The former head of Motown A&R was not only responsible for signing talent like Martha Reeves, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Four Tops, and recruiting the label’s famed studio band after joining in 1959, but also penning classic songs for Eddie Holland, Gaye, Kim Weston, The Supremes, The Temptations and many others.
The tech giant is in exclusive talks to purchase the last large, independent podcaster on the market, according to people familiar with the matter, as it pushes further into the growing audio sector. The talks value Wondery at over $300 million, the people said. Wondery’s last funding round, in June 2019, valued the company at $100 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In the pandemic, movie release dates are being pushed, and Hollywood agents are encouraging studios and clients to sell films to streamers. “Agencies are pushing to sell to streamers because they can immediately get cash and their commissions rather than wait for it,” one studio insider said. “The agencies are in such a crappy position that they are trying to push us to sell product — you are getting a premium if you are getting paid upfront.”
GitHub recently stood up to pressure from the Recording Industry Association of America, the latest example of how its large network attracts controversy. One GitHub user, on the site, described the incident as “a shame for GitHub” and said “that Microsoft acquisition was really a mistake.” Another called for Microsoft to resign from the RIAA, an organization that consists primarily of record labels and musicians.
Bertelsmann has emerged as the winning bidder for Simon & Schuster. In an announcement this morning, the parent company of Penguin Random House said it had reached an agreement to buy S&S from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion. The deal, which is expected to be completed next year, will combine the country’s largest and third largest trade publishers.
30West, the investment and advisory firm with deep ties to the movie business, is backing Special, a new streaming service geared towards independent moviemakers and content creators. The platform, which had its beta launch last week, was co-founded by Sam Lucas and Paul Burton.
In the last few years, everyone from Barry Manilow to Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders to Nikki Sixx of Motley Crüe to Journey has cashed in by making similar deals with the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which is run by Quebec-born Merck Mercuriadis. Its portfolio of songs is so big — it’s somewhere north of 5,000 — that the company trades on the London FTSE and has raised well over a billion dollars to acquire even more song copyrights.
A coalition of music industry groups including the RIAA, NMPA and Artist Rights Alliance today (Nov. 23) sent the latest in a string of recent letters to congressional leaders, urging them to provide additional government assistance to music industry workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Roblox averages 100 million monthly active users between the ages of 12 and 18. That’s a prime target for the music industry. Kids are spending hours upon hours of time on the platform, and artists and labels are taking notice. Nearly half of all children aged 9-12 in the US play Roblox at least once a week.
The dynamics of streaming are fundamentally different to the old-world, which means contracts based on “unit sales” risk being redundant in a market based increasingly on streaming. As a result, we need fundamental changes such as the writing-off of unrecouped balances after a set period of time, say 15 years, and a modern and fair artist royalty rate on all digital revenues.