Finance

Jay-Z, Troy Carter and Andreessen Horowitz join $19m funding round for NFT marketplace Bitski

Launched in 2018, Bitski lets brands, game developers, and consumers create, sell, and purchase NFTs on its platform. The company says that this phase of investment will support its ambitions to “make the NFT economy more accessible for creators, brands and enterprises”.

Source: Jay-Z, Troy Carter and Andreessen Horowitz join $19m funding round for NFT marketplace Bitski

Deezer makes strategic investment in livestreaming company DREAMSTAGE

Amongst DREAMSTAGE’s founders are CEO Thomas Hesse, a former President of Global Digital Business and US Sales/ Distribution at Sony Music. The startup has delivered over 50 live shows since its launch in August 2020 and handles ticket sales and the delivery of the live audio/video signal to screens and devices.

Source: Deezer makes strategic investment in livestreaming company DREAMSTAGE

Is a reckoning coming to the way collection societies spend songwriters’ money?

Music rightsholders have long raised prickly questions about PRO expenditure and efficiency. At the same time, PROs have staunchly defended the chunk of cash they burn – pointing to, amongst other things, the trillions of lines of data they process annually in the modern era. Yet a storm might now be brewing at the heart of this conversation, propelled by two very topical factors.

Source: Is a reckoning coming to the way collection societies spend songwriters’ money?

Primary Wave buys Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers catalog

In what Primary Wave describes as a “multi million dollar deal”, the acquisition will also see the publisher obtain a share in the duo’s master royalty income stream across Rihanna’s first seven albums. The deal encompasses master income for some of Rihanna’s biggest hits including We Found Love, Umbrella, Don’t Stop the Music, Disturbia, Stay, Rude Boy, and What’s My Name.

Source: Primary Wave buys Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers catalog, including master royalty income stream across Rihanna’s first seven albums

Hipgnosis acquires 105 songs from Grammy-winner Andrew Watt in eight-figure deal

Merck Mercuriadis calls Andrew Watt “arguably the most important writer and producer in the world today”. Now, Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired 105 songs from Watt – including both the writer and publisher’s share of the compositions. A filing this morning (May 5) reveals that the Watt catalog acquired by Hipgnosis generated $1.27m in 2017, $3.41m in 2018, and $4.34m in 2019.

 

Source: Hipgnosis acquires 105 songs from Grammy-winner Andrew Watt in eight-figure deal

Twitter is buying Scroll, the subscription service that removes ads from news sites

Twitter’s acquisition spree continues today with Scroll, a $5-a-month subscription service that removes ads from participating news sites. Twitter is working on building out a new kind of subscription plan that will include Scroll, the recently acquired Revue newsletter service, and other homegrown Twitter services.

Source: Twitter is buying Scroll, the subscription service that removes ads from news sites

Pharrell Compares Label Advances to ‘Illegal Loans’ — ‘No One Should Own You’

The 48-year-old voiced his critical opinion of advances during UnitedMasters’ third SelectCon, which the four-year-old company broadcasted via Twitch. As an aside, Amazon-owned Twitch and UnitedMasters partnered to deliver the two-day livestream event to fans – a particularly interesting point, given Twitch’s ongoing licensing dispute with the major labels.

Source: Pharrell Compares Label Advances to ‘Illegal Loans’ — ‘No One Should Own You’

Epic Games buys artist community ArtStation, drops commissions to 12%

One the same day as Fortnite maker Epic Games goes to trial with one of the biggest legal challenges to the App Store’s business model to date, it has simultaneously announced the acquisition of the artist portfolio community ArtStation — and immediately lowered the commissions on sales.

Source: Epic Games buys artist community ArtStation, drops commissions to 12%

Avatar startup Genies scores $65 million in funding round led by Mary Meeker’s Bond

The company announced today that they’ve closed a $65 million Series B led by Mary Meeker’s firm Bond. NEA, Breyer Capital, Tull Investment Group, NetEase, Dapper Labs and Coinbase Ventures also participated in the deal. Mary Meeker will be joining the Genies board. The company didn’t disclose the Genies’ most recent valuation.

Source: Avatar startup Genies scores $65 million in funding round led by Mary Meeker’s Bond

Jay-Z finalizes TIDAL sale to Jack Dorsey for $350 million

The acquisition was for more money than expected, according to TMZ, which reports that Square paid $350 million to buy an 80% stake in TIDAL. That figure was $53 million bigger than the number the two parties announced in March ($297 million), when they said they had entered into a definitive agreement for Square to acquire its majority stake.

Source: Jay-Z finalizes TIDAL sale to Jack Dorsey for $350m… as platform boasts of paying ‘4X more per stream’ than rivals

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