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 maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.
Last Thursday (September 28) we learned that gaming giant Epic Games is divesting its direct-to-consumer (D2C) music platform Bandcamp, just a year and a half after acquiring the company. The company buying Bandcamp from Epic is Los Angeles-headquartered B2B music licensing firm, Songtradr.
On Wednesday (October 4), US-based Bandcamp employees announced in a press release that their union – Bandcamp United – had sent a letter to Songtradr outlining a list of demands around the sale of the company.
Songtradr responded yesterday (October 5), explaining that it “will work towards a fair and equitable outcome for the global members of the Bandcamp team”.
Also this week, prominent France-headquartered indie music company Wagram Music signed up to Deezer‘s “artist-centric” payment model.
In doing so, Wagram became the latest company to sign an “artist-centric” agreement with the platform, following Universal Music Group (UMG) and Deezer’s deal announced last month.
Elsewhere, a new company called The Circuit Group was launched by music industry veterans from artist management firms Seven20 and AYITA with plans to acquire a 50% stake in artists’ ‘IP portfolios’.
Plus, Warner Music Group made a strategic investment in MENA, while Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ concert film surpassed $100 million in global ticket presales.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) SONGTRADR SAYS IT WILL ‘WORK TOWARDS A FAIR AND EQUITABLE OUTCOME’ FOR BANDCAMP WORKFORCE, FOLLOWING LAYOFFS AT BANDCAMP MADE BY FORMER OWNER EPIC GAMES
One of the biggest music industry stories of the year arrived last week with the news that Songtradr is to acquire Bandcamp from Epic Games.
The announcement arrived a year and a half after Epic (the maker of the hit video game Fortnite, and Unreal Engine) itself acquired Bandcamp – an online music store and direct-to-fan platform.
On Thursday (October 5), Songtradr responded to a press release issued by US-based Bandcamp employees on Wednesday (October 4), which revealed that their union – Bandcamp United – had sent a letter to Songtradr outlining a list of demands around the sale of the company…
2) WARNER MAKES STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN HUMANAGEMENT, DESCRIBED AS A ‘TRAILBLAZER’ IN THE MENA REGION
Just over a month ago, MBW noted how the sound of opportunity for the record business across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is getting louder and suggested that the race is on for the majors to build market power in the region.
That commentary arrived in reaction to the news of Universal Music Group‘s acquisition of Chabaka Music, a prominent company based in the United Arab Emirates.
Wednesday (October 4) brought more evidence of the MENA region’s growing importance in the global music business with the news that Warner Music Group has made a strategic investment in HuManagement, a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) based talent agency.
The company, described by Warner as a “trailblazer” in the MENA region, operates across music, film, television, sports, digital media, and marketing, with a portfolio of over 300 creators…
3) INDIE MUSIC COMPANY WAGRAM JOINS DEEZER’S ARTIST-CENTRIC PAYMENT SYSTEM, FOLLOWING STREAMING PLATFORM’S DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
The announcement of an agreement for an “artist-centric” payment model between Universal Music Group (UMG) and streaming service Deezer sent waves through the music industry last month.
Now another music recording company is signing up to Deezer’s new payment model.
France-headquartered indie music company Wagram Music announced on Monday (October 2) that it has signed an agreement with Deezer (also a France-headquartered firm) for an “artist-centric” payment model “aimed at improving the distribution of recorded music revenues and increasing its value…”
4) DEADMAU5 MANAGER AND OTHER INDUSTRY VETERANS LAUNCH THE CIRCUIT GROUP TO ACQUIRE STAKES IN SONG CATALOGS
Music industry veterans from artist management firms Seven20 and AYITA have teamed up to establish The Circuit Group to acquire a 50% stake in artists’ IP portfolios.
Founded by Dean and Jessica Wilson of Seven20, and Brett Fischer, David Gray, and Harvey Tadman of AYITA, The Circuit Group also aims to collaborate with artists to forge opportunities in various verticals within the music industry, alongside conventional artist management.
“The engine at the center of everything in the music business is the song,” said Dean Wilson, CEO and Co-founder of The Circuit Group and longtime manager of deadmau5.
5) TAYLOR SWIFT’S ‘THE ERAS TOUR’ CONCERT FILM HAS ALREADY SURPASSED $100M IN GLOBAL TICKET PRESALES
As of October 4, Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras Tour’ concert film has sold more than $100 million in advance tickets globally.
That presales revenue tally has been achieved with a week still to go until the film starts playing in most of the confirmed 8,500 theatres across 100 countries around the world on October 13.
AMC says that it saw “particularly strong in premium large-screen formats like IMAX, Dolby Cinema, PRIME at AMC and other branded premium experiences…”