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ATLANTIC RECORDS UK REVEALS KEY MANAGEMENT REORGANIZATION



The U.K. division of Atlantic Records has announced shifts to its senior leadership team as it looks to offer artists further support and resources for deeper fan engagement. The restructuring is driven by the formation of a new creative team, split into three core divisions – conceptual, visual and video creative.

Leading the conceptual team is Luke Tipping who had previously served as Creative Director with advertising agency Anomaly. Among the global campaigns overseen by Tipping in the past are those for Beats by Dre and Nike. According to Atlantic, Tipping’s mandate will be to focus on “storytelling” and creating forward–thinking narratives for its artist roster and campaigns.

Annabelle Scott–Curry will oversee the visual team, tasked with guiding a clear visual identity for Atlantic artists across all touch points, encompassing photography, style and art direction. Dan Curwin steps into the role of Director of Video to complete the creative leadership team.

At the same time, promotions have been announced for Nick Long from Head of Digital to the newly–created post of Director of Audience, and Claire Coster to Head of Publicity, recognizing her efforts on globally–successful campaigns with Ed Sheeran and British breakthrough act Anne–Marie.

Pictured (l-r): Nick Long, Claire Coster, Dan Curwin, Luke Tipping, Annabelle Scott–Curry & Katie White

Atlantic U.K.’s President, Ben Cook, says “Today’s attention economy sees us, and our artists, compete for share of audience with not only other acts and labels, but also with content in all its forms.” He added that the new creative team will seek to “produce both purposeful and compelling content that’s worthy of our talented roster and helps push the boundaries of our artists’ storytelling.”

Cook worked with Atlantic U.K. GM Katie White to identify what he considers the six key critical arenas for artists encompassing A&R, promotions, marketing, publicity, creative and audience. The new organization of the label’s senior management team seeks to strengthen the key divisions with Cook commenting that it will, “create a truly progressive 21st Century record company.”


JEM MUSIC ANNOUNCES NAZ IDELJI AS NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR



JEM Music Group, the international artist management company founded by Colin Lester, has named Naz Idelji as Managing Director for the firm. Alongside her role leading JEM Music Group, Idelji will also oversee TS5 Presents, the joint venture between Lester and Craig David.

Naz Idelji & Colin Lester
With over 15 years of experience, Idelji has served in a number of senior executive roles within the U.K. music industry. Starting as an intern at Warner Music, she rose through the ranks at Warner, Universal, Sony and Ministry of Sound, and has worked across hundreds of campaigns and overseen sales of 25 million albums. Among the artist projects she has coordinated are N–Dubz, Craig David and Skepta, and she has created and built a range of brands for Ministry of Sound and Clubland. While at Ministry of Sound she also negotiated the first exclusive, global playlist deal with Apple Music.

Lester said, “Bringing in someone of Naz’s amazing experience, skillset and pedigree sets out a very clear mandate for our future, which is shaping up to be very exciting. Naz will be responsible for expanding our operations into new international markets and will consolidate Craig David’s existing successes in a range of markets, which include France, Belgium, Australia and SEA. She will also be overseeing new artists signed to TS5 Presents.”

Idelji said, “I have worked with Colin for many years on a range of campaigns and have seen first–hand how passionate he is about maximising success for the artists he represents and about growing the JEM Music Group presence around the world. This is an exciting opportunity at an exciting time for the music industry and I am very much looking forward to helping build on the company’s existing successes.”

Additionally, JEM Music has appointed Jack Balsam to oversee its north London–based recording studio complex. Balsam will have responsibility for both of the company’s recording studios, having previously engineered sessions with Craig David, renowned DJ Oliver Heldens and Big Zuu. He will work closely with the management team at JEM Music Group and TS5 Presents.


DAN MORALES NAMED CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER
FOR UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP




Universal Music Group (UMG) has named highly–regarded technology and finance executive, Dan Morales, to the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) where he will oversee UMG’s global technology platforms and development of new systems to expand the company’s advanced analytics and data platforms. Joining from eBay, Morales will now head UMG’s global Information Technology division, as well as the company’s internal and external networks. He will also be tasked with developing insights from data across UMG’s organization via analytics, reporting and data intelligence. Morales will be based at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica and report to Boyd Muir, EVP, CFO and President of Operations for UMG.

Dan Morales
In making the announcement, Muir said, “Throughout our digital evolution, UMG continues to redefine the role of a modern music company. With Dan as CIO, we are adding an executive with immense talent and experience in building technology and software solutions on a global scale and leveraging technology to deliver growth. I’m thrilled to welcome Dan to our team and I’m looking forward to working with him to drive our business into the future.”

“UMG is an iconic company with a rich history and an unparalleled global reach in entertainment,” Morales said. “This is a company with a successful track record of innovation that consistently pushes boundaries with technology. It’s an exciting time to join UMG and I’m looking forward to working with Boyd, the executive team, and the entire UMG Technology team to accelerate the pace of advancement.”

Morales joined eBay in 2011, where he served as VP of Corporate Enablement Functions, eventually being promoted to CIO in 2014. As CIO, his responsibilities included business intelligence and analytics, networking, global enterprise technology operations and enabling functions. When eBay and PayPal split in 2015, Morales oversaw the team that separated the companies’ technology systems and rebuilt eBay’s global technology and applications.

Prior to eBay, Morales served as Sr. VP of Enterprise Corporate Technology at Bank of America Corp. where he managed Global Technology teams such as Finance & Supply Chain, Corporate Workplace, Human Resources, Risk Management and Business Intelligence. Before that, he served in a number of positions with Continental Airlines Inc., rising to Managing Director for Corporate Technology, where he supported over 80 financial systems in various technologies from mainframe to Internet, while increasing efficiency of finance business processes and implementing a flight profitability system.


CALIFORNIA ENTERTAINMENT WEEK DESCENDS ON BURBANK, CA
“MEDIA CAPITAL OF THE WORLD” MARCH 24TH – 29TH




The first–ever California Entertainment Week will debut next week in the “Media Capital of The World,” Burbank, CA, as it brings together leaders from all facets of the global music, digital, radio, entertainment and technology sectors. The multi–day event will descend upon the city on Monday, March 25th, and conclude on Friday, March 29th, with a kick–off wine–tasting, networking and artists showcases event on Sunday, March 24th at SIR Studios in Hollywood.

The week–long event will unite the annual global music business conference and showcase event, MUSEXPO, with the Worldwide Radio Summit as part of the newly–unveiled California Entertainment Week, set to take place at the resort–like facility, Castaway, located in the scenic hills of Burbank, just minutes away from the offices of The Walt Disney Company, Disney Music Group, Freemantle Media, ABC, Hollywood Records, ESPN, Marvel Comics Studios, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Studios, DC Comics, Freeform TV, peermusic, iHeartRadio, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Cartoon Network, Insomniac Games, The CW Television Network, NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios, KPWR “Power 106” Los Angeles and many others.

Both events will seek to maintain the unparalleled networking experience that they have become globally–recognized for, while looking to delve more deeply into the future of our global music and media business. With more opportunities than ever for delegates to interact and connect with the local Los Angeles music community, as well as their global counterparts, MUSEXPO’s Creative Summit and Worldwide Radio Summit are set to feature a number of unique and innovative opportunities and platforms to foster creative opportunities and commercial realizations.

For a full list of the 100+ speakers, full panel and event schedules, as well as information on registration (including a special discount offer to attend the full California Entertainment Week with access to MUSEXPO’s Creative Summit & the Worldwide Radio Summit), event partnership/sponsorship opportunities, direct flights to Burbank Airport, and conference discount hotel room bookings within the Burbank, CA area, visit www.musexpo.net.


GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…



Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has finalized a worldwide administration agreement with indie publishing company, S2 Songs. S2 is headed by multi–Grammy and Golden Globe–nominated songwriter/producer, Savan Kotecha, alongside former Global President of Syco Music and CEO/Founder of KYN Entertainment, Sonny Takhar. Across their two decades working together, Kotecha and Takhar have collaborated on a number of global hits. Among Kotecha’s credits are songs for Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding and Maroon 5. He has also developed a number of writers including James Alan (Troye Sivan) and Kristoffer and Ablin (One Direction, Avicci, DNCE, ). With Syco Music, Takhar worked with Simon Cowell on the development of acts such as One Direction, Leona Lewis, Labrinth, Fifth Harmony, Susan Boyle, Little Mix and Il Divo and saw the company’s artists garnering eight No.1 albums in the U.S., while selling more than 400 million records including 244 No.1 albums and 169 No.1 singles globally.

In other Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) news, the company has announced the promotion of Alexandra Lioutikoff to President, Latin America & U.S. Latin, three years after the executive joined the publisher. Lioutikoff also becomes the first woman to take on the role and marks the only woman holding the role of President for a multinational Latin music company. Remaining based in Miami, she will report to UMPG’s Chairman & CEO, Jody Gerson. Lioutikoff joined UMPG in 2016 and had been serving as EVP of Latin Music where led signings for the likes of Romeo Santos, Anitta, Espinoza Paz, Rvssian, Roc Nation Latin Publishing, Bruno Martini, Rich Music and Justin Quiles, Young Martino, MadMusick, Raymix, Christian Nodal and Mon Laferte, as well as others. Prior, she had served as the head of ASCAP’s Latin membership division where she oversaw the growth of operations to encompass Urban and Latin rock. She also played a key role in a significant restructuring of the Puerto Rico office and development of five Latin offices.

It was reported last week that veteran industry executive, Rick Krim, is preparing to part ways with Sony/ATV Music Publishing from his role as Co–President. Krim had joined Sony/ATV in 2015 to oversee Los Angeles–based A&R operations. Prior to Sony/ATV, Krim was with Republic Records as EVP of Artist Development. The bulk of his more than three–decade career was spent in TV, having started out in 1982 with MTV as a Business Manager before rising to VP of Talent & Artist Relations. He transitioned to EMI in the 90s leading the promotion and marketing division before heading back to Viacom in 2001 as EVP of Talent & Music Programming.

Sony Music has announced that the regional headquarters for its GSA operations will be moved from Munich to Berlin over the next year. The announcement was made by Sony Music GSA’s CEO, Patrick Mushatsi–Kareba who commented, “We are going to one of the most progressive and creative cities in the world.” Sony GSA will take over about 90,000 square feet at Bülowstraße 80, Berlin–Schöneberg under a new long–term lease. The existing Berlin operations for Sony Music, as well as the Sony Music Continental Europe & Africa headquarters, will join the new seven floor building. Munich–based operations for Sony Music GSA will be maintained following the transition to Berlin.

In other Sony Music news, the company has named Amanda Collins as EVP and Global Head of Corporate Communications. In the role, Collins will oversee the company’s global internal and external communications strategy. Based in New York, she reports to CEO Rob Stringer, and COO Kevin Kelleher. Collins comes to Sony Music from IMAX, where she held the post of Global Head of Communications. Prior, she served a seven–year–stint in corporate communications and marketing at NBCUniversal and also spent time as Warner Music Group’s VP of Corporate Communications and Marketing, as well as with the Recording Industry Association of America, early in her career.

YouTube Music has become the latest streaming platform to enter the Indian market having rolled out its subscription platform to the region alongside 13 additional international markets last week. The Google–owned company launches having secured the necessary licenses from all major labels and publishers. India’s YouTube Music Premium tier will cost 99 rupees monthly, slightly less than Spotify’s 119 Rupee subscription, while YouTube Premium, including the music app, goes for 129 rupees per month. A free, ad–supported version of YouTube Music is also available to users. Additionally, YouTube Music has rolled out to South Africa, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, bringing its reach to 43 countries.

Following two–years of courting and a progressively more intense label bidding war, Interscope Records has finalized a seven–figure recording deal with Latinx recording artist Cuco. Cuco is 20–year–old Los Angeles native Omar Banos who, along with manager Doris Muñoz, waited patiently for the perfect deal, ultimately presented by Interscope. Cuco’s signing was spearheaded by Interscope A&R executive Carlos Cancela, who first saw Banos perform two years ago in Los Angeles, with additional involvement from Chairman/CEO, John Janick, and Head of A&R, Sam Riback. Banos’ debut album is expected to be released this summer. The deal with Interscope is a JV license deal which sees Banos maintaining ownership of his masters and will also see his music released in Latin America as Latinx artist, supported by Universal Music Latin Entertainment. Additionally, the deal has no specific album commitment with Banos looking to release one album during each contract period with flexibility on the way it’s delivered to allow for “various configurations,” as long as a certain number songs are released. On the touring side, Banos is represented by Paradigm with recent performances including 2018’s Coachella festival and Viva! Pomona in southern California.

In other Interscope news, the company has announced Annie Lee as CFO for Interscope Geffen A&M. Lee’s new role will see her leading all of the company’s finance functions, as well as other key operational teams, while reporting to Chairman & CEO John Janick. Lee came to Universal Music Group as Sr. Financial Analyst in 2005, transitioning to Interscope in 2006. Among her roles at the company, she most recently served as Sr. VP, Finance and Operations for Interscope.

CD Baby has rolled out a new offering to bring self–managed and independent artists opportunities for unique audio and banner advertisements. CD Baby’s Show.co users recently saw audio ad access opened up, targeting platforms such as Spotify and iHeart. The ads are set up as 30–second spots which can be customized to target listeners based on region and city. Banner ads will include placements on sites such as Rolling Stone and CMT.com as well as on boutique blogs centered on specific genres. Artists using CD Baby have free access to Show.co with the rates for audio and banner ads starting at $50 and $20, respectively.

Gimlet Media, recently acquired by Spotify, has unionized which makes it the first podcasting firm to do so in joining the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). The unionization initiative was already in the works prior to the Spotify acquisition which was finalized just over a month ago. It was confirmed by a Gimlet spokesperson that a formal notice has been received by the company from the WGAE union which they will review as they seek to finalize details. Gimlet’s staffers join the WGA East alongside additional digital media firms that have unionized recently such as CBSN, Gizmodo Media Group, Vox Media, Vice and Refinery29.

Spotify and Hulu have built upon their existing partnership to offer Spotify’s Premium tier users access to Hulu under their $9.99/month subscription fee. Last year, the two rolled–out a bundled package at $12.99/month for access to both services in addition to existing student discounts. The new promotion is available to new and existing eligible Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. Users currently under the $12.99 bundle plan will automatically transition to the new pricing.

Chess Club Records has a new investor and a worldwide distribution deal in place via Coran Capshaw (Founder, Red Light Management) and AWAL, respectively. The 11–year–old, London–based indie label is led by Founder’s Will Street and Peter McGaughrin and is currently preparing releases from a roster of emerging young talent that includes Alfie Templeman, Phoebe Green, Yaeger, Bloxx, and Casi & The Blind Harpist. While continuing to sign and A&R Chess Club artists, Street and McGaughrin will now also have access to Red Light resources across marketing, creative services, brand partnerships, radio and online, in addition to AWAL’s distribution services. Chess Club had previously released music under a JV with RCA Records/Sony.

Plans for a new 3,500–capacity venue have been unveiled for Boston’s Brighton neighborhood by The Bowery Presents. Work on the general admission venue at Boston Landing is expected to commence April 1st with an anticipated fall 2021 completion date. Upon opening its doors, the venue will join The Bowery Presents’ portfolio in the Boston area that counts Royale, The Sinclair Cambridge and Great Scott, as well as a number of concert bookings in theaters and arenas in the region.

XITE, a music video streaming service, was officially unveiled via several platforms in the U.S. last week. The service’s catalog counts all three major labels as well as indie labels and distributors such as Beggars, EMPIRE, PIAS and Armada. Founded in Amsterdam in 2008, the app is also available in Europe and the Middle East, and has been making its way to services such as Comcast X1 Infinity, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV recently, with Roku capability expected soon, and mobile and tablet coming later this year. Features of the service include the ability to favorite and skip videos, create new stations and playlists by genre, era or style of video, and adaptability based on users’ watching and liking history. Among the XITE advisory board are music–industry veterans including Jason Flom, Roger Faxon, Eric Budin and Bill Roedy. XITE launches as free services with a premium subscription tier forthcoming.

Concord Music Publishing has revealed a new sub–publishing agreement with Because Editions, an independent music company based in Paris. The deal sees Concord expanding its relationship with Because having administered the latter’s catalogue in the U.K. since 2013, and now adding representation in the U.S. Additionally, Because will continue to sub–publish Concord Music Publishing in France which it has done since 2008. Because Editions’ catalogue includes works from Christine & The Queens, Daft Punk, Manu Chao, Calypso Rose, The Limiñanas, Metronomy and Justice.

Management firm Tap Music has finalized a collaborative partnership with The Weird & The Wonderful to roll–out a new electronic arm under the company. Led by The Weird & The Wonderful’s Founders Steven Braines and Sophia Kearney, the new operations see the duo’s existing roster of 20 acts joining them including DJs and producers such as Maya Jane Coles, KDA and Catz N Dogz. The announcement also includes the launch of a new Milan office in addition to existing set–ups in Berlin and Sydney as well as Tap’s London and LA headquarters.

Primary Wave Music Publishing has entered into a worldwide co–publishing and administration deal with singer/songwriter, Carlie Hanson. The deal follows the singer’s recent signing of a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, and the release of the video for her latest single, “Numb.” In just under a year, 18–year–old Hanson has made her way from a small town in Wisconsin to self–releasing four breakout tracks which have a collective 60 million streams as well as a feature in Paper Magazine’s list of “100 People Taking Over 2019.” Following performances at several U.S. festivals last summer, including Bumbershoot in Seattle and Summerfest in Milwaukee, Hanson headed out on a successful run with Jeremy Zucker and opened for Troye Sivan on his fall 2018 Bloom Tour. In January, she joined Gnash for select dates on the broken hearts club tour and next month will make her European/U.K. debut opening for YUNGBLUD, followed by a U.S. tour opening for Bad Suns.

Boomplay has finalized a direct licensing agreement with Warner Music to see the company’s roster of artists added to the African streaming and download platform. Via the partnership, Boomplay will distribute Warner Music’s catalogue to listeners in ten countries including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. As of February, Boomplay counted over 42 million users and a catalogue of five million songs and thousands of videos. The deal with Warner adds to Boomplay’s existing licensing agreement with Universal Music Group.

Swedish tech start–up Session, formerly Auddly, has rolled out a new automated system under the banner of Creator Credits which seeks to identify and ensure proper credit to contributors for songs and recordings. Session has developed technology that will allow for the assigning of credits in–studio which then sees the data maintained as the track makes its way through managers, labels, publishers, rights societies, distributors and ultimately, DSPs. As it works to secure this data early, Session has finalized a partnership with Avid, the maker of Pro Tools, for the embedding of the new technology into its widely–used recording software. Additional partners include collaborators and supporters Universal Music Group, DDEX and MXM Music, the latter being the company of Max Martin, a Co–Founder of Session (Auddly) alongside ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus.

CMT revealed a restructuring plan last week that will see a number of departments combining with the New York–based music group of Viacom Media Networks. The moves include a number of the Nashville–based marketing team for CMT parting ways with the company as the office in New York takes over responsibility of the marketing, music, scheduling, communications and event production divisions. Currently, the music group reports to Chris McCarthy, President of MTV, VH1 and Logo Media, who took on oversight of CMT last October when the initial restructuring began. Under the transition, CMT’s music programming, tent poles and events will be maintained with new offerings expected this summer. Among the staff updates, which will see a large number of the CMT team remaining in Nashville, include the departures of Anthony Barton (Head of CMT Marketing) and Head of the Nashville office, Suzanne Norman.

Columbia Records has named John Strazza to the role of Sr. VP, Promotion and Head of Promotion for RECORDS, a JV with Sony Music. Strazza’s new roles will see him leading radio campaigns for Columbia’s rosters within the Rhythm format will maintaining his oversight of RECORDS promotion efforts. Having joined RECORDS’ promotions team in 2016, Strazza had been with RCA as Sr. VP of Promotion prior. His career started in Columbia’s radio promotion division 20 years ago and his resume also includes time at Jive Records as VP of Top 40 Radio promotion.

Verizon has revealed it’s going to begin rolling out its 5G network starting next month. The service will initially be available in select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis with the coverage expected to be in 30 cities by the end of 2019. In addition to costing customers an extra $10 per month, the 5G network will only be made available to users under an unlimited plan, and on the Motorola Moto Z3 device via a special 5G attachment. The roll–out will include discounts for purchase of the Motorola handset and attachment, as well as the initial three months of 5G free. Among the additional 5G–capable devices expected for this year are included one from Samsung.

Deezer has tapped Laurence Miall–D’Aout as Chief Commercial Officer for the company. In the role, Miall–D’Aout will assume oversight of the streamer’s B2B activities worldwide encompassing local/global partnerships, business development, advertising sales and PR. Miall–D’Aout had previously been serving as VP, Advanced Data & Advertising with Liberty Global, the world’s biggest cable company. Prior to that, Miall–D’Aout was CEO of TVbeat, a marketing start–up, and also spent more than a decade with Modern Times Group in a number of roles including EVP of FreeTV, Co–MD of U.K. operations, and CEO of PayTV in Russia and CEE.

Facebook is making moves to secure a place as leader across messaging, commerce, payments and more as it seeks to compete beyond the content sharing space. As it unveils the new offerings, Facebook will have to further address recent privacy issues that saw users losing trust in the social platform. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is looking to establish more private means of communication between small groups including the scrambling all messages within WhatsApp, Instagram Direct and Messenger which will leave even Facebook unable to see conversations. Additionally, Facebook is set to roll–out a feature that will have messages disappear automatically after a period of time, similar to Snapchat. On the payment front, Facebook already features a way for users to send money through Messenger but is reportedly in the works on creating its own digital currency to streamline the process, which could also bypass the need for users to link bank accounts or other services to Facebook for payments. As the new features progress and evolve, Facebook could see itself battling already established services including Snapchat, Yelp, Venmo, eBay, Apple, Amazon and others as it positions itself as a “one–stop–shop” for users across a number of verticals.

Following the news of its strategy shift, Facebook saw the departure of long–time product chief, Chris Cox. Cox had been with Facebook for over a decade, having joined the social platform only about 20 months after its launch. Additionally, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Chris Daniels is also parting ways with the company having looked after WhatsApp. No new hires will be made to replace Cox as the top executives from within Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram who had been led by Cox now report directly to Zuckerberg. Assuming the role left vacant by Daniels is Facebook executive Will Cathcart.

In other Facebook news, the social media platform has secured partnerships in 40 countries worldwide, including last week’s additions of India and Thailand, with leading rightsholders to allow for music usage across social engagement such as videos, messages, stories, Lip Sync Live and other content through Facebook, Instagram and Oculus VR. Facebook’s agreements in India include those with T–Series Music, Zee Music Company and Yash Raj Films, with deals in Thailand including GMM Grammy and RS. Under the deals, the music also becomes available internationally. Reaching deals in 40 countries is fast–growth for Facebook’s global music licensing push having rolled–out music offerings last April in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

The independent German record company behind labels such as earMusic and Berlin Classics, Edel AG, has revealed a round of changes to the structure of leadership and legal divisions. Edel also this month completed filings to see it transitioning from a public limited company to a European Company, which includes a name change to Edel SE & Co. KGaA. Among the changes, Michael Haentjes, who had served as Edel’s CEO for 33 years, has stepped down to be replaced by his son, Dr. Jonas Haentjes. Michael will maintain his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The change of legal form for the company seeks to ensure the continued influence of the family as the next generation assumes oversight. Edel’s portfolio counts publishing operations with earBooks and Noble Books; Noble Motion and Pandastorm Pictures production companies; and music labels MPS, Berlin Classics and earMusic, which include among their rosters Alice Cooper and Status Quo among many others.

A partnership has been finalized between BMG, Matador Content and Topgolf, the quickly–growing sports brand, for the second season of Who Will Rock You? The elimination–style emerging talent show airs weekly with judges including Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Kerri Kasem. The deal was brokered by CAA with the second season of the show set to premiere March 28th on Topgolf’s digital channel, available via streaming platforms such as Amazon Fire and Roku. The show will feature 12 unsigned bands competing for a $50,000 prize, as well as a chance to be featured on a concert tour of Topgolf’s 57 venues across the U.S. and a label development deal with BMG.

ICM Partners has added Grammy–winning DJ/producer duo Juan and Oscar Salinas, known as Play–N–Skillz, to their roster for representation worldwide. The brother team will be looked after by an international team of agents headed by Harold Frogét as they seek to expand the pair’s reach across music, live performances and brand partnerships, as well as other entertainment industry arenas. Play–N–Skillz are currently at work on their forthcoming album to be released later this year, as well as preparations for a U.S., European and Latin American tour. More recent work includes the track “Con Calma” by Daddy Yankee featuring Snow, which has the No.1 streaming spot in over 15 countries on the Spotify and Apple charts, No.1 on Billboard Latin Airplay and Latin Digital Songs charts, and No.1 on YouTube’s Global Chart, garnering over 300 million views to–date. Other credits include work on songs for acts such as Lil’ Wayne, Chamillionaire, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Diplo, Carlos Vives, Wisin, Yandel and others. Having signed to Sony Music Latin in 2016, 2017 saw them release the hit remake of the classic Selena song “Si Una Vez,” as well as “No Es Ilegal” featuring Daddy Yankee.

Riptide Music Group, an LA–based creative music company that recently partnered with Sentric Music in the U.K. to offer global publishing administration and creative support to artists, writers and catalogs, has confirmed a robust presence at this year’s MUSEXPO Creative Summit. Keatly Haldeman, CEO Riptide Music Group stated, “We provide transparent at–source royalty collection in over 65 territories, backed by proprietary technology designed to maximize income for clients. We also have a synch team of 20 people in the U.S. and Europe. We look forward to connecting with writers, producers, artists and catalogs that might benefit from our royalty collection and creative services at this year’s MUSEXPO Creative Summit in Burbank, CA.” For more information contact publishing@riptidemusic.com.

Kassner Music has acquired the song catalogue of renowned producer/DJ, Joe Smooth. Having gained worldwide acclaim for his music during the late ’80s and early ’90s, Smooth is recognized as one of the leading innovators of house music. Having started to make music at 12–years–old, Smooth eventually made a name for himself as a leading DJ across Chicago’s nightclub scene and reached international fame with his first release, the house anthem, “Promised Land.” The single was initially released in 1987 and soon became a club hit, garnering further success with The Style Council’s Top 20 cover version two years later. Smooth’s credits include work with global acts such as Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, New Order and Destiny’s Child, which has generated Gold and Platinum record awards for him in the process. Now focusing on his Indie Art Music label, he works as a producer and writer across emerging artist projects.

3 Beat Records is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, which will be commemorated with a special set at Liverpool International Music Festival (July 20th–21st), featuring Sigma, M–22, Anton Powers, Geko, Pezz, Nikki Belle and Rebecca Garton. The “3 Beat @ 30” celebration, hosted by DJ Pezz, will headline Saturday and showcase the label’s biggest hits, with more than 30 live musicians and special guests. New 3 Beat signing Sfven will also feature in the LIMF line–up, and the label will host a special after–party at the festival, with performances from acts on its roster. Founded in 1989, 3 Beat has built a significant reputation over a number of decades, especially in the dance genre. Starting in the 90s, with hits such as New Atlantic’s “I Know” and Berri’s “Sunshine After The Rain,” the label has since diversified its scope across a number of genres, working with artists such as Skepta, Sway and Fuse O.D.G., among others. Over its 30–year history, 3 Beat has garnered over 25 Top 10 U.K. singles and, it’s frontline roster today generates over 25 million streams monthly. The company will announce more special events commemorating its 30th anniversary later this year.

Andrew Ridgeley, the reclusive former Wham! singer, has revealed a new memoir, Wham! George & Me, to be released on October 3rd delving into time spent with the group and late singer/childhood friend, George Michael. Currently available for pre–order, the book will break a long silence by Ridgeley who, according to the books publisher Penguin Random House, will reveal the “inside story of Wham!, his life–long friendship with George Michael and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early eighties.”

The immersive content division of Google, Google Spotlight Stories, has revealed it will be ceasing operations. Over the last six years, the unit had produced VR and 360–degree shorts to help roll–out the initiatives. Among the projects were those directed by several Oscar winners. Released content included the Oscar–nominated short Pearl, from director Patrick Osborne (Feast); Duet from Glen Keane, a veteran animator and Disney legend; Age of Sail from John Kahrs (Paperman); and Windy Day from Jan Pinkava (Geri’s Game), Google Spotlight Stories’ Creative Director.

Brighton’s Penelope Isles have signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Faber Alt. The indie pop outfit, fronted by sibling duo Jack and Lily Wolter, released their debut single “Chlorine” exclusively via Rough Trade shops on vinyl with the group’s full–length, Until The Tide Creeps In, set for release this summer. Penelope Isles, who also recently signed to Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union label, join Faber Alt’s growing alternative roster.

In a report from the Spanish Musical Promoters Association (APM), it was revealed that income from live music has increased for the fifth year in a row for 2018. 2018 saw income of 333.9 million euros (nearly $377 million), with Bruno Mars topping the list as the country’s top tour with attendance of 110,000 people across two shows. According to the report, a decrease in the government cultural tax and an increase in tourism have played a role in the boost to the live music arena.

Kygo will maintain his Wynn Nightlight residency through 2020, having joined the roster of residents in 2017. Among the Wynn properties Kygo will perform at are included XS Nightclub, Encore Beach Club and Encore Beach Club at Night for over 20 dates starting April 26th.

Fast–growing indie label, 10K Projects, has signed emerging rapper Quin NFN whose track, “Talking My Shit,” has already generated over 11 million views on YouTube. Based in Austin, Texas, Pitchfork recently billed Quin as one of 10 rappers to watch in 2019. The 17–year–old rapper was signed by Binish Mahmood, who was recently named VP of A&R at 10K Projects. Quin played a number of gigs at last week’s SXSW festivities including the WorldstarHipHop Texas TakeOver on Saturday. Quin is currently at work on his upcoming 10K Projects debut mixtape.

Absolute Label Services has been named as one of only a small collection of recommended digital distributors by Spotify. The streamer has a specific set of standards for artist and label distributors and recommends companies with practices that work well for both artists and Spotify. Spotify recommends artist and label distributors when they demonstrate an ability to provide quality metadata and protect against copyright infringement.

Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has announced the promotion of Alessandra Alarcón to President of SBS Entertainment as the Hispanic multimedia owner/operator celebrates 35 years. In assuming the new leadership role of SBS’ live entertainment operations, Alarcón becomes the first woman to head the division. Alarcón’s promotion follows her successful leadership of the company’s recent Calibash events at Los Angeles’ Staples Center in January which sold–out two consecutive nights with artists including Enrique Iglesias, Ozuna and Bad Bunny. Having joined SBS in 2014, Alarcón served as a sales associate and eventually joined the sales team for Calibash. She transitioned to the production aspect of the event and became its sole producer in 2017. Alarcón’s new role will give her oversight of SBS entertainment platforms such as La Música app and booking talent for major events as she seeks to continue the expansion of SBS Entertainment to encompass national and international events.

Veteran music industry executive Eddie Lambert has died at the age of 76 following an 18–month fight with cancer. Lambert’s five–decade–long career included time with ABC/Dunhill, Motown and EMICapitol. In 1974, Lambert 1974 launched Haven Records alongside his brother Dennis. Lambert brought to the label the Righteous Brothers, Evie Sands, Player and The Grass Roots, and worked alongside Dennis on the Tavares and Glen Campbell albums which he produced alongside Brian Potter. Lambert’s resume also included stops at Interworld Music Group, 20th Century Fox Music, syndicated TV show Star Search, and Smashcast, as well as others. His career began in 1964, working for Lenny Stogel as a music publisher. Among the artists and songwriters Lambert worked with across his time in the industry, in a variety of roles, were Hall & Oates, The Commodores, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, The Manhattan Transfer, El Debarge, The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, The Four Tops, Sam Harris, Kenny Loggins, Price & Walsh, John Phillips, Stacy Lattisaw, Bruce Willis and many others.

Surf–rock icon Dick Dale has passed away at the age of 81. Dale had been facing a number of health issues in recent years. Born Richard Anthony Monsour, Dale’s success began in the early 60s with his band the Del–Tones and the widely–recognized track, “Miserlou.” Released on his 1962 debut full–length, Surfer’s Choice, the song became the opening theme to the hit film Pulp Fiction from Quentin Tarantino in 1994. In 2006, the track was also sampled by The Black Eyed Peas for their single, “Pump It,” which rose to No.18 on the Billboard Hot 100.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stu Bergen, Jody Gerson, Daniel Lieberberg, Emma Banks, Randy Spendlove, Rachel Levy, Gary Chen, Ron Fair, Steve Schnur, Adam Greenup, Mamie Coleman, Atul Churamani, Hiba Irshad, Karl Anderson and Bruce Flohr.


JACKASS OF THE WEEK

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. This week, we travel the world to bring you some memorable jackass moments. Click HERE for a bellyful of laughter at someone else’s expense!


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



Owen Lloyd, James Thomas, Ali Hetherington and Simon Treasure together are the London–based Alt–Indie outfit, Longfellow. The quartet released their debut EP Prelude in 2014, featuring their first single “Siamese Lover,” which was spun by Jo Wiley on BBC Radio 2, debuted on 6Music with Steve Lamacq and chosen as BBC Introducing single of the week by Huw Stephens on Radio 1. To date, the band has had five consecutive singles earn U.K. support at BBC Radio 2 as well as a host of live sessions at Maida Vale, Radio X and 3FM. Longfellow has sold out London’s prestigious Bush Hall, headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Hyde Park and showcased across the Atlantic at SXSW, CMJ and MUSEXPO in addition to supporting the likes of Keane, Hall & Oates and Royal Blood. Musically, Longfellow evoke the musical nuances of Coldplay, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, The Temper Trap, and early Muse melded with their own creative vision. Longfellow has collected over 5.5 million cumulative plays on Spotify, amassed over 200,000 views on YouTube and nearly 40,000 global tags on Shazam thus far. Longfellow is set to release a brand new single, titled “Iscariot,” this Friday. Listen to “Iscariot” HERE and contact info@anrworldwide.com, as Longfellow is available for worldwide label signing, licensing, booking and synch opportunities.


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

Auckland’s Bene (pronounced “Benny”) is causing quite the stir with her new single “Soaked.” The 19 year–old officially arrived when the song crashed onto the airwaves of Triple J and she appeared alongside hotly–tipped French producer Petit Biscuit, whose hit song “Sunset Lover” has earned over 500 million streams and counting, to record a live session for the station. Bene’s single has already picked up over 11 million Spotify streams and the world is paying attention. “Soaked” mixes indie–slack fun with a little R&B swing, and the vocals you will immediately fall in love with. Her live show is turning heads as she appeared at the Laneway Festival and supported Lily Allen in Auckland in January and her first two shows in Australia last month were both sold out. Get introduced to the talents of Bene with her video for “Soaked” HERE and contact Paul McKessar of CRS Music Management at paul@crsmanagement.co.nz for additional information or inquiries.


PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 3/17/2019



“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, March 17th, 2019: 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; 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, 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:

SHEPPARD – “On My Way” (Chugg Music, Australia)
SPORTS TEAM – “M5” (Holm Front, UK)
GOOD WEATHER FORECAST – “Superhumans” (Starwatch, Germany)
BAND OF SKULLS – “Cool Your Battles” (SO Recordings, UK)
TEDDYBEARS – “Give It All Up” (Unsigned, Sweden)
BLACK HONEY – “Crowded City” (Fox Five Records, UK)
LIME CORDIALE – “Money” (Chugg Music, Australia)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Less Is More” (SO Recordings, UK)
SMITH & THELL – “Forgive Me Friend (Feat. Swedish Jam Factory)” (Playground Music, Sweden)
BLAENAVON – “Catatonic Skinbag” (Transgressive, UK)
SLIDE – “Floating” (If Music Could Talk/AWAL, Sweden)
THE LUKA STATE – “What's My Problem” (Project Records, UK)
CARAVAN PALACE – “Miracle” (Le Café de la Danse/Wagram/MVKA, France)
HOCKEY DAD – “Join The Club” (Lab Records, N. Australia)
RAT CITY – “Kind Of Love” (Sony Music, Norway)
SPRING KING – “Us Vs. Them” (Island, UK)
TONICA – “California” (Unsigned, UK)
DRENGE – “Autonomy” (Infectious, UK)
STATE LIGHTS – “Lonely” (Unsigned, Ireland)
INDOOR PETS – “Being Strange” (Wichita, UK)
TROPHY EYES – “Lavender Bay” (Hopeless Records, Australia)
TWO YEAR VACATION – “Better Off Alone” (Clouds Hill, Sweden)
GRANT – “Waterline” (Sony, Sweden)
CIRCA WAVES – “Movies” (Prolifica, UK)
SHLOMI ASH – “Wake Up” (Unsigned, Israel)
STICKY FINGERS – “Loose Ends” (Sureshaker, Australia)
BAKER GRACE – “Wrong Kind Of People” (Unsigned, N. America)
HOT LIKE SUSHI – “Bitch Repellent” (Unsigned, Switzerland)
PYRO – “Regret Or Forget” (Unsigned, Scotland)
COYLE GIRELLI – “Isabella Dances” (Unsigned, UK)
DYLAN CARTLIDGE – “Monsters Under The Bed” (Glassnote Records, UK)
DOLLY & THE DINOSAUR – “Unofficial” (Unsigned, UK)
INGER – “Coming Home” (Unsigned, Estonia)

(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including Sheppard, Drenge, Sports Team, Blaenavon and Caravan Palace)