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News of the Week 1/11 Selected music industry news

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Financing 

Kuke Music Updated Prospectus

Kuke Music(库克音乐) recently updated its prospectus which revealed its plan to issue 5 million ADS with a price of US$10-12. If the IPO goes according to plan, Kuke will receive around US$45.7 million in proceeds.

 

Live Nation Announces Closing of US$500 Million 3.75% Notes Due

Live Nation recently announced that it plans to raise an additional US$500 million in notes through private placement. The money will be used for general operations and will be due in 2028 with an interest rate of 2.75%. Live Nation has previously raised $US1200 Million in debt with an interest rate of 6.5% due in 2027.

 

MelodyVR Closed the Deal to Acquire Napster for US$70.6 Million

On December 30th, the previously announced sale of Napster to MelodyVR was completed. According to data from Napster’s former parent company RealNetworks, the price of the sale was US$70.6 million, including US$15 million in cash, US$11.6 million in MelodyVR stock, and approximately US$44 million in payment obligations assumed by MelodyVR.

 

Anghami Sells Shares to Dubai Investment Giant Shuaa Capital

On January 5th, Spotify’s main competitor in the Middle East, Anghami, sold part of its equity to Shuaa Capital, an asset management and investment banking company headquartered in Dubai.

Anghami is the first legal music streaming platform and digital distribution company in the Arab world. It was launched in November 2012 and provides unlimited streaming of Arabic and international music.

 

Hipgnosis Raised Another US$200 Million in Debt

On January 8th, Hipgnosis’s board of directors announced to investors that the company had reached a new loan agreement with a syndicate led by JPMorgan Chase Bank to increase Hipgnosis’s revolving credit line from 400 million US dollars to 600 million US dollars. In a letter to shareholders, Hipgnosis revealed that it plans to further increase in the revolving credit line by another $150 million. According to Hipgnosis’s investment policy, its debt to asset ratio will be kept under 30%.

Ingrooves Acquires Electromode to Enter the African Market

On January 8th, Ingrooves Music completed the acquisition of Electromode, an independent music distributor headquartered in South Africa. The acquisition marks Ingrooves’s entry into the African market.

Electromode’s manager Chris Ghelakis will continue to lead the team in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the past 12 months, Ingroove has expanded its reach in South America, Asia, Europe and Australia, and set up new offices in Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Spain.

 

Warner Music Group Participated in Gaming Platform Roblox’s Series H Round Financing

On January 8th, gaming platform Roblox finished its Series H financing at US$45 per share, bringing Roblox’s valuation to US$29.5 billion. Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group led this financing round and WMG participated.

 

Labels

Universal Music Group Made Changes to Its Management Team in Africa

On January 4th, Universal Music Group restructured its management team in Africa. UMG claims that these changes are made in accordance with their commitment to continue to support the development of the music ecosystem in Africa and promote African artists globally.

Sony Music and Mobile Video Platform StarNews Reached Partnership Agreement

On January 6th, Santa Monica-based mobile video platform StarNews reached a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment to promote artists from Côte d’Ivoire. The two companies will allocate resources to film and produce exclusive artist content and broadcast through the StarNews platform. Marketing will be handled by StarNews and South African telecom company MTN.

Glassnote Records Establishes New Publishing Subsidiary 

Glassnote founder and president Daniel Glass and CFO Chris Scully announced on January 6th that Glassnote Records has established a new publishing subsidiary Connect Music, headed by Jackie Post.

Warner Music’s ADA and Disruptive Records Reached a Music Distribution Agreement

On January 8th, ADA, the independent artist and label service unit of Warner Music, reached a music distribution agreement with the Amsterdam-based indie label Disruptive Records.

Disruptive Records was established in 2020 with a vision of “combining music, data and technology, discovering new talents around the world, and providing a platform for creative artists of various art forms.”

 

 

Live Entertainment

All SCHOOL’s January Performances Cancelled

The famous Beijing Bar SCHOOL announced on January 8th through its WeChat official account that in order to comply with Beijing’s new pandemic prevention measures, SCHOOL will cancel all performances in January and cancel the yearly SCHOOl award show.

 

The Next Big Thing Refunds Ticket Due to COVID Pandemic

On January 5th, due to the resurgence of COVID cases and the tightening of social distancing measures in Beijing, a series of The Next Big Thing (《见证大团》) concerts will be canceled and turned into studio shooting. Fans who already purchased the ticket will automatically receive a refund in five days.

Sydney Opera House Reopens After Nine Months

After closing for nine-month, the Sydney Opera House reopened on January 5th, 2021. The performance of the night, “The Merry Widow” was carried out with a 75% capacity and all audience members had to wear a mask throughout the performance.

B’in Music Apologizes for the Mayday Concert Controversy

Due to its requirement to check IDs at the entrance, the January 8th Mayday (五月天) concert received a lot of complaints from the audience members. Some fans reported that the staff were taking pictures of their ID and their tickets and the action puts their privacy at risk. B’in Music (相信音乐) apologized and promised to find a better and safer way to verify the tickets.

The Danish Live Entertainment Industry Host Testing Events to Prepare for Reopening

On January 5th, the Danish Live Music Association “Dansk live” has obtained permission to host a series of live events to test whether it is safe to hold big events without social distancing. The events will take a similar form as Restart-19 of Germany, Primacov of Spain and Back to Live of the Netherlands. This will prepare the country for restarting music festivals and concerts.

Eurosonic Launches European Music Week

On January 5th, Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) announced the launch of European Music Week, a new initiative aimed at promoting new music in Europe.

Starting from January 8th, BBC Radio 1, Radio 6 Music, Spotify, Deezer etc. will promote new artists from Europe in cooperation with ESNS. The music week will end on January 15th and there will be an online Eurosonic Music Festival from January 13th to January 16th.

 

Ticketmaster Fined US$10 Million for Hacking Competitors

On January 4th, the US Department of Justice announced that itfined Ticketmaster US$10 million for hacking competitor Crowdsurge and stealing sensitive information from 2013 to 2015. 

 

Musicians

Elva Hsiao’s New Digital Album Certified “Double Platinum Record”

Elva Hsiao(萧亚轩)’s new digital album Naked Truth has sold 83,104 copies on QQ Music as of January 10th since it was released and has been certified “Double Platinum Record” by QQ Music. 

 

aespa’s “Black Mamba” MV Hits 100 Million Views

On January 8th, SM Entertainment’s new girl group aespa set a new record for the fastest time for a K-pop group debut song MV to get 100 million views on YouTube with their song “Black Mamba”.

IU Won Digital Song of the Year Awards at Golden Disc Awards

The Korean Golden Disc Awards ceremony was held on January 9th. IU won two grand prizes, digital song of the year and best digital song award at the ceremony.

GOT7’s Contract with JYP Expired, Jackson Wang Returns to TEAMWANG

On January 10th, the boy group GOT7’s 7 year contract expired. The group decided not to renew its contract with JYP. Regarding the contract, Jackson Wang’s team said that his contract will return to TEAMWANG and he will continue with his global music activities. recently concluded a 7-year exclusive contract with JYP Entertainment. GOT7 debuted in 2014. The 35th Golden Record Awards Ceremony on the 10th is the last combination event. In this regard, Wang Jiaer’s team said, “Wang Jiaer’s contract will return to TEAMWANG, and he will continue to develop his global business in the future.”

 

David Bowie’s Musical ‘Lazarus’ Launched on Streaming Platform 

The musical ‘Lazarus’ written by David Bowie and playwright Enda Walsh and directed by Ivo van Hove launched on Dice.fm from January 8th to January 10th. Viewers could choose from four time slots to watch it during these three days.

 

Copyright

VFineMusic and Shiqu Reached In-depth Enterprise Service Cooperation

On January 6th, VFineMusic, a commercial music distribution platform, and Social Touch (时趣), a well-known Chinese integrated marketing company, reached a music copyright enterprise licensing service agreement to provide customized commercial music solutions for Social Touch’s marketing campaigns.

 

Ocean Butterflies Music Released a Statement to Protect Vae’s Song from Plagiarism 

Ocean Butterflies Music issued an official statement on January 6th stating that the song “Simple Happiness” by Luo Cong (罗聪) has similar melody with “Why Not” by its artist Vae (许嵩). Ocean Butterflies Music plans to submit materials to professional organizations and will take legal actions to defend Vae’s copyright.

 

Musician Peter Chen Won Infringement Lawsuit Against Movie Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe

On January 7th, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court ruled on Peter Chen(陈彼得)’s copyright infringement case against movie Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe (《九层妖塔》)for using his music without permission. The defendant will pay the plaintiff RMB 300,000 as well as cover the legal cost of RMB 40,000.

Hipgnosis Acquired 259 Songs by Jimmy Iovine

On January 4th, Hipgnosis, the British copyright investment fund, announced that it has acquired a catalog of producer Jimmy Iovine. The statement revealed that this is Hipgnosis’s first acquisition in 2021. Sources said that Hipgnosis paid a price much higher than market price for the catalog. 

 

Streaming

Xiami Music Shut Down on February 5th

On January 5th, Xiami Music made an official announcement that its music streaming server will permanently shut down on February 5th and Xiami Music will become a B2B music licensing operation.

In response, QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music both launched playlist migration tools for Xiami users to switch to their platform.

 

The Chinese MTV Music Channel Will Shut Down on February 1st

On January 5th, China Television Satellite TV Program Co., Ltd. issued a notice stating that the Chinese MTV Music Channel will stop broadcasting on February 1st, 2021. And the channel will stop accepting new business engagements from the date of the notice.

QQ Music Launches a New 100 Million Yuan Incentive Plan

On January 7th, QQ Music launched version 3.0 of its 100 million incentive plan to help musicians grow their income. In order to protect the rights and interests of songwriters, QQ Music will officially launch the income settlement function.

NetEase Cloud Music Released Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert Special Edition

On January 8th, NetEase Cloud Music released the special edition of Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert. The concert was conducted by Riccardo Muti and recorded by Sony Classical. This is the first time this event was recorded without a live audience.

Electronic Music Platform PYRO Plans to Shut Down

PYRO Music released an official statement on January 7th notifying users that it will shut down on April 1st, 2021 due to business adjustments and other reasons.

From April 1st, 2021, the original PYRO website will be fully replaced by the new website PYRO.DJ and the WeChat mini-program PYRODJ.

 

Variety Shows

 Youth With You 3 Announces Instructor Lineup

Recently, Youth Have You 3 (《青春有你3》)has officially announced the tutor lineup. Li Ronghao(李荣浩), Wilber Pan(潘玮柏), and Lisa will serve as the music, rap and dance instructors of the show.

Variety Show Oriental Singer Finished Its First Competition Round

On January 9th, the first competition round of the new music variety show Oriental Singer (《东方唱将》) was held in Shanghai LiSTEN LIVE HOUSE 158.

The show is a brand new music variety show sponsored by Shanghai Yangxuan Records(上海旸轩唱片), IMTA China, Xingqing Film and Television (星沁影视) and Ti Party Culture (梯派对文化) to send new talent into the music industry.

 

 

Music Marketing

Zhihu Celebrated Its 10th Anniversary with a Song of WUTIAOREN and Zhihu Users

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Zhihu (知乎) invited WUTIAOREN (五条人) and Zhihu users to collaborate and release a new single. The single was released on QQ Music on January 7th.

Kugou Music and Watsons Reached a Membership Cooperation

On January 8th, Kugou Music partnered with Watsons (屈臣氏), a national beauty and personal care retailer, to create music theme stores and promote Kugou Music to the younger generation.

Physical/Hardware

Apple Released a Limited Edition AirPods Pro for the Years of the Ox for Chinese Users Priced at RMB 1999 Yuan

On January 6th, the official AirPods Pro limited edition of the Year of the Ox went on sale in offline and online Apple Stores. There will only be 25,400 pairs, including 11,480 at offline stores and 13,920 online. Each customer is only allowed to buy two sets. The price will be RMB 1999 Yuan per set. 

 

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