Business

The Deals: Facebook Makes It Easy for Indie Artists; Roblox Partners With BMG

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Facebook has partnered with independent music distribution companies DistroKid and TuneCore to launch their Facebook Independent Artist Program. Through the program, artists will be able to put their music on Facebook and Instagram music libraries for users to include in their Stories and Reels on either of the social media platforms.

The program will be free for artists to participate in. "Facebook is proud to make it easier for independent artists and creators to reach new audiences on our platform and build community through music," said Chris Papaleo, music business development manager at Facebook, in a statement. “When joining our Independent Artist Program, creators are backed by our outstanding distribution partners, allowing them to get their music in front of more people, across all of our apps.”

The purpose of the Facebook and Instagram music libraries is to give users methods of expressing themselves with music features, from song stickers to lyrics. "Even if they don't have words to express how they're feeling, they can let the music stickers and lyrics speak for them," a press release reads.

Artists can choose which distributor they want to partner with -- that’s where DistroKid and TuneCore come in. Musicians choose one of the two on Facebook’s landing page and from there, get paid for the use of their music based on the selected distributor’s terms. They will have access to their selected distributor’s music performance data and insights.

The new initiative is expected to increase revenue opportunities for independent artists all over the world every time their music is used to create content.

"These days we are seeing a leveling of the playing field as discovery is happening via social media and no longer solely dependent on industry executives and DJs handpicking hits," said Andreea Gleeson, co-head and chief revenue officer of TuneCore. "With the popularity of short form videos, Facebook Stories and Instagram Reels are two important platforms on which fans are finding songs and artists, with careers being made when songs go viral. The Facebook Independent Artist Program provides an even greater gateway for indie artists from around the world to be heard."

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Gaming platform Roblox has struck a partnership with BMG following the resolution of claims "relating to the use of BMG-controlled songs and recordings," according to the press release. The goal of the partnership is to bring BMG’s vision to the Roblox metaverse, which will involve engaging fans and creating new commercial opportunities.

"BMG’s artist-centric approach and boldness in bringing state-of-the art technology to help maximize their success is very much in line with Roblox’s focus on empowering our community of creators," said Jon Vlassopulos, vp and Global Head of Music at Roblox.

The two companies see their partnership as an opportunity to give the new generation of music fans an opportunity to discover new music and feel closer to music and artists they love. Artists, record labels and producers will be able to engage fans earn revenue through virtual launch parties and concerts, integrated in-experience music and virtual merchandise.

“Roblox has transformed the gaming experience for millions and is proving a powerful way to introduce new generations to music they love,” said Christopher Ludwig, BMG’s vp of Global Digital Partnerships and Strategy. “We are delighted to embrace the opportunities Roblox presents.”

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RCA Records announced their partnership and label deal with Loud Robot, the record label from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot film and television company. The goal of the partnership is to release “burgeoning new musical talent,” the press release said.

Loud Robot’s vision is to sign “creative, left-of-center artists,” said co-general managers McKee Floyd and Nicky Berger. According to them, RCA has supported that vision. Moving forward, they want the Loud Robot/RCA partnership will be the home for artists to tell their stories “through a host of mediums centered around music.”

“The combination of Bad Robot’s creative engine and storytelling prowess combined with RCA’s obsessive ears for the world's brightest music talent offers an extremely potent mix,” said John Fleckenstein, COO of RCA Records. “Brian Weinstein, McKee Floyd and Nicky Berger have already proven to be all-star partners and serious operators. Backed by the vision of J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, it is not hard to imagine the potential that lies ahead of this exciting new venture.”

To kick off the partnership, Loud Robot’s first musical signing Nnena released a new song and video for “Heart Moan,” the second track revealed from her upcoming debut EP BIPOLAR. More Loud Robot/RCA Records signings are planned to be announced soon.
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Event management company ASM Global announced an extension of their agreement with Ticketmaster.

The companies will continue working together to serve digital ticketing technologies to some of ASM’s North American stadiums, arenas, convention centers and performing arts facilities. These include the KFC Yum! Center and Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center in Louisville. ASM will also expand its relationship with Ticketmaster by enabling the company to conduct ticket sales for Live Nation-promoted shows at other ASM Global venues throughout North America.

The partnership will give more than 8 million ASM customers easier, safer access to live shows through digital ticketing, according to the press release. “Aligning with industry leaders like Ticketmaster is a critical component in providing millions of people with the most seamless and secure live experiences,” said ASM global president and CEO Ron Bension.

ASM will also utilize Ticketmaster’s Live Analytics dashboard to build stronger relationships with its fans. The analytics platform will provide insights and tools for better fan engagement across events of all kinds.

“We are committed to helping ASM deliver world-class events where the ticketing process elevates the entire fan experience,” said Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster president. “Like Ticketmaster, ASM cares deeply about the customer journey and the value of building strong relationships with fans from the moment they purchase a ticket to well after the event ends.”

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O.N.E The Duo has signed a deal with Visionary Media Group, with plans to release their debut single in 2021.

The Nashville-based singer-songwriters are a group comprised of Prana Supreme Diggs, whose father RZA founded Wu-Tang Clan, and her mother Tekitha, who was a featured vocalist in Wu-Tang Clan. Prana and Tekitha hope to tell their story through as many different mediums as possible, from written word to film to music, while with Visionary Media Group.

“Visionary Media Group provides the ideal multimedia engine to achieve their goals,” the press release said.

Meanwhile, Visionary Media Group is also working on their overarching goal of rekindling “a shared sense of purpose and storytelling” through their soon-to-launch interactive storytelling platform, Evernova.

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Primary Wave Music has entered into a worldwide distribution agreement with Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, an arm of Capitol Music Group (CMG) in the U.S.

The deal was announced June 11 by Virgin president Jacqueline Saturn, Virgin general manager Matt Sawin and The Gaither Group president Paul Sizelove. It covers master recordings from within the Primary Wave Music catalog and spans all physical and digital distribution channels.

The agreement will focus on releases from Primary Wave Music’s strategic partner The Gaither Group and Sun Records. Primary Wave Music acquired Sun Records’ catalog, which includes the likes of Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, in January.

Designed to expand the global reach and resources available to Primary Wave Music and The Gaither Group’s labels, it will enable those entities to draw upon Virgin’s label services for commercial support, radio promotion and more. The partnership also includes the opportunity for artists to partner with the Gaither platform for faith-based content, as Gaither Music will continue its long-standing relationship with Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG).

“After decades of building a firm foundation with Capitol Christian Music Group, Gaither Music and Green Hill Music have experienced exponential growth over the past few years,” Sizelove said. “The rapid expansion of our family of labels, including our recent addition of Sun Records, makes this a great opportunity and ideal home for our artists and initiatives.”

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Stacia Mac, founder of entertainment company ODA Management, is partnering with Geffen Records and launching a new project titled House Of Legends.

Mac’s company will seek out emerging artists under the Geffen Records umbrella and aid the promotion and distribution of their music. Their first release came from Philadelphia rapper Yung Liv, whose new track “Smoke” featuring Big 30 is out now on streaming platforms.

Under their partnership, Mac will work closely with Lee L’Heureux, general manager of Geffen Records. “Lee and his team are incredible partners who bring tremendous expertise and are equally committed to nurturing creators. I’m confident this partnership will be fruitful,” Mac said in a statement.

Mac founded ODA in 2018 to guide her son Polo G in his entertainment career, going on to help him snag two platinum albums and create his own record label -- ODA/Capalot Records in partnership with Columbia Records. In addition to Polo G, ODA Management’s clients now span Asian Doll, TBaby and Spice and the Queen of Dancehall.

“When I got into management with Polo G, I always knew I wanted to grow but also understood the importance of timing,” Mac said. “ODA Management grew into ODA Records and I’m so excited to now launch a new company in partnership with Geffen Records. I’ve long been committed to developing talent and this serves as another platform for me to do so with independent artists.”
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Dallas Austin Distribution will partner with independent distributor Symphonic Distribution to release a series of NFTs for artists on Dallas’ roster.

Dallas Austin Distribution was founded by musician and producer Dallas Austin, whose resume includes Boyz II Men, TLC and Gwen Stefani. One of the partnership’s first NFT’s is “Voyage to Dallas,” including stems and a digital track called “Voyage Drop.”

Under their new partnership, Dallas and Symphonic will work to expand their Hip Hop and R&B base in Atlanta while also implementing new strategies to grow their clientele globally. “Having partnered with Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Record’s for a number of years, Symphonic has steadily helped to build a foundation with Austin’s team that they’ll now use as a springboard for the new platform,” the press release reads.

The partnership will be led by Octavius Crouch, Symphonic’s senior client manager and Hip Hop / R&B A&R. "Working with Dallas Austin and Symphonic has been rewarding as we strive to bring Dallas' vision of music distribution to life,” Crouch said. “We are designing some incredible content with the DAD platform.”

Dallas and Symphonic see 2020 as having “shined a light on how volatile music can be,” according to the release. Without live music events, finding new ways to make music more valuable became a top priority for the two companies. Launching the non fungible token will mark the beginning of many NFT’s that Dallas Austin Distribution plans to supply their signed artists in an attempt to make music more valuable.

“Working with Symphonic has been really exciting and culturally innovative,” Austin said.