
SEA GIRLS – “All I Want To Hear You Say” (Polydor, UK)
MATTHEW MOLE – “Keep It Together” (Universal Music, South Africa)
THE VITRIOTS – “Down On My Level” (Sureshaker, Australia)
TEMPESST – “Must Be A Dream” (Pony Recordings, UK)
TOM LUMLEY & THE BRAVE LIAISON – “Better Than This” (Fort Records, UK)
ASAF AVIDAN – “900 Days” (Telmavar Records & Polydor/Universal, Germany)
THE PALE WHITE – “Take Your Time” (Unsigned, UK)
ADÉLAIDE – “Silent Hope” (Unsigned, Germany)
MONOWHALES – “All Or Nothing” (TRUE Records, Canada)
IAMJJ – “Different Kind Of Blues” (Unsigned, Denmark)
INHALER – “When It Breaks” (Polydor, UK)
RED MOON – “Dreamer” (Decca, UK)
DOTAN – “There Will Be A Way” (7 Layers, Holland)
WAITING FOR SMITH – “Lines of Love” (Four One Seven Records, UK)
CATHOLIC GUILT – “A Boutique Affair” (Wiretap Records, Australia)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Tom Lumley & The Brave Liaison, Alfie Templeman and Monowhales)