business

BMG to Hit 1 Billion Euros in Revenues by 2024

BMG says it will start generating one billion euros in revenue starting in 2024, achieving a financial target the company set for itself a full two years ahead of schedule, according to a corporate presentation made last week. The record label and publisher improved its growth forecast thanks to strategic investments from parent company Bertelsmann and a strong performance from several recently acquired song catalogs, BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch told a gathering of senior Bertelsmann executives. Meeting its billion-euro goal will make BMG one of the fastest-growing new music companies in the industry, executives said. Founded in 2008, BMG generated 663 million euros ($784.13 million) in revenues in 2021, a 10.1% increase from 2020. In the first half of 2022, the company reported rev...

Binance launches New Zealand-based offices following regulatory approval

Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has registered with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and opened local offices in the country. In a Sept. 29 tweet, Binance said it was registered as a financial service provider in New Zealand, allowing residents to access services including spot trading, nonfungible tokens and staking. The move to the crypto-friendly Pacific nation followed regulators in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kazakhstan and Italy giving the green light for Binance to open an offshoot. “New Zealand is an exciting market with a strong history of fintech innovation,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. New Zealand! We are kiwis. https://t.co/UtxbVlvXFV — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) September 30, 2022 New Zealand lawmakers and regulators have largely not imposed strict...

The CD Turns 40: How the ‘Shiny, Tiny’ Discs Took Over

On Oct. 1, 1982, in Japan, when Billy Joel‘s 52nd Street became the first-ever CD to go on sale, two electronics giants had been pushing for years to switch from the beloved vinyl LP to the shiny new digital-optical disc. Sony in Japan and Philips in Eindhoven, Netherlands, had invented the compact-disc hardware, and they were aggressively lobbying the world’s biggest labels to provide the software – music – to go with it. Up to that point, the labels wouldn’t cooperate – not even CBS Records, Sony’s longtime partner for years before the electronics company bought it outright in 1987. “If there would have been rotten eggs available, they would have thrown them at me,” recalls Jan Timmer, then head of Philips Worldwide, of an Athens, Greece, music-industry conference where he attempted to i...

Defected Records’ New Owner Wez Saunders On Protecting The Label’s Legacy: I’m Not Here To Reinvent The Wheel’

On a late summer morning in London, Wez Saunders walked into work at the Defected Records headquarters and greeted his staff as he has for years. But on this otherwise normal day, something felt different: “Just for a split second,” Saunders recalls, “it was like, ‘Wow, I own this now.’” On August 23, Defected announced that its founder, Simon Dunmore, was stepping down as CEO, with Saunders, who has been with the label in various roles since 2014, acquiring the music company and all its subsidiaries. (Dunmore will stay on in a new role as A&R consultant.)  Though Saunders had worked closely with Dunmore in running Defected’s day-to-day operations, there’s a pressure in taking over a label with so much history. When Dunmore launched Defected in 1999, its first release, Soulsearche...

Ed Sheeran Must Face Trial Over Accusation That He Copied Marvin Gaye Song

A federal judge says Ed Sheeran must face a jury trial over whether he stole key pieces of his “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye‘s iconic “Let’s Get It On,” rejecting the British singer-songwriter’s efforts to toss out the long-running copyright case. Sheeran’s attorneys argued that the lawsuit – filed by an entity that owns a partial stake in Gaye’s famous 1973 song – was invalid because the combination of simple elements the singer allegedly stole was not unique enough to be covered by a copyright in the first place. But in a ruling on Thursday, Judge Louis Stanton said there was “no bright-line rule” for deciding such questions and that the pop star would need to make his arguments before a jury of his peers. The decision sets the stage for a blockbuster trial at a Manhattan federal ...

The Deals: Channel Tres Signs With RCA; AmazeVR Raises $17M

Producer and signer Channel Tres signed with RCA Records in partnership with Godmode. The label, which just put out Tres’ new single “No Limit,” will release his album Real Cultural Shit this fall. The “Compton house” singer is currently touring North America. VR concert platform AmazeVR, which recently produced Megan Thee Stallion‘s VR concert tour, raised $17 million in new investments, with an opportunity for additional investors to join the current fundraising round. Including the $15 million bridge round the company raised in 2021, AmazeVR’s current Series B raise stands at $32 million. The company plans to use the new funds to expand partnerships with artists, artist management companies, labels, publishers and agencies, along with hiring more AI engineers, Unreal Engine engineers an...

Phil Collins Catalog Sale Deal in the Works Now Includes Genesis Rights Too

A package of Genesis, Phil Collins and possibly Mike + the Mechanics music assets are said to be in the final deal stages, according to sources, but the name of the potential buyer is not yet known to Billboard. Explore See latest videos, charts and news See latest videos, charts and news Previously, Billboard reported that a package of Collins’ rights had been shopped for upwards of $200 million, according to sources. That package, sources says, has now morphed into a bigger deal that also includes all of the publishing for Genesis and possibly even Mike + the Mechanics, as well as their master recordings rights. Specifically, sources say the deal encompasses the artist’s share of the master recordings and publishing. In the case of Collins, that means a combination of artist royalties fo...

Pantera plans to raise $1.25B for second blockchain fund: Report

Dan Morehead, founder and CEO of Pantera Capital, reportedly said the hedge fund was planning to raise $1.25 billion for a second blockchain fund. According to a Sept. 28 Bloomberg report, Morehead said Pantera aimed to close the blockchain fund by May. The fund will reportedly invest in digital tokens and equity in an effort to appeal to institutional investors. “We want to provide liquidity for people that are kind of giving up because we’re still very bullish for the next 10 or 20 years,” said the Pantera CEO, according to the report. Pantera Capital is seeking $1.25 billion for its second blockchain fund, founder Dan Morehead says https://t.co/H5AXy55hqa — Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) September 28, 2022 Launched in 2013, Pantera was one of the first crypto funds in the United States at a...

Brett Harrison will step down as FTX US president, move into advisory role

The president of cryptocurrency exchange FTX US, Brett Harrison, has announced he will be transitioning into an advisory role in the next few months. In a Sept. 27 announcement on Twitter, Harrison said he will be resigning his position as FTX US president but will remain with the exchange “with the goal of removing technological barriers to full participation in and maturation of global crypto markets, both centralized and decentralized.” Harrison has worked as FTX US president since May 2021, following a job at Citadel Securities. “I can’t wait to share more about what I’m doing next,” said Harrison. “Until then, I’ll be assisting Sam [Bankman-Fried] and the team with this transition to ensure FTX ends the year with all its characteristic momentum.” 1/ An announcement: I’m stepping down ...

NFT Artist Diana Sinclair Signs With UTA Ahead of Christie’s Auction

Diana Sinclair, a leading visual artist in the Web3 space, has signed with UTA and is set to auction off nine of her NFTs at Christie’s beginning this week. Sinclair, 18, was recognized by Fortune as one of the top 50 most influential people in the NFT space alongside artists like Beeple. Her work focuses on themes like self-identity and social justice, and she is the curator behind Digital Diaspora, a Juneteenth exhibition that highlights the work of Black artists and creatives in the NFT community. Last year, Sinclair also collaborated with estate of Whitney Houston to create a digital video that comprised rare archival photos of the late singer that sold for roughly $1 million. And beginning on Wednesday, the artist will debut an NFT col...

Does Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance Mean a Tour Is Coming? 

The last time Rihanna fans could buy tickets to see her in concert was 2016 when she hadn’t even launched her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty that catapulted her to billionaire status and Travis Scott was still a support act. Now, more than six years later, RiRi’s set to return to the stage on Feb. 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium outside Phoenix for the Super Bowl LVII halftime show — and possibly kicking off more performances to follow.  With more than 100 million viewers tuning into the halftime show and its reputation for world-class artistry and production, Rihanna’s next gig is easily the biggest platform available for superstar artists looking to announce mega world tours and sell millions of tickets.   In 2012, Madonna was the first modern act to use `a Super Bowl performanc...

White Supremacist Acts Are ‘Prevalent’ on Spotify, But the Streamer Says It’s Working On It

Spotify is vowing to remove racist, anti-semitic and other hate content from its platform following a new report that says music from a number of white supremacist acts is “prevalent” on the streaming service. The report, published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday (Sept. 22), found a total of 40 white supremacist acts hosted on Spotify, violating the platform’s rules against “dangerous content.” According to the report, “extremist” musical sub-genres encompassed by these artists include Fashwave, electronic music that espouses white supremacist ideology; Rock Against Communism, a sub-genre of punk that promotes racism and antisemitism; and National Socialist Black Metal (NBSM), a sub-genre of metal that espouses fascism and white supremacy. The ADL noted that several of thes...