Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
The catalog acquisition market is on fire – and legendary songwriters (and their estates) are cashing in on what is being described by many as a gold rush for music rights.
Iconic music makers from Neil Young to Bob Dylan and Lindsey Buckingham have sold their catalogs in the past year, with speculation swirling in music business circles about which megastar artist will be next to strike a mega-bucks catalog deal. Sting, Springsteen, Bowie are in the rumor mill.
One superstar artist who definitely won’t be joining this list however, is Sir Elton John.
That’s according to Rocket Entertainment CEO David Furnish, John’s manager for the past six years (as well as his long-term partner and husband).
Asked if Elton John might ever consider selling his song catalog, Furnish told MBW: “At this stage, it’s unthinkable. The thought of giving up that control in connection with your art… no.”.
One catalog that could possibly be under new ownership soon however, is that of David Bowie, whose song rights are reportedly on the block for approximately $200 million.
The recent news of negotiations between Bowie’s estate and a potential buyer comes just as Warner Music Group announces this week that it is raising $535 million in order to part-fund three new potential acquisitions.
This week on Music Business Worldwide‘s Talking Trends podcast, MBW founder Tim Ingham suggests that WMG could be in line to buy David Bowie’s catalog, and explains why the deal would make perfect sense for the major.
Meanwhile, following SoundCloud‘s industry-first move back in March to launch “fan-powered royalties”, this week saw TIDAL become the latest music streaming service to adopt a user-centric payment model.
Starting in 2022, TIDAL will introduce ‘Fan-centered royalties’ for its new $19.99 HiFi Plus membership option, which will see royalties attributed to HiFi Plus subscribers paid to artists based on subscribers’ individual streaming activity.
Elsewhere this week, Universal Music Group announced its intention to target ‘name and likeness’ acquisitions via a new partnership with Authentic Brands Group, and DistroKid has become one of the latest companies to enter the NFT market.
Here’s the big music biz news from this week…
David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment, as well as Sir Elton John’s long-term partner husband, and manager for the past six years, sat down for an exclusive interview with Music Business Worldwide – which will be published in the upcoming Q4 issue of our sister publication, Music Business UK.
Amongst many questions posed about Furnish and John’s working relationship, Furnish was asked if Elton might ever be tempted to sell his song catalog in the current climate.
“At this stage, it’s unthinkable,” said Furnish, without hesitation. “The thought of giving up that control in connection with your art… no.”…
This week on our Talking Trends podcast, host Louise Porter asks MBW founder Tim Ingham about the news that Warner Music Group is raising $535 million in order to part-fund three new potential acquisitions.
Ingham suggests that one acquisition that makes perfect sense for Warner is David Bowie’s songwriting catalog, which is reportedly on the block for around $200 million.
He points out that Warner’s Max Lousada has already announced an important deal with the Bowie estate this year – with Warner licensing Bowie’s entire post-1968 recordings catalog from 2023 onwards.
This may have “opened an ongoing line of negotiation” between WMG and the Bowie estate.
Warner adding the legendary artist’s songwriting catalog to its control of his recorded rights could be the perfect complement…
3) UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TARGETS ‘NAME AND LIKENESS’ ACQUISITIONS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
Universal Music Group has confirmed it is launching a strategic alliance with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to acquire and actively manage artist brands.
ABG is a global brand owner whose portfolio already includes iconic celebrity brands such as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, and Elvis Presley.
According to a press release, ABG uses these rights to create “memorable brand experiences that come to life across key consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media”…
TIDAL, acquired by Jack Dorsey’s fintech fim Square earlier this year for over $300 million, is planning to launch a user-centric royalties system for a new $19.99 HiFi Plus membership option.
Starting in 2022, the music streaming service is planning to adopt what it calls a ‘Fan-centered royalties’ approach for its new HiFi Plus members, and it says that it has the support from the “vast majority of its record label and distributor partners”.
Speaking to MBW, TIDAL COO Lior Tibon says that there are more than 100 partners on board…
Another day passes, another music company dips its toes into the potentially lucrative world of NFTs.
BTS and Timbaland have already jumped on the NFT train, and NFTs that began life as artworks of cartoon apes are now forming ‘metaverse’ bands.
NFT platforms are raising serious cash too, and this week, NFT platform Opulous announced that Mark Gillespie, the founder and CEO of Three Six Zero, had joined the company as a Senior Advisor.
Now, the $1.3 billion valued DistroKid is collaborating with 10,000 independent musicians to mint 10,000 unique and collectible NFTs that commemorate the music of each artist….
Music Business Worldwide