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The Deals: NKOTB Signs With Epic Rights; Cloud Village Partners With SM Entertainment

Also this week: Metaverse music platform Authentic Artists raises new funding from WMG, Three Six Zero merges with Palm Artists and more.

New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) appointed Epic Rights as the group’s global licensing agent to develop a merchandise program worldwide. Starting this year through 2024, Epic Rights, which was acquired by Universal Music Group’s merchandising and brand management arm Bravado in 2019, will develop a licensing program for NKOTB across categories including apparel, footwear, accessories, gaming, spirits, home décor and collectibles. The initial product launch for some categories will arrive during the 2022 holiday season.


Chinese streaming service provider Cloud Village struck a digital music distribution licensing partnership with South Korean entertainment group SM Entertainment. Under the deal, NetEase Cloud Music has the right to distribute SM Entertainment’s music catalog, which consists of K-Pop artists such as KANGTA, BoA, TVXQ!, SUPER JUNIOR, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT and aespa; the two companies will also work together to jointly promote Korean music and artists.

Authentic Artists closed a strategic funding round from Warner Music Group, Crush Ventures (the investment arm of Crush Music), the founders of Nike’s RTFKT and The Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget. The money will be used to ramp up the development of Authentic’s AI-driven metaverse music platform, build its WarpSound music brand and more.

Three Six Zero partnered with UK management company Palm Artists. Through the deal, Palm Artists will join Three Six Zero’s international management and entertainment business, while its managing director, Greg Burnell, will bring his clients and management team in-house and take a partner position at the company. Palms Artists’ roster includes Gorgon City, Sonny Fodera, Piri & Tommy, Biscits, Adelphi Music Factory, Meg Ward and SURYA SEN.

Brytiago signed an exclusive global deal with ONErpm to continue propelling his international career. Under the agreement, the global music solutions company will also help develop the emerging acts signed to Brytiago’s indie label Business Music. “I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me and my music, for their good vibes with the project, and for the creativity they bring to the table,” the Puerto Rican artist expressed in a statement. “I’m anxious because there is a lot of good music coming and I know that both ONErpm and my team – Juanki Gomez, Manu, Ecua, and the rest of the team – are going to do great things with all the magic.” Brytiago kicked off his career in 2018, when he initially signed to Daddy Yankee’s label Cartel Records. He’s known for hits such as “Controla,” “High” and “Asesina,” which hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 2018. – Jessica Roiz

Independent podcast company Acast signed an agreement with Meta that will allow creators using the podcast subscription offering Acast+ to offer their listeners entry to subscriber-only Facebook Groups where fans can engage with each other, interact with podcasters and get access to exclusive benefits including live streams, Q&As and special events. The communities will be powered by Facebook’s new Interoperable Subscriber Group technology. Ahead of the public launch, several creators, including Fat Mascara podcast hosts Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Sullivan, will participate in a testing period to help refine the technology. The integration will eventually be available to all podcasters offering an Acast+ membership.

National entertainment and tech communications firm BECK Media & Marketing acquired Nashville boutique agency Beaucoup Media, which was founded by Amber Williams-Wright in 2019. The combined companies will operate under the BECK Media banner. Additionally, Williams-Wright joined BECK Media as a vp; in her new role, she will work closely with the company’s Atlanta office and manage special projects.

Lovelytheband launched their new record label, happy accident, in partnership with Vydia. The music tech company will provide the infrastructure and tools to power the label, including a full suite of services such as audio & video supply chain, global distribution, analytics, rights management and detailed revenue reporting.

Trust Records signed influential hardcore band SSD and will reissue the group’s long out-of-print 1982 album The Kids Will Have Their Say (originally released on their own XClaim label) for the first time ever in 2023. SSD’s original lineup consisted of Al Barile on guitar, Springa on vocals, Jaime Sciarappa on bass and Chris Foley on drums.

PNC Bank signed a multi-year deal with AEG Presents to rename two central plazas at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village, Colorado. PNC will become the amphitheater’s exclusive banking partner, while the plazas will be renamed “PNC Plaza North” and “PNC Plaza South”; the bank’s branding will also be featured prominently across the venue’s social and digital channels. PNC will engage Fiddler’s Green visitors via custom on-site activations and have the opportunity to collaborate with the venue on promotional opportunities over the course of the deal, including with sweepstakes and premium giveaways.

Venice, California-based Web3 company Vatom partnered with elrow, the umbrella brand behind a series of immersive themed live shows that combine electronic music with “unimaginable scenarios, frenzied performances and outlandish characters,” according to a press release. Under the deal, Barcelona-based Vatom Europe will enable personalized fan engagement and experiences for attendees of elrow shows both virtually and in-person by integrating its Web3 technology into elrow’s slate in Europe and the U.S. Elrow president and board member Vincenc Marti has also been named general manager for Vatom Europe.

Toronto-based Canadian electro-pop outfit Dragonette, led by artist and songwriter Martina Sorbara, signed a global record deal with BMG to release their forthcoming studio album.

Warner Music Nashville signed singer-songwriter Avery Anna, who released her breakthrough single “Narcissist” last year. Anna’s team also includes 33 Creative artist management and WME.

Singer-songwriter-producer Hailey Haus signed with Gregg Wattenberg’s Arcade Records, a joint venture with Elektra Records. Her first release under the deal is the single “Flavor of the Month.”

Nick Davisson signed with the Erv Woolsey Co. for management. The singer’s debut single, “Wild West,” became available on all platforms Friday (June 17).