Miles Davis Estate Finds Neighboring Rights Partner & More Music Deals – Billboard
Written by GRB on 13/07/2023
Downtown Music‘s neighboring rights division struck deals with the Meat Loaf and Miles Davis estates. The division will represent the entire catalog for both artists. Concurrent with that announcement, Downtown Music unveiled a new royalties and rights management platform powered by FUGA technology. “We strive to give clients the best of our in-house knowledge and arm them with resources to make them aware of how they’re able to maximize collection of these rights,” said Downtown Neighbouring Rights GM Dean Francis in a statement. “The launch of our new platform will bolster this further by providing more insight as we look to continue to improve efficiencies in the administration of our clients’ exceptional catalogs.”
Create Music Group acquired Music For Pets, which creates music and entertainment for dogs and cats. Founded by Amman Ahmed and Ricardo Henriquez, Music For Pets boasts franchises including “Relax My Dog” and “Relax My Cat.” Create will invest an additional $10 million to expand Music For Pets’ reach over the next 36 months. According to a press release, Music For Pets currently serves over 20 million pets, with users listening to more than 12 million hours of music every month.
Protect the Culture, a new label founded by music industry veteran Marc Byers, signed a global joint venture with Warner Records that will focus on the African music scene. Byers will work closely with Warner Records president of A&R Steve Carless and executive vp/head of A&R Karen Kwak. The label’s first signing is Lord Afrixana, a Ghana-born, Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter who has a solo project slated to drop later this year, preceded by the single “No Dey Tire.” Byers was most recently GM at Motown Records prior to launching the new venture.
Canva, an online visual communications and collaboration platform, announced partnerships with Warner Music Group (including Warner Recorded Music and Warner Chappell Music) and Merlin that will allow Canva users in many countries to use music clips in their designs, which can be shared across multiple social platforms and also utilized for internal uses like work presentations. Canva customers will be able to access music clips starting this fall in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Canada and Australia; artists will earn royalties when clips of their songs are featured in published Canva designs. At launch, the Warner Music and Merlin libraries will be available for Canva Pro, Canva for Education and Canva for Nonprofit customers, with Canva for Teams users to follow. According to a press release, Canva boasts 135 million users worldwide.
Rapper EST Gee launched a new record label, Young Shiners, in partnership with the Sony Music and Alamo Records-powered label services company Santa Anna. The label is part of EST Gee’s mission to put rappers from his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, on the map. The label will be home to emerging artists including EST Lil Zoski, EST Marti, EST DonWon, and Santa Anna’s EST SkiMike and EST Lu Mike — all of whom are local to Louisville. The launch coincides with the imminent release of Young Shiners’ debut mixtape, Shiners Are Forever, which drops on Friday (July 14).
Universal Music Group (UMG) acquired the music catalog of RS Group, which is the second-largest music catalog in Thailand, according to a press release. The catalog includes over 10,000 master recordings as well as 6,000 copyright ownerships, publishing rights and licenses dating from 1981-2022 and represents the work of more than 960 artists including Dan-Beam, James Ruangsak Loychusak and Parn Thanaporn Wagprayoon. The acquisition will underpin a new strategic partnership between the two companies — one that will be 70% owned by UMG and 30% owned by RS Group — designed to allow UMG to scale in the Thailand music market. Under the deal, UMG will become RS Group’s exclusive music service partner for new releases and new music repertoire globally while receiving exclusive rights of first refusal and matching rights to acquire new releases and repertoire. According to the press release, UMG will become the second-largest player in the Thai market following the deal.
Raedio, the “audio everywhere” company founded by Issa Rae, signed a multi-year partnership with Def Jam Recordings. Under the deal, Raedio will be able to sign, market and distribute its artists through the Def Jam network.
Tuned Global partnered with Greenland-based telco Tusass to launch the first Greenlandic music streaming service. According to a press release, the partnership is designed to “promote and champion underserved local homegrown musicians and their fans by gathering them into a single service” as opposed to relying on “unofficial uploads on user-generated content sites, with varying quality and unclear connections to the artists who made the music.” The app will be available in Greenland, Denmark, Canada and the Faroe Islands, as well as in the Kalaallisut (Greenlandic), Danish and English languages. “A number of smaller and more specialized markets need ‘glocalized’ apps that offer local music lovers a catalog that’s culturally relevant and timely,” said Tuned Global senior vp/head of EMEA Rick Gleave in a statement. “Therefore, telcos are often the perfect players to launch these types of music apps, as they add significant value to their customers, as well as supporting local culture in general.”
SoundCloud partnered with EDM events company Brownies & Lemonade to highlight emerging electronic artists. The partnership includes the relaunch of Brownies & Lemonade’s Twitch livestream, Open Aux Arcade, on which submitted demos and new music will receive live feedback from Brownie & Lemonade creative director Chad Kenney and musician RamonPang. SoundCloud will serve as a presenting partner, with submissions “flowing directly” from the SoundCloud platform. The partnership will also encompass an artist spotlight series and editorial playlist consideration on SoundCloud.
Reactional Music, the maker of an interactive music engine for video games, struck an agreement with production music leader APM Music. The deal, which marks Reactional’s first move into production music, will allow developers to search for and access the APM catalog through the Reactional platform — which will become available for commercial use later this year — as they build their games.
Janelle Genzink‘s Volara Management signed a strategic partnership with Red Light Management. The deal will provide Volara with additional resources and support to benefit her roster, which includes Sabrina Carpenter, Carmen DeLeon, Mosaic MSC and Riah.
ASM Global partnered with multidisciplinary venue strategist Forward Associates, which specializes in everything from architecture to interior design to premium seat sales and marketing. Current projects under the deal include Everton FC’s new stadium, Stockholm Live’s portfolio of venues including the Avicii Arena, the AO Arena in Manchester, England and the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Sony Music Latin formed a strategic partnership with Nexoom AG, a Swiss-based interactive entertainment company. The collaboration is aimed at “tapping into Nexoom’s innovative digital ecosystem to offer unique experiences” for Sony Latin artists and their fans.
Karta, a metaverse studio that deals with in-game experiential marketing and has delivered projects on Roblox, Fortnite and Decentraland for clients including Amazon Music, Unilever’s Sunsilk and K-pop group TWICE, secured an investment round led by GameTech Ventures and including former Hipgnosis chief catalog officer Amy Thomson, entertainment company Tokido, Sports Loft CEO Charlie Greenwood, UK Finance chairman Robert Wigley, Powster founder/CEO Ste Tompson and venture studio Big Ideas Group. The company declined to reveal the amount of the funding round.
SoundExchange added PayPal and Venmo as royalty distribution payment options for registered creators after adding CashApp and Zelle last year. The addition of these options allows creators in countries that can’t be serviced through direct deposits to receive their SoundExchange royalties without requiring a bank account. Payment via PayPal and Venmo will be immediately available to domestic and international registrants, whether they are paid as individuals and companies. To sign up for either Paypal or Venmo, creators are encouraged to use SXDirect, which provides self-service opt-ins for all payment methods.
The city of Busan, South Korea enlisted AI-assisted business-to-business marketplace SURF Music to find “thematic, Olympic-style music” to accompany their bid for the World Expo 2023. SURF’s subscription-based marketplace allows artists and music creators to manage their song catalogs via AI song tagging; organize playlists; and submit songs to fit a particular brief. After SURF submitted a playlist of unreleased music to Busan, the city chose “Welcome to World Expo” by Lee Muina. The partnership will continue through the Expo’s “judgment day” in November 2023.