Business

The Deals: Slip.stream Acquires Commission Music Name & Brand, Reservoir Deepens Outdustry Partnership

Dan Demole, David Carson, Jesse Korwin
Dan Demole

Dan Demole, David Carson, Jesse Korwin

Music label and distribution platform Slip.stream has acquired the name and brand of independent record label Commission Music from Anthony Martini for an undisclosed sum. Founded by Martini in 2015, the label broke out acts like Lil Dicky, IDK and MadeinTYO. Going forward, Martini will join Slip.stream’s board to help guide the development of Slip.Stream Records, a new label which has emerged from the deal.

In addition to the Commission Music brand and name (the latter of which Slip.Stream will not be using), the acquisition includes the recording contracts for Powers Pleasant, Big Havi, DJ Envy and DJ Holiday. Big Noise, the multi-faceted media company with which Commission struck a strategic partnership in June 2019, was not party to the agreement and still owns the entire Commission Music catalog, as well as MadeinTYO's recording contract.

The deal falls in line with Slip.stream’s goal of breaking down barriers between content creators and musicians, according to a press release. The company offers users with licensed music to include in their projects. “New technology has completely changed the way fans consume content. Not only do they want to listen to music, they want to USE it," Martini said in a statement. "Slip.stream’s forward thinking model eliminates the walls between creators and musicians. I believe this is the most powerful way to break new music. They get it, period.”

Commission Music brings its partnership with Vydia, a music monetization and management company, to the deal. The label will utilize this partnership to distribute Slip.stream Records’ releases to all DSPs, from Spotify to Apple Music. The releases will also be available on their creator music platform. “It’s clear that the more an artist's songs are used in content, the more streams and revenue it generates. Creating friction around using music in the creator universe just doesn’t make sense,” said co-CEO Dan Demole.

“There’s an entire audience of creators who use music and don’t just listen to it,” continued co-CEO David Carson. “We recognize this as one of the major shifts happening in the music marketplace. We're actively building new tools and new revenue streams so artists can grow their brand, their fanbase, and they're revenue."


Reservoir announced July 22 the expansion of its relationship with Outdustry, a Chinese music rights and marketing services company. Under the deal, Reservoir will become a minority investing partner in Outdustry to build on its successes in China and India. The companies have also formed a joint venture to sign and develop Chinese artists and songwriters and acquire local music catalogs.

Reservoir’s investment in Outdustry will go toward building on the rights management company’s capabilities in monetizing music markets as well as its A&R and marketing work. Through deals with major Chinese music services and an infrastructure to administer rights themselves, Outdustry has “created its own ecosystem to monetize the hundreds of millions of newly digital music consumers in the region,” according to a press release. The new investment builds on an existing sub-publishing partnership, announced in June 2020, in which Outdustry Songs became the exclusive sub-publisher in China for Reservoir’s roster of songwriters and international catalog of contemporary and long-standing copyrights.

Since this initial agreement, Reservoir has seen triple-digit percentage increases in collections from the territory, according to the release.“We are confident that expanding our partnership with Outdustry will build on our incredible success together to date and deepen our presence in emerging markets,” said Reservoir founder and CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi.

This investment follows both Reservoir’s 2020 joint venture with MENA music publisher PopArabia and the recent announcement that Reservoir has entered into an agreement with Roth CH II ($ROCC), a special purpose acquisition company.

“At Outdustry we have always prided ourselves on our independence, our artist-first approach, and our belief in a better music industry no matter where we are in the world,” said Outdustry CEO Ed Peto. “Reservoir has exemplified all these things for over a decade, making this partnership a perfect alignment, while allowing Outdustry to take the next steps on our ambitious journey.”


Allstar, a consumer technology startup focused on democratizing the creation of gaming content, has partnered with gaming music company ALIBI Music in a deal aimed at enabling Allstar’s creators to pair their content with “professionally composed, Hollywood-quality music,” according to a press release.

Allstar uses algorithms to automatically pair moments in creators’ videos with matching tracks from its library in a seconds-long process. “We live in a very visual culture and people often forget that 50 percent of the media we consume is actually audio -- you can’t have good content without a great soundtrack to back it up,” said Nick Cuomo, Allstar co-founder and CEO. “By partnering with ALIBI, Allstar is letting gaming creators finally infuse their content with Hollywood-quality music effortlessly. We're able to give gamers a huge, versatile library of audio assets to choose from, increasing the entertainment value of the content they produce in the process.”

Creators will also be able to monetize their content across platforms like YouTube under the partnership, “without concern of copyright claims or takedown requests,” according to the release. Going forward, Allstar and ALIBI plan to expand access to ALIBI’s full library of tracks, including stems and alt versions, giving gaming content creators and streamers access to a professional catalog.

“What Allstar is doing for the game play capture experience is pretty incredible and something we are super excited to be part of,” said Tim Hare, ALIBI Music vp of business development. “I mean, what creator wouldn’t want to ratchet up the intensity, quality and impact of their game play clips by seamlessly adding professional music for a true Hollywood production level?”


In support of its competitive songwriting challenge, Song House Live has partnered with Capitol Music Group. As part of the six-week live-streamed competition, seven aspiring artists will compete to win an exclusive recording agreement with Capitol Records.

The show finds the contestants -- Alec Chambers, Caroline Carr, Attis, Diego Fragnaud, Tyler Brash, Olivia Boeyink and Klondike Blonde -- living in an upstate New York luxury mansion, tasked with completing a musical challenge every week. Cameras stream their experience 24/7 on YouTube as they write, record and promote their songs, which Capitol releases each week.

“Partnering with Song House Live presents Capitol with a unique opportunity in that it allows us to discover and nurture rising talent in real-time,” said president and COO of Capitol Music Group Michelle Jubelirer. “Together with the Song House Live team, we’re able to meet fans where they consume music faster than ever by accelerating the traditional artist development process through this innovative concept.”

So far, two songs from the competition have been released by Capitol. The first challenge involved the participants writing a song inspired by a particular city or country and yielded two winners -- Brash and Boeyink. Their songs, “Thunder Bay” and “Dead Sea,” are out now. The show also features music production by Kato On The Track, who has worked with Tyga, Joyner Lucas, Snoop Dogg, E-40, B.o.B, Tory Lanez, K Camp, Hopsin, Jarren Benton and more.


B2B music licensing subscription service Feed Media Group has signed a music licensing deal with Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, for its Adaptr product. The deal provides startups with access to a catalog of licensed music from Merlin member labels, distributors and their artists.

Adaptr was designed for startups that have raised less than $7.5 million and earned less than $4.5 million in revenue, and with the new agreement, record labels, distributors and other rightsholders within Merlin’s global membership can make their music available via Adaptr with immediate effect. “We are thrilled that Adaptr clients will now have access to some of the best independent music in the world via our new deal with Merlin,” said Bryn Boughton, vp of music for Feed Media Group. “In so many cases independent music is perfectly suited for our clients, who are on the cutting edge of technology.”

The agreement with Feed Media marks Merlin’s latest move to expand. The licensing company has partnered with over 30 digital services, including Apple, AWA, Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, JOOX, KKBox, NetEase, Pandora, Peloton, SberZvuk, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok, Triller, Yandex, YouTube Music and more.

“Adatpr solves a key problem our industry faces -- ensuring that innovators have easy access to properly licensed music for their startups,” said Charlie Lexton, COO of Merlin. “As a tech-oriented organization, Merlin sees the value in enabling our members and their artists to participate in exciting startups at the earliest stages of their development, and to receive proper licensing fees in return. We’re thrilled to enable our members to power Adaptr.”


Pop singer-songwriter Sally Boy has signed to Loud Robot, the record label from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. The production company partnered with RCA Records last month to form Loud Robot, and with Sally Boy onboard, the label now has its second signing.

The Philadelphia-born artist also released a new track and music video for his song “Bad Habits.” The track doubles as a celebration of his signing to Loud Robot and a single of his forthcoming EP, Lies I Tell Myself, coming later this year.

"I’ve been keeping in touch with my younger self the past few months and he’s hyped,” said Sally Boy in a statement. “This is what we wanted way back when I started making music, so it's surreal to say I’m a signed artist. I’m ecstatic to work with a label like Loud Robot/RCA that can keep stride with my hyperactive energy.”


Green Hill Music Group has entered a distribution partnership with Utah-based classical pop quartet The Piano Guys, made up of pianist/songwriter Jon Schmidt, cellist/songwriter Steven Sharp Nelson, producer/videographer Paul Anderson and music producer/songwriter Al van der Beek.

The four members came together with the goal of making a positive impact across the world through their music videos, according to a press release. With a new cover of Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go” on the way, their mantra is “Fundamentally, art and creativity is about heart.”

A musical phenomenon, the group has a massive online following, including over 1 million followers on Pandora, 2 million monthly listeners on Pandora, and 6.9 million followers on YouTube. They’ve released five studio albums, two Christmas albums and a live album, racking up six No. 1 debuts on Billboard’s Top Classical Albums chart. Last year, the group celebrated their 10-year anniversary with the release of their album 10.

“We are so grateful for this new partnership that has empowered us to recenter and refocus on content creation,” said Nelson. “Our greatest joy has always been to serve as the soundtrack to someone's day in hopes of making it a little more positive. We love our new team that we get to work with it taking this musical mission to the next level.”


Horizon Fintex, a software company powering the digital stock exchange, Upstream, and fan engagement platform, Global Fan Exchange have partnered with Grammy-winning producer Timbaland and Gary Marella’s new beat-selling marketplace, Beatclub. The partnership aims to bring first-of-their kind investment and regulated trading opportunities to fans globally while empowering the music creator community with the tools to drive funding and next level fan engagement to their music, according to the press release. First deals are expected to go live later this year.

Beatclub offers users a catalog of  beats made by Timbaland himself and other A-list producers, like Mike WiLL Made-It, Cash Money AP, Mike Dean, Tainy, J. Cole, Federico Vindver, Larrance Dopson, Tommy Brown and more. “Beatclub connects our growing music creator community with industry-leading producers,” Timbaland said. “Our partnership with Horizon and Global Fan Exchange adds another key component in driving artists’ success by mobilizing fans and allowing them to connect with creators in an entirely new way.”

On GFX, users will be able to purchase ownership shares in songs, meanwhile Upstream is a Horizon-powered digital exchange and trading app allowing users to trade shares with other users from around for a minimum fee of $25. People can also receive potential dividends and royalties and purchase memorabilia as NFTs, potentially gaining access to perks such as meet and greets, early access, etc.

"The Horizon/Beatclub partnership offers creators a mutually beneficial ecosystem to drive funding to produce beats and songs while giving back to fans who are seeking new opportunities to engage with creators," the press release reads.

The new partnership comes at a time when online beat marketplaces, like Splice and Beatstars, are becoming more and more mainstream. Beatclub has also partnered with both the National Hockey League (NHL) and Red Bull to provide custom music experiences.

Horizon’s integration will enable creators to fund their music ventures by offering a percentage of their songs, albums and masters to fans, who in turn become brand ambassadors that help drive awareness of the music. “We believe this partnership will empower music creatives at every level by enabling music fans to support their favorite artists very early in the creative process,” said Beatclub CEO Gary Marella.