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LN Electronic Asia reveals new label partnerships

Live Nation Electronic Asia (LNEA) has entered into a multi-year global licensing and distribution agreement for its recently launched Fabled Records label.

The promoter’s Asian electronic dance music division, LNEA is partnering with global dance label Astralwerks and Capitol Records China (CRC), which are both divisions of Universal Music Group.

Under the new agreement, Astralwerks and Capitol Records China will collaborate on the global release and distribution of Fabled Records artists and projects globally. The partnership will see all organisations working together to advance the awareness of Chinese electronic music and artists worldwide.

“Fabled Records and our whole division at LNEA are committed to bringing the best artists and music from Greater China to the global stage”

LNEA’s management company, Dancing Dragon, was formed in August 2019 to meet the rising demand for electronic dance music in the region, and has signed a roster including Chinese EDM artists and producers Chace, Beauz, Carta, and Yåko, who will release music via Fabled Records.

“Greater China dance music has grown tremendously in the past decade, particularly in the live and club sectors of business,” says Jim Wong, MD at Live Nation Electronic Asia, Dancing Dragon Management, and label head of Fabled Records. “It has influenced a lot of artists, adults, and teenagers in Greater China to start listening, engaging and producing dance music.

“Fabled Records and our whole division at LNEA are committed to bringing the best artists and music from Greater China to the global stage.”

 


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Live Nation: ‘We will not do business with Russia’

Live Nation has pledged not to do business with Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The concert giant, which had a Moscow office in the early 2010s as it expanded its operations in the region, has vowed not to promote shows in Russia and says it is cutting ties with Russia-based suppliers.

“Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the company says in a statement released to IQ. “We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia. We’re in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”

Venue management and services company ASM Global, whose portfolio includes Moscow Convention Center and MTS Live Arena, says it “stands with the people of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s actions”.

“We fervently support a community’s right to freedom,” it says. “Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, their families and loved ones all around the globe.”

Sports and entertainment firm Oak View Group (OVG) had earlier announced it was boycotting Russia amid widespread outrage over the country’s actions. OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena lit up Seattle Center in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in a gesture of support for #StandWithUkraine.

“In light of the tragic conflict rapidly unfolding in Ukraine, Oak View Group has pledged to not do business in or with Russia, nor will we serve Russian brands in any of our venues on a global basis, effective immediately,” it said. “We stand with the people of Ukraine, we condemn the actions of Russia, and we hope our stance inspires others in our industry to take action where they can.”

“We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion”

Universal Music Group, which has a Russian branch, has also posted a statement on its Instagram account saying: “We stand with our partners who are on the ground delivering urgent humanitarian aid to Ukraine refugees.”

It adds: “The situation in Ukraine affects millions of innocent civilians with urgent humanitarian needs – from food and water to shelter and clothing. UMG and our employees are proud to support organisations providing assistance to refugees in need.”

Apple has also paused product sales in Russia. 

“We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion,” it said. “We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence.”

Ukraine vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov says some Ukrainian companies have appealed to Apple chief Tim Cook asking to allow Ukrainian artists to change their album covers “in order to show the truth about the situation”.

“In addition to this, we ask you to block Apple Music accounts who support the war and Putin’s aggressive actions,” he adds.

 


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Universal Music Group forms ‘NFT supergroup’

Universal Music Group (UMG) is capitalising on two of the biggest trends of the last year – NFTs and the metaverse – with the formation of a new ‘NFT Supergroup’.

The multinational music cooperation is collaborating with collector Jimmy McNelis to convert four of his ape NFTs into a band called Kingship.

McNelis, an early buyer of Ethereum, acquired hundreds of ape NFTs from the creator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which gave anyone who bought one of the apes full commercial rights to use the image.

McNelis was later approached by Universal’s 10:22PM record label, a “next-gen Web3 label” which was set up by former Sony exec Celine Joshua.

Joshua pitched him on the idea of creating a new group and picked four characters that she thought would work as a band before signing the ‘metaverse group’ to the label.

10:22PM is now working with a team of crypto artists and animators to turn the two-dimensional apes into three-dimensional beings.

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD

One of the band’s members, the golden ape, is currently valued at over $300,000 USD. McNelis has a collection that he estimates is worth more than $100 million.

The company will record music for Kingship that it releases on streaming services and the band will perform and participate in video games, virtual-reality applications and across the constellation of digital experiences known as the metaverse.

Joshua and her team are going to create these characters stories’ from scratch. They will put together a marketing campaign to introduce the apes to potential fans, explain how they met and describe who they are. “It’s just like just like the way we introduce new artists to the world,” she told Bloomberg.

Kingship is just one of the ape-themed virtual bands to follow in the footsteps of Gorillaz, an English virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett.

US music producer Timbaland is also cashing in on the trend, starting new company Ape-In Productions that will also use Bored Ape Yacht Club characters to form a music group.

Timbaland’s group, named TheZoo, features six Bored Ape characters – such as Lincoln Aperaham and Safari Ferrari – and will release their first song ‘ApeSh!t’ on Wednesday, according to Variety.

 


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Criticism over Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2021 earnings

Music industry bodies, artists and MPs have hit out after it was reported that Universal Music Group (UMG) boss Sir Lucian Grainge’s 2021 earnings will exceed what all UK songwriters combined made from streams and sales of their music in 2019.

One-off cash bonuses totalling £123 million following UMG’s flotation on the stock market in September and the sale of an additional 10% stake in the company to China’s Tencent could see Grainge’s pay packet top £150m this year, according to the Guardian.

In comparison, government body the Intellectual Property Office calculated that UK composers and lyricists earned £150m in 2019 from streaming, downloads and sales.

Crispin Hunt, chair of songwriters’ association The Ivors Academy, slams the “imbalance” in remuneration as “just plain wrong”.

“Nobody’s against success being rewarded, but not if that success is at the expense of those who create the value,” says the former Longpigs frontman. “This is evidence of a business which is completely out of control. For songwriters who are struggling to make a living, there’s only one word for it – obscene.”

There is no other industry anywhere in the world that would tolerate this gross unfairness

Gomez musician Tom Gray, founder of the #BrokenRecord campaign, tweets: “To earn the same amount as the CEO of Universal this year, a solo artist on a standard contract would require 180,000,000,000 streams,” tweets musician Tom Gray, founder of the #BrokenRecord campaign. “That’s right, 180 billion! And people think it isn’t a #BrokenRecord industry.”

Musicians’ Union general Horace Trubridge adds: “To the best of my knowledge Sir Lucian has never played or written as much as a note of music. No one buys his records or queues for his gigs, yet he enjoys rewards and riches beyond the wildest dreams of even our most popular artists and writers.

“There is no other industry anywhere in the world that would tolerate this gross unfairness and it has to stop now.”

Grainge has not commented on criticism of his pay.

Earlier this year, the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) called for a “complete reset” of the market in its report into the economics of music streaming, following a wide-ranging inquiry.

It concluded that “comprehensive reform of legislation and further regulation is needed, not only to redress the balance for songwriters, performers and composers, but to tackle fundamental problems within the recorded music industry”.

Conservative MP Esther McVey says: “It’s shocking that record label owners are earning more out of artists’ works than the artists themselves”. Labour MP Jo Stevens, shadow secretary of state for DCMS, adds: “Artists get a pitiful amount while streaming sites and record companies cash in.”

Labour MP Kevin Brennan’s Copyright (Rights And Remuneration Of Musicians etc) Bill, which seeks to “create a new right to fair remuneration for musicians when their work is played on streaming platforms” will receive its second reading in parliament on 3 December.

 


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