BIG MACHINE LABEL GROUP ACQUIRED BY ITHACA HOLDINGS
Scooter Braun, Founder SB Projects and his media holding company Ithaca Holdings, LLC, together with Scott Borchetta, Founder, Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) announced this past weekend that they had completed a deal in which Ithaca Holdings will acquire Big Machine Label Group. The deal includes every key aspect of BMLG’s multi–faceted business, encompassing its artist client roster and distribution deals, as well as publishing and artist masters owned by the company. The acquisition by Ithaca Holdings of BMLG is said to have been in the many tens of millions of dollars (nine figures sum).
Scott Borchetta will become a member of Ithaca’s board and will also acquire a small interest in Ithaca, as well as remain President & CEO of Big Machine Label Group which will continue to operate as normal out of its Nashville, TN offices.
Scott Borchetta & Scooter Braun
Braun stated, “The idea of Scott and I working together is nothing new, we’ve been talking about it since the beginning of our friendship. I reached out to him when I saw an opportunity and, after many conversations, realized our visions were aligned. He’s built a brilliant company full of iconic songs and artists. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? By joining together, we will create more opportunities for artists than ever before, by giving them the support and tools to go after whatever dreams they wish to pursue.”
Borchetta added, “Scooter and I have been aligned with ‘big vision brings big results’ from the very first time we met in 2010. Since then, I have watched him build an incredible and diverse company that is a perfect complement to the Big Machine Label Group. Our artist–first spirit and combined roster of talent, executives, and assets is now a global force to be reckoned with. This is a very special day and the beginning of what is sure to be a fantastic partnership and historic run.”
SB Projects represents mega–music starts such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Zac Brown Band, Dan + Shay and many more. Scott Borchetta launched BMLG back in 2005, and the company is now home to Taylor Swift’s music catalogue and superstar acts including Reba McEntire, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum. The label group consists of four imprints including Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records and Big Machine/John Varvatos Records. BMLG launched its publishing company Big Machine Music in 2012, which today publishes hit songwriters such as Luke Combs, Jonathan Singleton, Brandy Clark and Laura Veltz.
WENDY GOLDSTEIN NAMED PRESIDENT, WEST COAST CREATIVE FOR REPUBLIC RECORDS
Republic Records’ Co–Founders, Monte and Avery Lipman, have promoted Wendy Goldstein to the role of President, West Coast Creative, for the label. Goldstein takes on the new position having led the label’s Santa Monica operations, where she will remain based, as EVP since 2017. A widely–respected A&R executive, the past year has seen Goldstein guiding back–to–back No.1 debuts on the Billboard 200 from Ariana Grande with 2018’s Sweetener and this year’s thank u, next. She also played a key role in the return of the Jonas Brothers with their new full–length, Happiness Begins, which also debuted at No.1.
Monte comments, “Wendy’s reputation as one of the industry’s best A&R executives is accurate and well deserved. Her instincts, focus and respect within the creative community remains unparalleled. Leading by example, this new position will recognize her proven track record as an exceptional executive, role model, and gives her the opportunity to guide the company into uncharted waters.”
“Wendy is truly an A&R visionary. Her keen intuition, perspective, and passion for music have galvanized the careers of countless superstars. Not to mention, she’s family to Republic Records having signed our very first project to a major label deal. We can’t wait for the next chapter with her,” adds Avery.
Goldstein’s elevation comes as she celebrates ten years with Republic, having joined the company as an A&R consultant in 2009. She climbed the ranks to Sr. VP of A&R in 2011 and then to EVP/Head of Urban in 2014. Her tenure with Republic has seen her involved in the career success of acts such as The Weeknd, Julia Michaels, Hailee Steinfeld, Enrique Iglesias and others. Before joining Republic, she served in A&R positions with Geffen Records, East West, MCA and Capitol/Priority.
Goldstein says, “It’s been a privilege to work with Monte, Avery, and Republic Records since 1996 when I signed their first act to Geffen Records. In the twenty years since, we’ve been a part of some of music’s most important artists together. Truly, they’ve empowered and inspired me every step of the way. It’s an honor to be a part of what they’ve built, and I’m looking forward to many more milestones together.”
COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO TO BROADCAST GLOBAL MUSIC PRE–DISCOVERY MUSIC PROGRAM PASSPORT APPROVED
Passport Approved, the pioneering global new music pre–discovery radio program, which currently broadcasts on almost 70 radio stations worldwide, and on six continents (Europe, N. America, S. America, Africa, Australia and Asia), reaching millions of weekly listeners, has unveiled another affiliate to see the show expanding its footprint further across the U.S. The show’s newest affiliate brings the Passport Approved brand to Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) OpenAir offering with its base in the influential U.S. radio market of Denver, CO.
CPR’s OpenAir seeks to deliver listeners the best in new and independent music as it features up–and–coming artists and also highlights Colorado’s local music scene. Passport Approved will now add its global pre–discovery gems to the CPR OpenAir playlist for its listeners to experience new music from all over the world!
CPR OpenAir’s Program Director, Willobee Carlan, comments, “Passport Approved has become the state–of–the–art platform for international new music pre–discovery around the world. I’m a huge fan and carry it on all the stations I program. While Sat Bisla travels the globe earning frequent flyer miles, we get the dividends with this amazing show.”
Passport Approved is the brainchild of the show’s host and programmer Sat Bisla, who has previously been a DJ on KCRW Los Angeles; KKDJ “The Edge” Fresno, CA; and a voice of Last.fm. Bisla was also a key architect and creator of Clear Channel Radio’s The New Music Network in 2001, which eventually evolved into a part of iHeartMedia, one of the world’s most influential multimedia brands.
Passport Approved has spent almost 16 years acting as the first point of “radio contact” for introducing many great new artists to worldwide audiences before they were signed, or officially released in many countries including: Adele, KONGOS, Lorde, LMFAO, Gotye, Bastille, Wolfmother, Frank Turner, The Temper Trap, Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Gavin James, Thomas Azier, Alice Merton, Lily Allen, White Lies, The Naked & Famous, Jeremy Loops, Junius Meyvant, Milky Chance, Caro Emerald, Ting Tings, Duffy, Tove Lo, Vance Joy, Sheppard, Picture This, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mads Langer, The Kooks, Howling Bells, Smith & Thell, and hundreds of others. In addition, the program breaks new artists and songs before they are even officially available on streaming services – giving the local radio affiliates ownership of new music before it’s available on any other platform in the world.
Included among the show’ current broadcast affiliates are: 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; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; KVNV–FM Reno NV; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; 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 (iHeartRadio) in the United States and many others. The program also airs a twice–weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany, as well as streaming on one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms, JioSaavn.
BBC’S ANN SARNOFF ANNOUNCED TO LEAD WARNER BROS.
Warner Bros. has tapped BBC executive Ann Sarnoff to head up the studio, marking the first female in the company’s 96–year history to assume the lead role. Sarnoff takes up the position with the March departure of Kevin Tsujihara following recent misconduct allegations.
Sarnoff most recently has served as BBC Studios Americas President and has previously served in executive positions with Viacom and the WNBA. She steps into the role as WarnerMedia, renamed from Time Warner Inc. following AT&T’s acquisition of the media firm last year, prepares the launch of its own streaming platform later this year.
Her appointment as Warner Bros. Chief Executive and Chair was announced by WarnerMedia CEO, John Stankey, who commented, “She brings a consistent and proven track record of innovation, creativity and business results to lead an incredibly successful studio to its next chapter of growth. Ann has shown the ability to innovate and grow revenues and has embraced the evolution taking place in our industry.”
Sarnoff’s appointment sees her taking on oversight of one of Hollywood’s most iconic studios. The Walt Disney Co. has assumed the market leader spot in recent years, pushing Warner Bros. to second, a gap that has continued to grow. This year, the studio has maintained its push on its DC Comics offerings with Shazam!, as well as summer film, Godzilla: King of Monsters, which has performed under expectations.
GLOBAL NEWS UPDATES…
A&R Worldwide has learned that Allen Kovac’s preeminent rock label, E7 Music (Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Mötley Crüe, Vamps, etc.), recently hired veteran A&R executive Victor Murgatroyd as its Sr. VP of A&R. Murgatroyd tells A&R Worldwide, “I knew Allen mostly by reputation as being the powerhouse manager that he is, however, I had no idea what a creative he was until I got behind the company line. In the past few months I’ve been working with Allen, he’s made some surprising calls musically that have nurtured the health of the song with pin–point precision. I am very excited about our future together.” Murgatroyd has had a successful career in A&R’ing many successful rock acts who have enjoyed global success during the course of his extensive history.
Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with musician, songwriter, producer, actor, director, and globally–recognized DJ, Idris Elba. As Elba seeks to further his musical talents as a creator, he co–wrote, rapped and sang his first single, “Boasty,” created with Wiley, Stefflon Don and Sean Paul. Since release, the track has garnered 22 million YouTube views, reaching No.1 on U.K. Indie Charts and No.5 on R&B Charts. Other works for Elba include his mix of “Circles” by Natalie Wood X N:Fostell; a remix of Shy’s “Chocolate;” and most recently, new single “Ballie,” a collaboration with Kah–Lo. Additionally, Elba has recently collaborated with Kranium, Slick Rick and Tiggs Da Author, and has a forthcoming single “On Life” co–written with Poo Bear, which has also been remixed by David Guetta’s alter ego, Jack Back. Alongside the deal, UMPG will sub–publish artists signed to Elba’s 7Wallace record label. London–based 7Wallace’s recent releases include James BKS “Kwele,” Elba’s “Badman” and the 7Wallace Sampler, among others. Recent highlight performances for Elba include Glastonbury, Coachella, Sound in LA and Output in New York, as well as various U.K. stages including Ministry of Sound, Creamfields, Elrow and a residency this summer hosting the Club Room at Hi Ibiza in collaboration with David Guetta.
Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), the management firm and record label behind the most successful drag artists, has announced a major new music partnership with Warner Music Group’s (WMG) Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA). Under the agreement, ADA will distribute all new releases from PEG Records while managing PEG’s extensive catalog of more than 25 full–length albums and EPs, as well as dozens of singles. The partnership will include upcoming releases from artists Alaska Thunderf*ck, BeBe Zahara Benet, Blair St. Clair, Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara, Ginger Minj, Jinkx Monsoon, Jiggly Caliente, Jujubee, Kahanna Montrese, Katya, Manila Luzon, Monét X Change, Nina West, Peppermint, Sharon Needles, Trixie Mattel and Trinity The Tuck, as well as others. The arrangement covers physical and digital distribution as well as synch, radio and other key label services. The distribution announcement comes on the heels of a string of recent musical successes from PEG artists over the past year. PEG is also responsible for more than 90 of the world’s top drag music videos that collectively have garnered over 100 million views on YouTube and VEVO.
Gabz Landman tells A&R Worldwide that she has officially joined the Warner Records A&R department and will be based out of the company’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters. Landman has joined the company in a new role as VP of A&R, and will be actively seeking ways to collaborate with talented new writers, producers and artists. Prior to joining Warner Records, Landman was most recently Director of A&R at APG in Los Angeles.
Music functionality has made its way to users of Facebook and Instagram in Brazil, with Facebook’s music industry partnerships now spanning 40 countries. Brazilian users now have the option to include music in videos shared via Facebook and Instagram as well as access to music features through Stories and Facebook’s Lip Sync Live platform.
BMG Production Music (BMGPM) has announced a partnership with Red Bull Media House in a deal that sees BMGPM representing the Sounds of Red Bull production music catalogue worldwide, ex–U.S. and Austria. Sounds of Red Bull houses a global network of producers and composers creating a production music catalogue that prides itself on being manufactured with the highest audio standards and courageous musical attitude. Red Bull Media House is an award–winning, globally distributed multi–platform media company with a focus on sports, culture and lifestyle content. It offers a range of premium media products across TV, mobile, digital, audio, and print, and produces and licenses a selection of global live broadcast events, local storytelling with original short and long–form programming, as well as feature films globally.
Chris Thorne has been tapped by Beats by Dre to serve as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer where he will lead marketing efforts globally while reporting to President, Luke Wood. Thorne brings to Beats more than 15 years of experience in the marketing arena with his executive career having started as President at CSMG Sports. He transitioned to EA where he assumed the role of Global VP of Marketing, Media and Mobile, and then to The Honest Company, Jessica Alba’s brand of household products, as Chief Marketing Officer. His most recent role saw him serving as Chief Growth Officer with startup subscription medical care platform, Forward.
Songtrust recently revealed that the company has delivered significant year–over–year growth with strong increases in its client base, songs managed and royalties collected. As of May 31st, 2019, Songtrust now has over 2 million songs under its management, from 26,000 publishers and 205,000 songwriters across 64 countries. Since Q2 2018, the company has added over 55,000 songwriters, and now registers an average of more than 5,000 new songs every week. Songtrust’s client base saw year–over–year increases of 180%, compared to the same period in 2018, with royalty collections up 70%. Additionally, Songtrust increased the number of songs registered on its global platform by 146%. Currently, one out of five songwriters in the U.S. touch the platform, and Songtrust now has cuts with 50% of the Billboard Top 50 R&B/Hip Hop artists. Songtrust also provides publishing solutions for corporate clients such as CD Baby, DistroKid, Downtown Music Publishing, The Orchard, Sub Pop Publishing, Trap Nation, and in 87 countries worldwide. As global music revenues continue to grow, expected to hit $131 billion by 2030 according to Goldman Sachs, Songtrust has furthered its relationships with 34 collection societies globally, including the top 20 societies, and established new partnerships for 2019 with IMRO (Ireland and globally), WAMI (Indonesia), CAPASSO (Mechanical rights in South Africa), SAMRO (Performance rights in South Africa), and ZAiKS (Poland), as well as more to be announced.
Three Six Zero Recordings has welcomed well–known broadcaster/DJ, Pete Tong, as President for the company where he will assume oversight of the recorded music operations, a JV between management company Three Six Zero and Sony Music. Bringing in Tong, a tastemaker who is widely–recognized for his work at BBC Radio 1 and as a club DJ, sees the company moving forward its agenda to take a strong position in the electronic music arena, building upon the success of its current roster and uncovering emerging talent. Tong’s duties will also include looking after soundtracks for film/TV content produced by Three Six Zero. The Three Six Zero roster counts acts such as Tiësto, Shameik Moore, Louis Tomlinson, Brady Corbet and the complete Smith family (Will, Jada Pinkett, Jaden and Willow).
Apple Music has revealed its paid subscribership has crossed the 60 million persons threshold globally. The update was confirmed last week by the streamer’s VP of Services, Eddy Cue following December’s report of the number reaching 56 million across both paid and free trial users. As the battle continues in the streaming arena, Spotify announced in April that it had over 100 million subscribers, the first streaming platform to hit the milestone number, with a recent report for Bloomberg placing estimated paid users for Amazon at about 30 million and Google at 15 million collectively between its YouTube Music and Google Play services.
Shazam has revealed its mid–year report on the most Shazamed tracks and artists so far for 2019. The results reflect the growing popularity of Latin music globally, with two of the top three Shazamed tracks from the genre. The top 10 most Shazamed songs in 2019 so far are: Pedro Capó & Farruko, “Calma (Remix)” which was also the most Shazamed track in the Latin genre; Ava Max, “Sweet But Psycho” which topped the list of most Shazamed in the Pop genre; Daddy Yankee feat. Snow, “Con Calma;” Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man, “Giant” which topped the list of most Shazamed in the Dance genre; Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy;” Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus, “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart;” Ariana Grande, “7 Rings;” Halsey, “Without Me;” Sam Smith & Normani, “Dancing With A Stranger;” and Imagine Dragons, “Bad Liar.” Topping the list of most Shazamed artist for the year are Calvin Harris, Drake, J Balvin, Billie Eilish and Daddy Yankee. Across additional genres, the most Shazamed tracks included Post Malone’s “Wow.” for Hip–Hop; Khalid & Disclosure’s “Talk” for R&B/Soul; Kane Brown’s “Good As You” for Country; and BTS feat. Halsey with “Boy With Luv” for K–Pop.
A new strategic partnership has been announced to see Lyft becoming the exclusive rideshare, bike and scooter partner for 16 of AEG Presents owned or operated music assets in eight U.S. markets. Under the agreement, Lyft will set up and maintain specified drop-off/pick-up “Lyft Spots” for its transportation offerings at AEG venues. Led by AEG Global Partnerships, the partnership marks a AEG Presents’ first effort to bring scooter/bike rideshare alternatives to its event attendees. Among the markets with venues set to welcome the integration are Denver, CO; Columbus, OH; New Orleans, LA; Dallas, TX; New York, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Los Angeles, CA; and Seattle, WA.
A new JV has been finalized between Atlantic Records and entertainment attorney James McMillan’s Art@War label. The roster at Art@War is home to the YBN Collective (YBN Nahmir, YBN Cordae, YBN Almighty Jay), a partnership between McMillan and James Prince (CEO, Rap–A–Lot Records), as well as acts SK8 and Jucee Froot. Art@War maintains operations in New York City and Los Angeles. Additionally, via a management division within Art@War, McMillan co–manages acts YK Osiris alongside Jas Prince. With more than 15 years of experience as an entertainment attorney, McMillan has represented the likes of Rap–A–Lot, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, 8Ball & MJG, and Machine Gun Kelly.
A new record deal has been finalized with singer/songwriter Greyson Chance by the recently–relaunched Arista Records and Sony Music. The teen viral star garnered initial attention with his cover of “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga in 2010. The video racked up over 60 million views and led to an appearance on Ellen, and a subsequent signing with DeGeneres’ eleveneleven label. Chance released two EPs and one album through the label which was distributed through Interscope Geffen A&M. Following a break from music, he returned in March with a new full–length, portraits, and is preparing a world tour.
Round Hill Carlin UK has named publishing veteran Robin Godfrey–Cass as Managing Director. Having formerly led Warner/Chappell, Godfrey–Cass was a key figure in the U.K. publishing sector across the ’80s and ’90s before he headed to the U.S. Most recently, over the past 15 months, he’s held an executive consultant role with Round Hill Carlin UK. Godfrey–Cass initially returned to the U.K. in 2017 for a consultancy role with Universal Music Publishing Group. Round Hill acquired Carlin in 2018 for about $245 million, taking in copyrights made famous by artists such as Elvis Presley, AC/DC and Billie Holiday.
Spirit Music Group’s Latin division, Spirit Music Latino, has finalized the acquisition of the assets of Prodemus Colombia, one of the oldest and biggest indie music publishers in Colombia and Latin America. Having launched more than four decades ago, Prodemus Colombia’s catalog of around 12,500 compositions includes iconic cumbia and vallenato songs “La Gota Fria,” “Una Hoja en Blanco” and “Los Caminos de la Vida,” among many others, and also owns the rights for the majority of works from Grupo Niche. The acquisition brings to Spirit Music Latino hits by the likes of Carlos Vives, Julio Iglesias, Binomio de Oro, Los Tigres del Norte, Vicente Fernandez and others. Spirit Music Latino was launched in 2016 as a partnership between Spirit Music Group and Sunflower Entertainment Group with the Prodemus acquisition marking the first Latin catalog to be owned and administered under the division.
YouTube has tapped Martin Kon as VP Strategy for the Google–owned video platform as it looks to evolve its long–term plans for original programming and distribution. Kon, a veteran management consultant, had most recently been a Sr. Partner and Managing Director with Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) technology, media and telecoms division. Kon brings to YouTube an extensive knowledge of subscription media and streaming strategy and operations, and will be based at the San Bruno, California headquarters while reporting to Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer. Prior to joining BCG in 2015, Kon’s two decades as a management consultant saw him advising streaming platforms, media groups, film/TV studios and distributors, broadcast/cable TV networks, and phone and tech leaders.
In other YouTube news, the platform’s YouTube Music offering has unveiled a new feature to see up to 500 tracks downloaded automatically for premium users through Smart Downloads, available on the Android app. While premium tier users already have the option to download tracks, albums and playlists for offline listening, the new feature seeks to make the task even easier. Using the Offline Mixtape, a playlist curated around listening history, Smart Downloads will use the first 100 tracks listed to pull in tracks for download based on liked songs, favorite playlists and frequently listened to albums.
Mary J. Blige has finalized a first–look TV deal with Lionsgate through her recently–launched Blue Butterfly Productions for the development and production of series’ which encompasses Blige having the ability to create content for the studio’s portfolio of platforms. Currently Blige stars in The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) as well as the highly–anticipated third season of Scream, set to air on VH1 starting next month. For her role in the film Mudbound, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, as well as for Best Original Song with “Mighty River.” Blige joins a growing list of first–look and overall deals finalized by Lionsgate over the past year including those with Courtney Kemp, Matt Kuntiz, Jonathan Levine, Mona Scott–Young, Cassian Elwes, Common, the Erwin Brothers, Eugenio Derbez and Yvette Lee Bowser.
As updates continue to come through on the 2008 fire that destroyed decades of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) archived master recordings in a Hollywood vault facility, New York Times Magazine has revealed a comprehensive list of over 700 artists whose recordings were lost. Among those are included a number of artists and estates such as Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and Tom Petty, who have filed a class action lawsuit against UMG. Additionally, the list includes the likes of Bryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Belinda Carlisle, Meat Loaf, Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Gwen Stefani and Blink 182, as well as artists such as Nirvana, Elton John and REM which were revealed earlier in the month. Now, over a decade later, the number of master recordings expected destroyed has increased significantly from 2008’s reports, reaching up to 500,000.
Warner Music Nashville has announced the signing of emerging artist Gabby Barrett. SiriusXM’s The Highway has already tapped the singer/songwriter, and American Idol alumna, as a “Highway Find” artist, with her first single “I Hope” claiming the No.1 spot on the station’s Hot 30 Countdown. Having generated 35 million on–demand streams to date, Barrett recently performed at the ARDYs: A Radio Disney Music Celebration, having returned to the Idol stage for its national TV debut earlier this year. The Pennsylvania native has been on the road since age 11, recently sharing the stage with artists such as Luke Bryan, Bebe Rexha, Carrie Underwood and others. She is currently in the studio with Grammy–nominated producer, Ross Copperman, working on her debut release. Barrett is represented by Red Light Management and William Morris Endeavor.
Partisan Records has appointed Theresa Adebiyi as Creative Director. Adebiyi, whose appointment is effective immediately, comes to Partisan from Ninja Tune, where as their Creative Marketing Manager, she worked on award–winning campaigns for the likes of Young Fathers, Little Dragon, Maribou State, Cinematic Orchestra, Jordan Rakei, Actress, and Roots Manuva. Prior, Adebiyi was at Lex Records working across a broad range of music and film projects including the MF DOOM x Clarks Originals and film series, The Show. Partisan is home to acts such as Cigarettes After Sex, IDLES, Fontaines DC, Deer Tick, Eagulls, The Black Angels, John Grant and others, as well as representing the Fela Kuti catalogue. Adebiyi will split time between the company’s London and New York offices, and will oversee the intersection between A&R and marketing, ensuring that the visual content of all artists on the roster maintains a consistent standard and working towards empowering both the marketing team at the label, and the artists on the roster. Additionally, Adebiyi will also have U.K.–specific product management responsibilities for select album campaigns, while looking after the creative direction and product development for the Fela Kuti catalogue. Adebiyi reports to Partisan Records President Tim Putnam, and Jeff Bell, GM of International on all U.K. product management.
Kobalt has added U.S. artist/director/actor Hayley Kiyoko to their roster via an exclusive worldwide deal to encompass publishing administration, creative services and synch for her full catalogue as well as future works. Having released her debut full–length, Expectations, last year, Kiyoko garnered nominations for Best New Artist and Push Artist of the Year at the MTV VMAs, taking home the award for the latter.
Following the recent announcement that J Balvin had parted ways with his longtime manager, Rebeca León, the artist has signed for representation with SB Projects. Balvin joins the management roster of the Scooter Braun–led firm that counts Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Idina Menzel. León and Balvin parted ways amicably and will maintain a collaborative relationship on various projects. Fabio Acosta continues his role as a member of Balvin’s management team, working in partnership with SB Projects.
peermusic has finalized a new publishing agreement with Chiquis Rivera, the daughter of late Regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, marking her first publishing deal. The exclusive global publishing deal is finalized as Rivera and The Sixth House, her management team, finalized a new deal with Universal Music Group’s Regional Mexican division, Fonovisa. Chiquis will deliver her single “Animate y Veras” on June 28th with a new album currently being worked on for which peermusic has already spearheaded two songwriting camps. The camps have spawned one of the singles for the upcoming album which follows her 2015 debut studio effort, Ahora, and 2018’s Entre Botellas, which made it to No.1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, seeing her become the first woman since her mother to debut in the top spot of the chart.
Smart speaker popularity continues to grow in the U.S. with the most recent Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research revealing that about 53 million people now own at least one smart, an increase of 3% over last year’s numbers. The report also noted a significant increase of 78% in the total number of smart speakers in households across the U.S., going from 66.7 million to 118.5 million. This increase is led by households that now own more than one smart speaker device which rose from 38% to 52% from 2107 to 2018. The large growth in smart speaker popularity is still surrounded by privacy and security concerns over the devices with 58% of owners expressing worry about hackers accessing their personal information via their devices. Among non–owners, 57% cited these same worries as reasoning for not having acquired a smart speaker. Despite privacy concerns, 69% of device owners use their smart speaker daily, a figure which increases among households with children to 75%. Additionally, it was noted that 69% of owners admitted to not fully understanding the full capability of their devices with the most popular uses including playing music (77%), getting weather (75%), answering general questions (74%) and setting timers/alarms (53%).
Spotify’s battle with Apple over App Store fees, which commenced in 2015, continued this week following claims from Spotify that 30% of its revenue subscriptions via the App Store is a “tax” with hard numbers. Apple has discounted this figure via a filing with the European Commission, stating that it only receives 15% of revenue from .5% of Spotify’s premium subscribers. The filing specified that the App Store rules dictate any subscription services that have users sign up via an iOS app pay 30% of subscription revenue to Apple for the first year, and 15% for subsequent years. As Spotify allowed their users to sign up through their iOS app from 2014–2016, a number that Apple revealed was 680,000 customers, Apple hasn’t been collecting revenue on any new customers Spotify has secured since then.
Spotify also reached settlement agreements for two significant copyright lawsuits from Bob Gaudio (Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons) and Bluewater Music Services Corporation. The lawsuits claimed that Spotify had not complied fully with commitments outlined by Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act. Upon the filing in 2017, Spotify informed the U.S. Copyright Office of the difficulty it faced to identify and find all co–authors for the catalog of copyrighted works on the platform and also settled a class action regarding the issue for $43.45 million. Terms of the settlement deal with Gaudio and Bluewater have not been revealed.
In other Spotify news, it has been revealed that Brian Benedik is parting ways with the streamer in September from his role as Global Head of Advertising Sales. Benedik had been with Spotify for six years, having joined the team as Head of N. American Sales in 2013 before a promotion to his current post in 2015. Benedik had previously served as President for Katz 360, the digital division of Katz Media. His next steps and reason for exiting Spotify haven’t been revealed.
German neighbouring rights society, GVL, has revealed its collections for 2018 reached around €230 million ($261 million) for artists, producers and event organizers, marking a 25.9% decrease from 2017’s high of €310 million ($352 million). The change reflects high payments in the private copying sector for 2017. According to GVL, a total of €287 million ($326 million) was paid out to producers and artists in 2018. The revenue total for the year was led by the broadcasting sector at around €92.1 million, followed by reproduction rights at €83.9 million; international rights at €5.6 million; and income from cable re–transmission of artistic performances at €2.1 million.
A new digital platform has been launched under the banner of Opnr that seeks to connect artists and concert organizers with a focus on supporting independent music. The Detroit, Michigan–based company was founded by Waref Hawasli, the entrepreneur behind the launch of Rolling Stone Middle East, which he set–up in Dubai in 2010. The Michigan native rolled out the Rolling Stone Middle East brand after moving to Dubai in 2006 and launching HGW Media, which focused on publishing, production and digital media. The publication featured a large portion of the U.S. edition’s content, as well as leading local acts and coverage of the Arab Spring protests, uprisings and armed rebellions. Hawasli sold Rolling Stone Middle East in 2014 and returned to Michigan to launch Fanic Music in 2016 which sought to help local musicians connect with industry professionals. Focusing on the platform’s area of largest growth, talent buyers seeking opening acts, Hawasli created Opnr which since launching in 2018, now counts over 4,000 users across 44 U.S. states with over 250 opening slots secured nationwide.
Ingrooves has announced that Latin music veteran Eduardo “Edup” del Pilar has joined the company’s Latin division where he will focus on business development and A&R in Latin territories globally. The newly–created role will see del Pilar remaining based in his native Puerto Rico, reporting to Amy Dietz, Ingrooves EVP/General Manager. Del Pilar rose to prominence in the music industry as a multi–platinum Grammy–nominated producer/mixing engineer, working with artists such as Wisin, Jowell & Randy, Dela Ghetto, Almighty, Zion & Lennox, Arcangel, Tego Calderon, Nicky Jam, Darkiel, Cosculluela Farruko and others. He is also known as a successful record executive for forming Primo Boyz Records, where he worked with acts including Almighty, White Noise and D–Anel. In 2018, del Pilar formed Audio Whiz, an artist incubator and influencer developer.
A new, privately financed sports and entertainment arena is set to be constructed on land belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in downtown Palm Springs, CA, as a partnership between the federally–recognized tribe and Oak View Group (OVG). Additionally, the arena will be programmed by Live Nation Entertainment under a strategic partnership agreement. Construction on the new venue is expected to begin in February of next year to see the over 300,000 square foot, 10,000+ capacity arena occupying 16 acres of tribal land. At the same time, a joint application has been presented by OVG and NHL Seattle, led by owner David Bonderman, to bring the expansion team to the new arena for the 2021–2022 AHL season. The two entities also revealed that the space will cater to conventions, large meetings, international events, award shows and exhibitions.
Angry Mob Music Group has signed an exclusive worldwide co–publishing agreement with KAMI, a Chicago rapper and founding member of Chance the Rapper’s SaveMoney collective. He is also one–half of Leather Corduroys alongside Joey Purp. Since his debut mixtape, Light, was released in 2012, KAMI has been featured by the likes of Noisey, Pitchfork, XXL, Hypebeast, and Vibe Magazine. In 2017, he released his first full–length, Just Like the Movies, which featured guest appearances from Vic Mensa, Towkio and Joey Purp, and was followed by the EP Superstar. In 2018, he released another two EPs with From Me to You and Very Slight, a collaborative EP with Smoko Ono. The track “Reboot” from Very Slight, featuring Chance the Rapper and Joey Purp, has garnered more than 4 million streams to date. KAMI joined TOKiMIONSTA on the Midwest leg of the Lune Rouge Experience Tour in 2017 and in 2018, supported Taylor Bennett on his Restoration of an American Idol Tour.
A co–management deal has been finalized to see BRND MGMT’s Matt Graham and Make Wake Artists’ Chris Kappy representing Nashville singer/songwriter Hailey Whitters. Having been managing herself alongside boyfriend Jake Gear, a BMG staffer and the producer of her upcoming record, Whitters has had cuts with acts such as Little Big Town (“Happy People”), Alan Jackson (“The Older I Get”), Martina McBride (“The Real Thing”), and others. Whitters is gearing up to spend much of the year on tour as an opening act for Lori McKenna, Maren Morris and Brent Cobb with her new album, The Dream, set for release later this year.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Tricia Holloway, Dave Holmes, Ryan Whalley, Gary Seeger, Ira Goldring, Ken Ogihara, Pete Ganbarg, Martin Dodd, Mel Medalie, Jeff Smith, Cybele Pettus, Katie Vinten, Karl Anderson, Mandar Thakur, Dan Butler, Stephen King, Chris Barton and Anurag Rao.
JACKASS OF THE WEEK
Have you ever sent a text message you regretted, clicked on the wrong link, posted an inappropriate message or image on social media, accidentally replied “send all” on an E–mail, or made a total ass of yourself? Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. Yes, we’ve all had a jackass moment at one time or another in our life. This week, we share some global news fails caught on camera. Click HERE for some not so newsworthy jackass fails on TV!
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "ARTIST OF THE WEEK"– WAITING FOR SMITH
Harry Lloyd broke his back in the French Alps during avalanche training, spending a year in bed, where he learned how to play the guitar and formed the band Waiting For Smith. The name Waiting For Smith originated from the first drummer, Smith, who consistently failed to show up. The first single “Monkeys in My Head” debuted in Clash Magazine earlier this year and racked up nearly 20,000 streams, with airplay across the U.K., Canada and United States. In May, Waiting For Smith released the single “Trade It In” which quickly received support from 6Music, TalkRadio, BBC Introducing, VibeFM, JackFM and BBC London, Oxford, Kent and Berkshire, as well as the globally–syndicated radio show, Passport Approved. The track has a cool, eclectic alternative nuance to it (think early Beck meets Gotye), provided by producer/engineer Tom Fuller, who has worked with Clean Bandit, Years & Years, Gavin James and 2019 BRIT Award–winner Tom Walker. Waiting For Smith recorded an EP for an international television and film company at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and has been offered a headlining show at the O2 Academy Islington and an O2 tour of the U.K. “Trade It In” is one of those songs that feels familiar and has you singing along before the final chorus. Listen to “Trade It In” HERE and contact email@example.com, as Waiting For Smith is currently available for worldwide licensing, booking, publishing, synch and collaboration opportunities.
A&R WORLDWIDE’S "VIDEO OF THE WEEK" – NOSOYO
NOSOYO is a Berlin–based duo featuring the dynamic talents of Donata (vocals, guitar, songwriting) and Daim (vocals, drums, songwriting). With roots in the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey, they create passionate songs full of playful details and clever twists. Two years ago, the twosome released their debut album, Resonate, filled with luxurious melodies laced with piano–filled baselines, making it a very strong first impression to the fans. NOSOYO return with their sophomore effort, Loud & Shameless, 13 extraordinary songs that express a particular mindset that suggest the two artists have moved forward, both personally and musically. On this album, the pair experiment with hybrid sound collages, combining and circulating loops, samples and synths to harmoniously weave new sounds and intriguing lyrics. The first offering from the album is “Highness,” which was written as a double entendre for feeling high and noble. Experience the video for “Highness” HERE, directed by NOSOYO along with Louis Buerk and Sonja Zoe Kriesel, and contact manager Gary Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and all inquiries.
PASSPORT APPROVED™ PLAYLIST – 6/30/2019
“PASSPORT APPROVED” PLAYLIST FOR Sunday, June 30th, 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; Radio 1, Mumbai, India; WCNR Charlottesville, VA; KIWR “The River” Council Bluffs, IA; 2XM Ireland (national radio); WAPS–FM “The Summit.FM” Akron–Canton, OH; WKTL–FM Youngstown, 105.5FM XFM Nairobi, Kenya; KVNV–FM Reno NV; PUK–FM Johannesburg, South Africa; 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 (iHeartRadio) in the United States and many others. Also, on the worldwide web and twice–weekly segment on Flux FM Germany (Berlin, Brandenburg and Stuttgart) and Allgauhit–FM Bavaria Germany, as well as streaming on one of the world’s fastest growing streaming platforms, JioSaavn.
Listen to this two hour show by clicking HERE:
SOPHIE & THE GIANTS – “The Light” (Unsigned, UK)
THE DUNTS – “Bad Decisions” (Unsigned, Scotland)
MOBY RICH – “Sabotage” (TAP, UK)
THE LUKA STATE – “Girl” (Unsigned, UK)
LIME CORDIALE – “Inappropriate Behaviour” (Chugg Music, Australia)
LONGFELLOW – “Kiss Hug Make Up” (Unsigned, UK)
LOST IN STEREO – “Adrenaline” (Unsigned, Scotland)
SLIDE – “Floating” (Unsigned, Sweden)
VERONICA FUSARO – “Lie To Me” (DD Music, Switzerland)
TEN TONNES – “Better Than Me” (Warner Music, UK)
THE HOWL & THE HUM – “Hall Of Fame” (Unsigned, UK)
BENE – “Evil Spider” (Unsigned, New Zealand)
CALLUM BEATTIE – “Without You” (3Beat Records, Scotland)
DEMOB HAPPY – “Less Is More” (SO Recordings, UK)
BITTER’S KISS – “Just Like Heaven” (Unsigned, N. America)
TREE LINED STREETS – “Transformation” (Unsigned, Ireland)
BALTHAZAR – “Wrong Vibration” (Play It Again Sam, Belgium)
SHAYNA LEIGH – “Don’t Save Me” (Unsigned, N. America)
THE VELVET HANDS – “Don’t Be Nice To Me” (Easy Action, UK)
GO GO BERLIN – “Love Me” (Heartbeat Music, Denmark)
ALEX LAHEY – “Am I Doing It Right?” (Dead Oceans, Australia)
STATE LIGHTS – “Open Your Arms” (Unsigned, Ireland)
SEA GIRLS – “Damage Done” (Unsigned, UK)
GIANT ROOKS – “100 MG” (Four Artists, Germany)
YONAKA – “Lose Our Heads” (Atlantic Records, UK)
SHLOMI ASH – “To The River” (Unsigned, Israel)
PORTLAND – “Expectations” ([PIAS], Belgium)
EMMI KING – “Million Dollar Movie” (Unsigned, Germany)
ALFIE TEMPLEMAN – “Stop Thinking (About Me)” (Chess Club, UK)
GIOVANNA – “Young Heart PLayer” (Freedom Music, UK)
STOP MOTION POETRY – “Dead Rose” (Unsigned, N. America)
MAGNUS MIA – “Jubilee” (Unsigned, Hong Kong)
DOLLY & THE DINOSAUR – “Unofficial” (Unsigned, UK)
(Check out the Passport Approved Radio “Featured Artists” on the daily profile exclusively on AllAccess.com including The Velvet Hands, The Howl & The Hum and Vita Bergen)