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The global music industry’s annual business conference and showcase confab MUSEXPO concluded last week in Los Angeles with phenomenal feedback and reaction from the international music community in attendance for its inspiring and insightful program.

The independent event continues to be regarded by industry leaders as one of the most important annual gatherings for those truly vested in the global music business and offers some of the best creative and business interaction, opportunities and networking for its attendees from around the world.

As MUSEXPO remains focused and boutique in size, the impact for those attending the event continues to be substantial. MUSEXPO’s highly-effective and focused networking environment draws some of the most influential global architects of today and tomorrow’s music business, as well as those with a connection to all things music, be it via live, media, radio, streaming, mobile, A&R, publishing, management, brands, retail, tech, synchronization, marketing and much more.

This year saw MUSEXPO recognizing one of the world’s most influential and innovative radio brands in presenting BBC Radio 1 & Radio 2 with its “International Music Icon of the Year Award.” The event featured awards presentations from A&R Worldwide & MUSEXPO Founder & President Sat Bisla; City of Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell; Michael Howells - British Consul General in Los Angeles; and President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Leron Gubler, celebrating the 50 year milestone and massive contributions of Radio 1 and Radio 2 to the global music and radio community. As part of the honorarium events, Music Week Editor, Mark Sutherland, conducted a very rare and special keynote interview with Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio, and one of the world’s most important and influential radio and multi-media executives.

MUSEXPO kicked-off with its A&R EXPO on Sunday, April 29th featuring an in-depth interview with widely-successful Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, moderated by Tim Ingham (Founder & Publisher, Music Business Worldwide). This was followed by a keynote A&R panel, led by Mark Sutherland, featuring Aton Ben-Horin - Global VP of A&R, Warner Music Group; Sam Taylor - Sr. VP of Creative, Kobalt Music; Sanken Sandqvist - Managing Director, BMG Scandinavia; hit songwriter/producer Savan Kotecha; Spek - Sr. VP of Creative/A&R, Reservoir; and Wendy Goldstein - Executive Vice President, Republic Records. In addition, Atlantic Records’ President of A&R Pete Ganbarg participated in a rare keynote interview with Ralph Simon (Founder & CEO, Mobilium Global). In addition, delegates were treated to insightful music supervision innovation by executives that included Alex Hackford - Sr. Artists & Repertoire/Music Affairs, Sony Interactive Entertainment America; Alicen Schneider - SVP, Music Creative, NBCUniversal Television and Amanda Krieg Thomas - Music Supervisor, Neophonic.

Monday saw Mark Sutherland (Editor, Music Week) moderating a fantastic Global keynote that featured leading executives including Amazon Music’s Global Head of Programming & Content Strategy, Alex Luke; Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network; Atlantic Records Group’s Chairman & CEO, Craig Kallman; Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music India; Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Co.’s Global Lead, Business Development & Partner Management, as well as global digital and motion picture executive Tracey Trench. Later in the day, Sutherland also conducted a highly insightful and inspiring interview with leading music supervision executive, Alexandra Patsavas (Founder, Chop Shop Music Supervision).

This year’s MUSEXPO also delivered a unique spin to its focus on the synch arena with an exclusive panel that saw its delegates have the opportunity to have their music heard in the session by a panel of supervision executives that included: Gary Calamar - President, Go! Music Services; Janine Scalise Boyd - Vice President, Music, Creative & Business Affairs, Starz; Katy Gavillet - Creative Director,Music, FOX Broadcasting Company; Rudy Chung - Partner, Hit The Ground Running (HTGR) & Founding Partner, Pusher; and Steve Schnur - Worldwide Executive of Music & Marketing, EA Games. The session, led by Music Business Registry Publisher, Ritch Esra, resulted in a number of positive reactions with details of synch outcomes to be revealed soon.

And as always, a plethora of great global talent showcased for agents, promoters, A&Rs, publishers, music supervisors, brands and radio influencers; numerous acts are already in talks for various deals worldwide via their MUSEXPO showcase performances last week.

Event Founder & President Sat Bisla commented, “On behalf of our entire A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO team, we would like to thank all of the artists, speakers, partners, showcase artists, delegates, sponsors, wineries, City of Los Angeles, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, S.I.R. Studios and our families for their gracious participation and support and for being a part of what is truly a global music family and community that is so unique to what embodies the genuine passion and true spirit of music at MUSEXPO. I would also like to thank my amazing team including Monte Malone, Joe Arnold, Tyler Polzin, KC Morse, Josh Woodard, Dusty Bisla, and our volunteers for their tireless efforts, selflessness and support to ensure MUSEXPO 2018 was an exceptional experience for all who attended.”

Below is a short pictorial overview of this year's event (a full overview of all panels, showcases, etc. will be posted on the MUSEXPO website in the coming days).

THE STATE OF THE GLOBAL MUSIC BUSINESS: Discussing the current and future ideas of the worldwide music industry (l-r) were: Mark Sutherland, Editor, Music Week (UK); Alex Luke, Global Head of Programming & Content Strategy, Amazon Music; Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network; Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records Group; Tracey Trench, Owner/Producer, Tracey Trench Productions; Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music (India); Scott Burnell, Global Lead, Business Development & Partner Management, Ford Motor Co. and Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide/MUSEXPO.

THE FUTURE OF A&R WORLDWIDE: Sharing their expertise in respect to songwriting, publishing and A&R for the future (l-r) were: Music Week’s Mark Sutherland; Sam Taylor, Sr. VP Creative, Kobalt Music; Savan Kotecha, Songwriter/Producer (The Weeknd, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry); Wendy Goldstein, Executive Vice President, Republic Records; Spek, Sr. Vice President Creative/A&R, Reservoir; Sanken Sandqvist, Managing Director, BMG Scandinavia and Aton Ben-Horin, Global Vice President A&R, Warner Music Group.

MUSEXPO KICK-OFF WITH GRAMMY, EMMY & GOLDEN GLOBE WINNING SONGWRITER: Longtime friends of A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO set the tone with “it’s all about the song.” Pictured (l-r) are Tim Ingham, Publisher & Founder, Music Business Worldwide with legendary multi-Platinum songwriter, Diane Warren. MUSIC, MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY & MORE: Discussing the broader vision of music publishing and more during a special BMG keynote at MUSEXPO were (l-r): respected music journalist and copyright expert Emmanuel Legrand; Zach Katz, President, US Repertoire & Marketing, BMG and A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO Founder Sat Bisla.

IT’S ALL ABOUT GLOBAL A&R: Sharing his incredible vision, realities and pathways to success on all aspects of international A&R was Pete Ganbarg, President A&R, Atlantic Records Group (left) with esteemed moderator, Ralph Simon, Founder & CEO, Mobilium Global. BBC RADIO GOES HOLLYWOOD AT MUSEXPO: Accepting a very prestigious acknowledgement and award from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is Chris Price, Head of Music, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra (pictured left) from Leron Gubler, President & CEO, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

BBC RADIO 1 & 2 RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION FROM THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES FOR THEIR 50 YEARS OF RADIO & MUSIC INNOVATION & GLOBAL IMPACT: Pictured (l-r) are A&R Worldwide & MUSEXPO Founder Sat Bisla; Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio; Mitch O’Farrell, Councilmember 13th District, City of Los Angeles; Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network and Leron Gubler, President & CEO, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. ACCPETING THEIR OFFICIAL “MUSIC ICON OF THE YEAR AWARD” FOR BBC RADIO 1 & 2’S 50TH GLOBAL HONORARIUM AT MUSEXPO were (l-r): Chris Price, Head of Music, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra; Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio; Michael Howells, British Consul General in Los Angeles and Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network.

MUSEXPO’S 20TH GLOBAL EDITION CELEBRATES WITH AN INTERNATIONAL MUSIC LEGEND: Pictured (l-r) are A&R Worldwide & MUSEPO Founder Sat Bisla; Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio; Engelbert Humperdinck; Chris Price, Head of Music, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra UK; Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records Group and Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & BBC Asian Network. DISCUSSING WORLDWIDE TALENT MANAGEMENT AT MUSEXPO (l-r) were Ian Montone, Founder, Monotone, Inc. (White Stripes, Vampire Weekend); Greg Thompson, President, Maverick (U2, Madonna); Ralph Simon, Founder & CEO, Mobilium Global; Colin Lester, Founder, JEM Music (Craig David); Tarsame Mittal, Founder, TM Talent Management India (Arijit Singh) and Jeremy Gruber, Head of Digital Marketing & Strategy, Friends At Work (John Legend).

A WORLD RECORD OF SYNCHS? MUSEXPO’s Music Supervision panel loved so many songs during their pitch session that there was a total of 32 potential synchs that came out of the panel. Pictured (l-r) were Ritch Esra, Publisher, Music Registry; Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music, EA Games; Katy Gavillet, Creative Director, Music, FOX Broadcasting Company; Gary Calamar, President, Go! Music Services; Janine Scalise Boyd, Vice President, Music, Creative & Business Affairs, Starz and Rudy Chung, Partner, Hit The Ground Running (HTGR) & Founding Partner, Pusher. AN INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING MUSIC SUPERVISORS AT MUSEXPO: Music Week Editor, Mark Sutherland, gets into the music supervision DNA with Alexandra Patsavas, Founder, Chop Shop Music Supervision (The Hunger Games, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., Gossip Girl, Mad Men, Without A Trace, Lucifer, Supernatural, Dynasty and many others).

EXPERIENCING ALL ASPECTS OF THE LIVE BUSINESS (l-r) were: Tom Windish, Senior Executive, Paradigm Talent Agency; Pete Anderson, Agent, Earth to Peter; Jon Pleeter, Vice President, Concerts/Lifestyle, ICM Partners; Chris Price, Head of Music, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra; Tim Ingham, Publisher, Music Business Worldwide and Neil Warnock, Global Head of Touring, United Talent Agency. SCULPTING THE FUTURE OF COPYRIGHTS & PUBLISHING were (l-r) respected music journalist and copyright expert Emmanuel Legrand; Dom Rodriguez, Manager/Head of US Creative & Business Affairs, EKKO Music Rights US; Jake Wisely, Chief Publishing Executive, Concord Music; Jens-Markus Wegener, Senior Consultant, Meisel Music, Germany; Kathy Spanberger, President & Chief Operating Officer, peermusic and Sue Drew, GM, Creative & Acquisitions, Kobalt Music Publishing.


Jeff Sosnow
Warner Bros. Records (WBR) has revealed the promotion of Jeff Sosnow to Executive Vice President, A&R. The new, expanded role will see Sosnow overseeing the signing and developing of artists for both the WBR and Reprise labels. Having served as Sr. VP of A&R for WBR since 2012, Sosnow has achieved an impressive track record at the label including work with acts such as Tegan and Sara, Deftones, Mastodon, Mac Miller, AJR, Death from Above, The Head And The Heart, Twin Shadow, Houndmouth and Rufus Du Sol.

“The bedrock of every great label is the strength of its A&R, and Jeff has proven to be one of the most astute and accomplished A&R people in our business,” said Warner Bros. Records Co-Chairman & COO, Tom Corson. “I’ve admired his musical taste for years, so it’s a great pleasure to finally be in the same family. In the coming months, we’ll be continuing to build our A&R team into the strongest and most competitive in the industry, and Jeff will be a key player in making WBR the best home for the most creative, culture-shifting artists.”

“It’s always been my mission to give exceptional artists the environment and freedom to do their best work,” said Sosnow. “Warner Bros. has long been known as an artist-driven company, and with everything happening here today, the future is wide open and incredibly exciting. I want to thank Max Lousada, Tom Corson and the entire fantastic WBR team for their support of our artists and their music, and I’m looking forward to helping deliver amazing records in the months and years ahead.”

Prior to WBR, Sosnow worked alongside several notable industry mentors with his career in music starting in 1996 for American Recordings, working at the inception of online digital media entertainment company, ARTISTdirect. Sosnow transitioned later that year to the just-launched Revolution Records (a subsidiary of Giant Records). In 1997, he started a seven-year stint on the A&R team for Dreamworks Records. When Dreamworks was incorporated into Geffen Records in 2004, Sosnow moved to the A&R staff of Interscope Records, and for the next eight years saw success with acts including Wolfmother, TV On The Radio, Major Lazer and The All-American Rejects.


Andrew Gould & Corey Roberts
Downtown Music Publishing recently appointed Andrew Gould as Sr. Vice President and Head of A&R, North America for the company. Additionally, Corey Roberts was named Vice President of A&R Research. Gould’s new role will see him leading the company's A&R, writer relations and creative development operations in North America while reporting to Downtown’s CEO, Justin Kalifowitz. Roberts will be based out of Downtown’s New York City headquarters and report to Gould. He will be tasked with discovering and studying the analytics behind artists and songs, both new and old, to identify new opportunities for Downtown.

Prior to Downtown, Gould was Co-Head of A&R at BMG, where he played a key role in the company’s creative and organizational leadership. Having joined BMG in 2012, Gould was heavily involved with the success of Jon Bellion, Bebe Rexha, Jason Evigan, Max Frost, Lewis Capaldi and Andra Day, whose work with Gould on "Rise Up" led to two Grammy nominations in 2016. Recent success stories include placing The Monsters & Strangerz' co-written hit single "The Middle" with Zedd, Grey and Maren Morris, and signing Calum Scott, whose debut album went to No.1 on the iTunes album chart across 19 countries. Gould’s 17-year industry career began at Epic Records before he transitioned to EMI Music Publishing, where he was an early champion of Sia and worked closely with hit-makers Savan Kotecha, Jim Jonsin and Toby Gad.

Roberts’ background includes leading A&R Research at SONGS Publishing, where he was part of the team who discovered and signed acts such as Lorde and Desiigner. Prior to SONGS, Roberts worked in A&R research at UMPG, Motown Records and Epic Records.

"Modern songwriters need partners in both thought and action - partners who can support them in their mission to bring the best possible songs into the world," said Kalifowitz. "In Andrew, we have found a strong advocate for the global songwriting community. One who recognizes that song copyrights are not units of currency, but rather the building blocks of popular culture. As we continue to increase our investment in the next generation of songs and songwriters, we are excited to have a proven leader like Andrew mentoring our team and supporting our clients alike."

Gould's West Coast team will include Taeko Saito, Vice President, International A&R; Dylan Silbermann, Sr. Manager of A&R, and Jacqueline Burnham, A&R Coordinator.


Conrad Sewell
Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and Conrad Sewell have announced that they have joined forces. Conrad will release two new songs simultaneously on May 18 through Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and his New York City-based label, 300 Entertainment.

Citing influences from emotional turbulence in his personal and professional life over the past few years, Conrad’s new music is bound to encapsulate the emotion and power so familiar to his refreshingly honest and powerful music.

Sewell comments, “I am so excited to join the Sony Music family and for the world to hear this new music. I have poured my heart and soul into in these songs in the hopes of moving people on many levels. I am honoured to have such an iconic label behind me in this next chapter of my career.”

Denis Handlin AO, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Entertainment Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia added: “Conrad Sewell is an incredibly talented artist and I am thrilled to welcome him to the Sony Music family. This exciting next phase of his career will see him reach new heights and we are honoured to be a part of it.”

Over the past few years, Australia-raised and Los Angeles-based ARIA Award-winning, Platinum-selling singer and songwriter Conrad Sewell has generated international attention. He garnered the coveted “Song of the Year” honor at the 2015 ARIA Awards for his breakout solo single, “Start Again.” His hit single, “Hold Me Up,” clocked over 53 million Spotify streams and preceded his debut EP, All I Know. Between touring with Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5 and Kygo, he earned praise from Entertainment Weekly, Teen Vogue, Vice, NBC, and Nylon who called him “Australia’s next great pop export.Simultaneously, his work as a featured vocalist on Kygo’s “Firestone” generated him RIAA platinum status, nearly 1 billion cumulative streams, and performances to audiences at Coachella and Madison Square Garden among others. He joined forces with the late Avicii for the hit “Taste the Feeling” in addition to bringing “Sex, Love & Water” to life for Armin van Buuren.


Victor Murgatroyd
The successful, talented and well-respected A&R veteran Victor Murgatroyd, who has been focusing on various private ventures over the past three years, is poised to return to doing what he loves most - A&R. A&R Worldwide has learned that he's contemplating coming back into A&R and has been in the midst of numerous label and publisher meetings. Murgatroyd has served as Co-General Manager of M.J. Online (the official online team of the Michael Jackson estate), as well as President of Perez Hilton’s Perezcious Music. Previously, Murgatroyd was VP of A&R at J Records and Sr. VP of A&R at Wind-up Records where he nurtured multi-Platinum artists such as Evanescence, Seether, Drowning Pool and Finger Eleven. Murgatroyd has had a long illustrious career as a musician, executive and digital entrepreneur. As a young A&R man he was the executive that brought Incubus in to be showcased by Steve Rennie and Richard Griffiths at Epic Records (then signed by Immortal Records’ Paul Pontius and Happy Walters).

Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced the promotion of Alex Kamins to VP, Global Digital Business Development - Innovation & Emerging Technology. Kamins will relocate to Los Angeles from WMG’s New York headquarters to lead West Coast-based partnerships and drive new digital media and business opportunities. Kamins will continue to build on WMG’s strategic business efforts via partnerships, licensing deals and investments, focusing on established and emerging digital platforms, new content opportunities, new technologies and location-based entertainment. He will continue to report to WMG’s Sr. VP, Global Digital Business Development - Head of Innovation & Emerging Technology, Jeff Bronikowski. Most recently, Kamins served as Sr. Director, Digital Strategy & Business Development, where he took the lead on various partnerships including the first major label license deals with Musical.ly and Melody VR, as well as WMG’s membership in seed accelerator Techstars Music. He came to WMG in 2013 as an Associate Director in the Office of the CEO, having previously worked in the investment banking and investment management sectors.

BMG continues to experience significant success as the music company garnered 20 No.1 positions in last week’s Billboard charts. The collective of No.1’s are split nearly even with nine for records and 11 for publishing from BMG’s songwriters. Notably, the No.1 success covers multiple genres including Country, Rock, Latin, R&B, Dance/Electronic and Mainstream Pop. Leading the set are A Perfect Circle, whose BMG-released album Eat The Elephant, tops Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums, Tastemakers, Independent Albums and Vinyl Albums charts. Also with five No.1’s is “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, co-written by BMG-published The Monsters & Strangerz. With three No.1’s is “Meant To Be” by Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, co-written by the BMG-published Rexha. At two No.1’s each are Jason Aldean, Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown, and global hit “Despacito,” co-written by BMG writer Poo Bear. Lastly, BMG-published Bruno Mars takes the top spot for Adult R&B.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has named Dave Rocco to the newly-created role of EVP, Creative where he will move forward UMG’s efforts to leverage artists’ music and brands across established and emerging channels, develop innovative digital campaigns and work with UMG’s labels globally to accelerate artists’ storytelling. Rocco had most recently been with Spotify as Global Head of Artist and Label Marketing. His new role with UMG will see him based at the company’s global headquarters in Santa Monica, reporting to Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG’s Chairman and CEO. At Spotify, Rocco worked with a number of successful acts, developing campaigns to connect with audiences worldwide. He also championed Spotify initiatives such as their Pride campaign, Black History, No Moment for Silence and One Love Manchester. Prior to Spotify, Rocco served as EVP, Music Creative Director at ad agency Deutsch where he oversaw music direction for national campaigns and partnerships, as well as a stint with BBDO. His career began at age 14 as a producer at Z100 in New York, answering request lines and later as a talent scout at Epic Records and A&R at Atlantic Records.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has finalized a multi-year global agreement with EMPIRE, the San Francisco-based indie music company founded by Ghazi Shami, to provide strategic distribution services to UMG’s labels and artists. The agreement will see UMG and EMPIRE working together on select artist projects from UMG’s labels, benefitting from EMPIRE’s unique approach to distribution, digital sales, promotion and marketing.

Sony/ATV has extended its worldwide deal with songwriter/musician Geoff Warburton, a main collaborator of Shawn Mendes. Warburton co-wrote a number of songs on Mendes’ first two studio albums, including the global hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” which reached No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic and secured double-platinum status in the U.S. The new agreement covers Warburton’s catalog and future works. On Mendes’ debut full-length, Warburton co-penned several songs with the album debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Warburton’s role in Mendes’ second album Illuminate, saw him with co-write credits on eight of the 13 cuts on the standard version of the album alongside another song on the deluxe edition. Besides co-penning Mendes’ current, global-charting single “In My Blood” and co-writing five other songs on his upcoming third studio release, Warburton has most recently been working regularly out of Los Angeles and Nashville, building his reputation as a highly-sought-after pop, country and country/pop writer.

American Idol will return to ABC for the second consecutive season, marking the talent shows 17th season overall. The renewal also includes deals for the shows talent including Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest. Having previously aired on Fox, American Idol averaged a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 through the end of April for its Sunday broadcast and a 1.9 for Monday.

Leading promoter Live Nation has made the acquisition of a stake in Rock in Rio, South America's biggest festival. The deal sees Live Nation purchasing stakes from the founding partners for the festival as well as the creditor committee of previous owner, SFX (now LiveStyle). Marked as one of the largest festivals in the world, Rock in Rio takes place annually in September across two weekends in Brazil and is attended by 700,000 fans from 62 different countries.

FOX Welcomes The Dutch To The Studio Lot
Last week, the Fox Studio lot welcomed a delegation of Dutch music industry to meet with the creative team led by Mamie Coleman (Sr. VP Creative Music and Production) and including Katy Gavillet (Creative Director, Music) and Scotty Schneider (Associate Manager, Music) as well as others. The Dutch collective had the opportunity to hear about the Fox team’s various projects and share their work with the creative executives behind the music of the broadcasting company. The meeting was organized by A&R Worldwide as part of a long-time partnership between the firms and the Dutch society Buma Cultuur as it focuses on its upcoming synch event, Music in Motion. Click HERE for an overview of some of the work done by Dutch creatives across the synch space.

MelodyVR, the world’s first dedicated virtual reality music platform, has officially rolled out. The MelodyVR app provides music fans with immersive performances from a number of leading artists taking place in sold-out stadiums, festivals and exclusive VIP sessions. With new performances weekly, the MelodyVR app is now available in the U.K. and U.S., initially on Oculus Go and Samsung GearVR devices, with a number of pre-recorded performances, original content and curated Journeys to choose from and purchase. Over the coming months, MelodyVR will also live stream concerts via Virtual Reality and offer virtual tickets to sold-out shows. MelodyVR, and its parent company EVR Holdings, also announced a fundraise of $30 million, bringing total funding to over $70 million to-date as it seeks to grow its corporate footprint globally and launch the MelodyVR product in additional international markets. As the only licensed VR music platform, MelodyVR has secured partnerships with a number of major and independent labels and publishers, and international artists. As standalone VR headsets become more accessible, the VR market is set to grow exponentially in the coming years with current market forecasts suggesting more than 350 million users by 2021 and the last year seeing $3 billion invested in virtual and alternative reality.

NBC has announced they will air a special two-hour tribute to the iconic Swedish pop outfit, ABBA. With the quartet having just reunited, the special is scheduled for December with a collection of artist performing some of ABBA’s biggest hits.

SoundCloud has tapped Nancy Hood as Sr. VP, Listener, tasked with leading growth and expansion for the streaming platform’s global consumer listener business, including subscriptions and advertising. Hood will be based in New York while reporting to Michael Weissman, SoundCloud’s COO. She comes to SoundCloud from PayPal, where she led the consumer division for PayPal Credit. Previously, she served as Sr. VP of Marketing at Audible.

Sony Corp. has unloaded half of its 5.707% stake in Spotify. The company anticipates an approximate 100 billion yen gain from the sale with the exact prices at which Sony sold the shares not revealed, although based on average share price at the time of the sale, Sony’s take would be around $761.354 million. The sale means a payout for Sony's artists, their managers and Sony-distributed indie labels with Sony sitting as the only major committing to sharing with both its acts and indie labels, should its contracts with artists and indies require it or not. While it’s not clear exactly how much from the sale will go to Sony artists and labels, estimates put the total payout pool at around $525.5 million.

Viacom has announced the promotion of Nina L. Diaz to President, Programming and Development for MTV, VH1 and Logo Group. Dias had served as EVP, Programming and Development, Unscripted for MTV and VHI since 2016. In her new role, she will be reporting directly to President of MTV, VH1 and Logo Group, Chris McCarthy. Diaz started her career with MTV, developing and launching My Super Sweet 16 and Cribs as well as being credited with spearheading the concept for The Osbourne's. Leading unscripted for VH1, she was responsible for 10 consecutive quarters of growth, counting 11 of the top 20 unscripted series for the 18-34 demographic, including Love and Hip Hop, Black Ink Crew, Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party and others. In returning to MTV, she oversaw a total programming revamp that brought the network three quarters of growth, assisting in the launch of new programs such as Floribama Shore and Siesta Key.

Spotify’s financial report for Q1 (ending March 31st) revealed growth in revenue and subscriber numbers. The first round of figures since the streaming platform’s IPO, the Q1 numbers showed Spotify wrapping the quarter with 170 million active users monthly (an increase of 30% year-on-year) and 75 million premium subscribers (an increase of 45%). Despite adding 4 million subscribers since its last announcement at the end of 2017, Spotify’s shares dropped 9% in after-hours trading following the reveal with the company not surpassing its own forecasted numbers.

In other Spotify news, the streaming platform has partnered with Instagram to see users able to share the music their listening to through Instagram Stories or Instagram Direct. The new feature also allows for the sharing of music to Instagram using Spotify's "share" menu and selecting the Instagram Stories option. The app will unlock custom cover art for each song, album, playlist or artist on Spotify with Instragram’s editing tools available to personalize the picture before sharing. People viewing the shared songs on Instagram will have the option to select a "Play on Spotify" button on their screen to redirect them to the streaming app to listen. Spotify is also moving forward on integration with Facebook Stories.

Full Stop Management has added British artist/songwriter Charli XCX to their roster, represented by Brandon Creed, who also looks after Mark Ronson and Sara Bareilles among others. A partnership between Creed, Irving Azoff, Jeffrey Azoff and an additional collective of managers, Full Stop’s roster counts Harry Styles, Gwen Stefani, Bon Jovi, Meghan Trainor, Haim and the Eagles. Charli XCX, who is currently at work on new music for release via Asylum/Atlantic Records, had been represented by Various Artists Management and is preparing to embark on Taylor Swift’s Reputation stadium tour alongside additional supporting act, Camila Cabello. As a featured artist, Charlie XCX has entered the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 list twice with Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” which reached No.1. As a lead artist, Charli XCX's work has garnered 443 million U.S. streams (audio and video). Her work as a songwriter has produced material recorded by the likes of Camila Cabello and Selena Gomez.

Reservoir, which includes Reverb/Reservoir Music in the U.K. as part of its global operations, has announced the acquisition of a worldwide stake in the historic catalog of the late American songwriter, Hoagy Carmichael. The deal, conducted with Carmichael's heirs, brings Reservoir nearly 500 Carmichael titles dating as far back as the 1920s. Known as one of the most successful musicians to come out of the Tin Pan Alley era, Carmichael composed some of the greatest American music of the 20th century including “Georgia On My Mind,” “Heart and Soul,” “Stardust,” “The Nearness of You,” and “Skylark,” among hundreds of others. His 1951 song “In the Cool, Cool, Cool, of the Evening” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and his works have been performed by acts such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong as well as Keith Richards, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Norah Jones, Michael Bublé and Willie Nelson. In 1971, Carmichael was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in only its second year. Additionally, Carmichael has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Grammys, two Oscar nominations and one win to his name.

Roc Nation has rolled out a new television division, headed up by Patrick Reardon as EVP, Scripted and Unscripted Television. Reardon is responsible for building and overseeing the division with a focus on scripted and unscripted content. Reardon comes to Roc Nation with 15 years of industry experience including his most recent role with the Weinstein Company as Co-Head of Television where he led the Project Runway franchise and launched series and limited documentary projects with a number of partners, Roc Nation included. In launching the new division, Roc Nation follows up on its success with Time: The Kalief Browder Story (2018 Peabody winner), and the forthcoming Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. A number of projects are currently in development under the new division, including an unscripted series with Amazon.

Leading social content sharing platform, SHAREit, has announced a collaboration with Times Music, a division of The Times Group. The new partnership will offer SHAREit users access to a wider music catalogue across 27 languages of Times Music. The SHAREit app has one of the most extensive content portfolios, including browsing online videos, creating playlists and downloading GIFs and stickers. Accommodating their user base in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, SHAREit has incorporated a large catalogue of regional content to appeal to its regional customers. All new recordings released via the Times Music label will be synced with SHAREit app with users the first to enjoy the newly-launched songs. SHAREit counts more than 1.3 billion users globally with the app reaching over 200 countries and regions across 39 languages. Based on research conducted, the 16-28-year-old demographic in major Indian cities are the most active users of SHAREit.

CAA has added Lil Wayne to its roster for exclusive representation as the rapper parts ways with ICM. The move comes as CAA continues to build its hip-hop division having recently added agents Caroline Yim and Zach Iser to the team including a number of their clients such as SZA, Future and Kehlani. Wayne’s career has produced three No.1’s on the Billboard Hot 100 and 137 songs total on the chart. Additionally, Wayne’s three biggest full-length’s, Tha Carter III, Tha Carter IV and I'm Not A Human Being all hit No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Ben Roy has been promoted to the role of VP, Programming and Development for dick clark productions (dcp). Reporting to Mark Bracco, dcp’s EVP, Programming and Development, the new role sees Roy leading production across all sponsorship integrations for annual events such as the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest and the Academy of Country Music Awards. Credits for Roy include Co-Executive Producing the recent Carol Burnett 50th anniversary special and the Golden Globe 75th anniversary special. Prior to dcp, Roy worked under Don Mischer for six years during which time he worked across three Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards, Don Rickles: One Night Only, the Fox 25th Anniversary Special, the Huading Awards (China), and the 9/11 Memorial From Ground Zero. Roy’s resume also includes stints at Warner Bros. Studios and DreamWorks.

Jean Nelson has joined Blueprint Group (BPG) Records as the label's new President. An affiliate of BPG and management firm Maverick, BPG Records has a distribution agreement in place with RCA. Nelson’s resume includes A&R credit on G-Eazy's debut studio full-length, These Things Happen, as well as leading A&R and executive producing the rapper's sophomore effort, When It's Dark Out. Additional A&R and management experience includes projects with Rich the Kid, CyHi the Prince, Belly and others. The move comes as BPG Records experiences significant group led largely by the success of G-Eazy's platinum-certified album, The Beautiful & Damned, released last year via a partnership with The Revels Group and debuting at No.3 on the Billboard 200 chart.

APA has signed on Clifford Harris, better known as rapper/actor T.I., for representation across all areas. Harris has garnered four Billboard Hot 100 No.1’s and as an actor, has appeared in films such as Ant-Man, The Wasp, ATL, Takers, American Gangster and Get Hard. In the TV arena, Harris is set to star in his own, recently-announced business competition series, The Grand Hustle as well as having roles in shows such as Boss, the Roots mini-series and House Of Lies. Across non-scripted television, he has had success with T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle and T.I.'s Road to Redemption. T.I.’s music has generated nine studio albums including three Grammy wins and several No.1 singles as well as a Tony Award nomination for best original score from his work on SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical. Harris recently extended his Drai’s Las Vegas residency through 2019 and revealed his newest film project, Glow Up, produced as a partnership between his Grand Hustle Films and PepsiCo’s Creators League.

PRS Foundation hosted a Keychange event at Liverpool Sound City last week to announce that an additional 40 festivals will be joining the pioneering Keychange pledge to achieve or maintain a 50/50 gender balance across their festivals by 2022 (including live line-ups, conferences and commissions). Additionally, a Keychange Inspiration Award was presented to music and arts pioneer Jayne Casey best known for her involvement in the Liverpool punk and new wave scene in the 1970s and 1980s, with Big in Japan, Pink Military and Pink Industry. Among the 40 new festivals joining the Keychange pledge are: AMP Lost & Found (Malta); AIM Music Connected and Indie Con (UK); Alínæ Lumr (Germany); Bestival - Temple Stage (UK); Black Deer Festival (UK); Brainchild Festival (UK); Brighton Music Conference (UK); B-Sides Festival (Switzerland); Bushstock (UK); Cambridge Folk Festival (UK); Camp Wavelength (Canada); Celtic Connections (UK); EFG London Jazz Festival (UK); Fjellparkfestivalen (Norway); Folk Alliance International (US); Folk On The Dock (UK); Glasgow International Jazz Festival (UK); Halifax Pop Explosion (Canada); Hull Jazz Festival (UK); Jazzkaar (Estonia); Jeunes Talents (France); Looe Music Festival (UK); Lisbon International Music Network (Portugal); Live At Heart (Sweden); Long Division Festival (UK); MUSEXPO (US); New Music Biennial (UK); Northern Lights Festival Boréal (Canada); Nova Scotia Music Week (Canada); Pete The Monkey (France); Philadelphia Folk Festival (USA); Relevance Festival (Denmark); Riverfest Elora (Canada); Sørveiv (Norway); Subtropikal Festival (Brazil); Unconference (UK); VUT Indie Days (Germany); Wavelength Winter Festival (Canada); Wood Festival (UK); and XpoNorth (UK). This follows the gender balance commitment made in February 2018 by 45 international music festivals and conferences including existing Keychange partners Reeperbahn Festival (Germany); BIME (Spain); Iceland Airwaves; Way Out West (Sweden); Musikcentrum Sweden; Tallinn Music Week (Estonia); and MUTEK (Canada) as well as new U.K. Keychange festival partner Liverpool Sound City.

Canada’s Stingray Digital Group Inc., based in Montreal, is entering the terrestrial radio arena in acquiring Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited (Newcap) via a half-billion (CAD) deal. Newcap counts 101 licenses across seven provinces including 72 local radio stations and 29 repeating stations, as well as web and mobile listening. It sits as Canada’s No.2 private radio broadcaster (following only Bell in number of stations) and No.3 by revenue. Stingray’s portfolio currently encompasses specialty television channels and multiplatform music and video services with the announcement stating the acquisition will "accelerate Stingray's mobile subscriber growth, a new channel to promote Stingray's SVOD products and specialty TV channels." It is expected the deal will close by the end of the year, at which time Rob Steele, Chairman/President/CEO of Newcap, will step down with Ian S. Lurie maintaining leadership of the new radio operations for Stingray.

Gorillaz drummer Russel Hobbs has rolled out a podcast series on streaming platform Deezer with two episodes of Things I Like last week. The podcast features Hobbs welcoming artists such as Jehnny Beth of Savages, De La Soul’s Pos and Little Simz, and is a collaboration between Gorillaz, Deezer Originals and audio producer David Waters. Things I Like will be available via all podcast platforms and the Gorillaz app.

U.K. venues under SMG Europe have finalized an agreement to return to Ticketmaster as their official ticketing partner, commencing later this month, making the move from previous partner Eventim UK. Included in the SMG venue portfolio are arenas and theatres such as Manchester Arena, Leeds First Direct Arena and the new Hull Venue. York Barbican will be the first venue to transition to Ticketmaster in May, with others to join by the end of summer. The partnership provides SMG access to Ticketmaster’s technology solutions, significant marketing reach and distribution channels as well as targeted consumer insights. An additional upgrade sees fans able to download e-tickets to their mobile devices. SMG Europe’s 3,500-capacity Hull Venue will open its doors later this year, followed by a new AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre).

Urban Development, the music talent development organization, talent incubator, educator and charity, has announced that it will return to The Great Escape with its biggest ever number of diverse events to date this year. There will also be a Culture Punch drinks mixer, as well as an Industry Takeover Showcase featuring exclusive performances from talent including Urban Development’s own co-managed artist Paigey Cakey, alongside acts that have been supported such as Allana Verde, Lady Sanity, Laurie Mann, The Compozers and others. To start the proceedings, the organization will co-host a conference with high-profile music industry guest speakers, to launch and share insights from an important new research study “Redefining Music Education” in partnership with CMU Insights and BIMM.

Tech start-up JAAK has announced the pilot of its blockchain network, KORD, in partnership with leading record labels, publishers, performing rights organizations, music industry service companies and distributors. Among the pilot participants are BMG, Global Music Rights, Outdustry, Phoenix Music International Ltd, Sentric, Warner Music Group and Warner/Chappell Music. Pilot participants provided product and rights data to JAAK, held in a private version of the KORD network. KORD will operate as a permission-less, decentralized network of intellectual property information, allowing rights holders to collaborate on an industry-wide view of rights. KORD’s users will be connected to a shared data network where they have the sole authority to insert, update and remove their own information, creating a public record of rights and a permanent audit trail. KORD’s framework will also detect conflicting information in the network, allowing users to resolve the information and converge on a global view of intellectual property rights. Following completion of the pilot, JAAK will be launching an industry-wide Music Sandbox, allowing JAAK to develop products and the KORD network in collaboration with the music industry.

Indie rock/electronica recording artist/writer/producer Clans recently signed a publishing deal with Ninja Tune’s Just Isn’t Music. Clans is managed by Kyle Emerson-Brown (KEB) with legal representation from Ben McLane Esq. of McLane & Wong.

The California Copyright Conference (CCC) is preparing to convene on Tuesday, May 15th as it presents a panel titled “Creators of Film and Television Music.” The CCC and the Society of Composers and Lyricists have teamed up to welcome Wendy & Lisa (Dangerous Minds, Soul Food, Nurse Jackie and Shades of Blue); Deborah Lurie (Footloose, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and The Astronaut Wives Club; and Kathryn Bostic (Dear White People, August Wilson - The Ground On Which I Stand and Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le); as they discuss creative process and how the music they compose helps elevate the scenes and storytelling of the projects they work on. The session will be co-moderated by Jonathan David Neal - Composer and SCL Recording Secretary; and Eric Palmquist- President, Recognition Songs, and past President, The California Copyright Conference (2012-2013). For more information and to secure your spot now, click HERE.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ron Fair, Benji Rogers, Monte Lipman, Randy Spendlove, Carlotta Gonzalez, Mollie Lehman, Jacqueline Saturn, Ron Cerrito, Scooter Braun, Jens Lundberg, Jimmy Steal, Miles Anzaldo, Walter Schmidt and Reynold D’Silva.


Have you ever sent a personal IM to the wrong screen name, 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. Cinco De Mayo just finished this past weekend and it’s a time for fun, socializing, eating, drinking and hitting the infamous piñata. Click HERE to watch some funny candy-coated Cinco De Mayo fails from around North and South America!


Fresh from a support slot with Grammy Award Winner Beck and shows with The Hot 8 Brass Band, Soulwax and Calvin Harris, the Liverpool trio is just about to complete album three. The band’s versatility has seen them described as somewhere between Phoenix, Foster the People & Mutemath with a hint of Daft Punk and Depeche Mode thrown in, and this has earned radio support from BBC 6 Music, X Radio and Radio 2 and two Hype Machine No.1’s. Kids on Bridges are currently heading back over to America where they are going to finish work on a brand new album and have drafted in Eagles of Death Metal bass player Jennie Vee to join them on a number of tracks, along with New Orleans poet Chuck Perkins. Having previously worked with The Chemical Brothers producer Steve Dub, the new album promises to be a sonic assault. The band’s track “Walls” was used in many anti-Trump marches across America and they were also honored to be the UK representatives at last year’s Special Olympics in LA, performing alongside Stevie Wonder. With excellent performances at Creamfields, Wickerman, Bestival and Ibiza Rocks, the future couldn’t be looking brighter for the Liverpool trio. Sample their single “Something In The Water” HERE and contact Christian Bragg at Christian.Bragg@radiocity.co.uk as they are currently available for synch, publishing label, licensing, booking, management, co-writing and remix opportunities.


Originally from Oslo, Norway but currently Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo Lemaitre consists of members Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund. Lemaitre formed eight years ago and have released a number of EP’s, singles and have done remixes for the likes of Martin Solveig, Passion Pit and Madeon. In 2014, they signed to Asralwerks, home of their musical heroes Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers. In June of last year, they released their first studio album titled Chapter One. Their music has been featured in campaigns for Apple, Facebook, Google and in the video game Minecraft. They recently released a brand new single titled “Machine” accompanied by the Julian Alexander-directed music video. Watch the video for “Machine” HERE and contact karsten@lemaitremusic.com for additional information.


“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, May 6th, 2018: The weekly import show. Heard on over 70 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; KCJK-FM “Alternative x1051” Kansas City MO: MMM Modern Digital Australia in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide; WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” NY 107.7FM; WZRH-FM New Orleans; KHTB Salt Lake City, UT; 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; KMAX Windsor/Ft. Collins, Colorado; 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; KVNV-FM Reno NV; PUK-FM Johannesburg, South Africa; East Radio-FM Shanghai, China; KAFA “97.7FM” Colorado Springs, CO; KVNV “NV89” Reno, NV; KSKI-FM, Sun Valley/Twin Falls, ID; WITH “90.1FM” Ithaca, New York; UCFM 87.8FM Australian Capital Territory, Australia, Triple M Digital Network (Australia), WRUR 88.5FM Rochester New York; WCRU-FM Hamilton, NY and on The Independent FM (iHeart Radio) 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, Saavn.

Listen to this two-hour show by clicking HERE:

TEN TONNES - “Lay It On Me” (Warner Music, UK)
IAMJJ - “China” (Mermaid Records, Denmark)
STATE LIGHTS - “Peace Will Come” (Unsigned, Ireland)
ALEX LAHEY - “I Love You Like A Brother” (Dead Oceans, Australia)
DONKEYBOY - “It’ll Be Alright” (Warner Music Group, Norway)
TORS - “Wilder Days” (Unsigned, UK)
BLOW - “You Killed Me On The Moon” (Sony, France)
MARMOZETS - “Start Again” (Roadrunner Records, UK)
LONGFELLOW - “Plasticine” (Unsigned, UK)
LINN KOCH-EMMERY - “Wires” (Welfare Sounds & Records, Sweden)
TOM GREGORY - “Losing Sleep” (Armada, Germany)
KID KAPACHI - “Puppet Strings” (Unsigned, UK)
MADYX - “I Melt With You” (Unsigned, N. America)
HOCKEY DAD - “Homely Feeling” (Lab Records, Australia)
PHOENIX O’NEILL - “I Need U” (Unsigned, UK)
POLAROID SUMMER - “Tides” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE PALE WHITE - “Loveless” (Illegal Cinema Records, UK)
VERTICOLI - “Free Will” (Firestarter, Australia)
OUTLYA - “White Light” (Virgin EMI, UK)
THE BONGO CLUB - “Tell Your Friends” (Motor Music, Sweden)
PICTURE THIS - “This Morning” (Warner Music, Ireland)
BLOSSOMS - “I Can't Stand It” (Virgin EMI, UK)
ROTANA - “Loud Love” (Unsigned, Saudi Arabia)
GIANT PARTY - “White Ink” (Label Fandango, UK)
IN MY DAYS - “Invisible” (Unsigned, Germany)
PALE WAVES - “Heavenly” (Dirty Hit, UK)
SPIELBERGS - “Distant Star” (Unsigned, Norway)
LAUREN WALLER - “Sunshine” (Unsigned, N. America)
LEONIDEN - “1990” (Euphorie, Germany)
ZACH WOLF - “Brother” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE MAGIC GANG - “Getting Along” (Warner Music, UK)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Ten Tonnes, Lydmor, ARLO, Duets and Stuff and Leon Of Athens).