Music Industry Moves: UMG’s Bravado Acquires the Beatles’ North American Merch Rights

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Bravado has earned the North American merchandise rights for the Beatles, marking the consolidation of the band’s merch business and its recorded music catalog under Universal Music Group.

In the new partnership agreement, Bravado will develop new merchandise opportunities for the Beatles across retail, licensing and e-commerce in North America. Working with Apple Corps., the two companies will aim to expand the Beatles’ presence in the United States and Canada by leveraging the company’s retail/licensing partnerships and its e-commerce network “to supercharge direct-to-consumer efforts,” as the press release states.

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“Bringing the Beatles back to Bravado was a top priority of mine – not only as a fan of their music but as someone who is inspired by the creative and cultural impact they continue to have around the world,” said Matt Young, president of Bravado. “The responsibility of representing such an iconic and beloved brand isn’t lost on me and we look forward to working with Jeff Jones and the Apple Corps. team to continue to bring the Beatles’ vision to life.”

Bravado’s new Beatles online retail store will be available starting today at https://usastore.thebeatles.com/

+ Warner Chappell Music and China-based content and social platform Kuaishou have entered into a new licensing agreement to make WCM’s music catalog available on Kuaishou products around the world.

Kuaishou has seen significant success in outside markets with apps like Kwai in Latin America and MENA and SnackVideo in South and Southeast Asia. Under the deal, Warner Chappell’s music will be available for use on these platforms.

Natalie Madaj, WCM senior VP of global digital, said: “As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve in exciting new ways, social-sharing apps like Kuaishou are changing how people experience and discover music around the world. We’re very proud to be partnering with the team to bring our catalog of songs to Kuaishou’s engaged userbase and talented music creators.”

Calvin Liu, head of overseas partnership and communications, added: “We’re always looking to partner with innovative music companies and this deal with Warner Chappell will give our millions of users access to new music to express themselves across our Kuaishou platforms.”

Tuesday, August 30

+ CBS News senior cultural correspondent Anthony Mason will be honored with the “SummerStage Icon” award at City Parks Foundation‘s 2022 benefit fundraiser on Sept. 29. The ceremony, naturally enough, will take place at SummerStage in New York’s Central Park.

Mason will be recognized for “his significant contribution to arts and culture and for his lifelong devotion to NYC’s parks.” From 2019 to 2021, Mason was a co-host of “CBS This Morning” and prior to that, he was a co-host of “CBS This Morning: Saturday” for seven years. He has interviewed six U.S. Presidents and various senior federal officials, but the journalist is perhaps best known for his interviews with high-profile musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Adele, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Cher, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund will also be receiving the “People and Parks” award for “helping transform New York City with their extraordinary contribution to the stewardship of NYC’s parks and open spaces in a time of crisis.” To help make the most of the open spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, a collective of national, family, corporate and community foundations launched the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund with the goal of providing the most urgent needs facing the City’s parks while spurring policy-makers to address ongoing systemic challenges and policy concerns. According to a press release, the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund has raised more than $8.4M in funding.

The event will also include performances by Sheryl Crow and Nile Rodgers & Chic, with more special guests to be announced.

+ UTA has signed country artist Tyler Hubbard for representation in all areas. The singer-songwriter rose to fame as half of country powerhouse duo Florida Georgia Line, and he has recently launched his career as a solo artist.

The new partnership is designed to aid the musician with finding new opportunities in live touring, brand partnerships, film, television and more. Hubbard is managed by Borman Entertainment.

Hubbard, who will join Keith Urban on “The Speed Of Now” world tour starting in September, recently released his debut project, “Dancin’ in the Country.” Although he and his FLG partner Brian Kelley have not confirmed that they are taking a break from the band, both are working on solo music.

+ WME has promoted four team members to agent roles in the contemporary music and touring division: Justin Edwards, Mary Hannon, Phoebe Holley, and Matt Smith.

Edwards, whose career at WME began in 2017, currently handles the Revivalists and the Main Squeeze, alongside their WME agent teams, and oversees bookings for over 75 festivals for the agency. He specializes in booking WME’s alternative/rock/indie clients on festivals across North America and his focus is to grow WME’s contemporary music presence in Nashville.

Hannon started her career at WME in 2016. She worked her way up to the country music division in WME’s Nashville office and by 2020, she transitioned to working for the co-head of hip-hop and R&B, Caroline Yim. Hannon’s focus is on booking WME’s roster which includes Anderson .Paak, DOMi & JD Beck and many others.

Holley originally joined WME in 2019 and began working with Lucy Dickins (now global head of contemporary music and touring) at the beginning of 2021 with clients Knucks, Abra Cadabra, Ruti, and others. She is currently based in the Beverly Hills office.

Smith joined WME’s London office in 2018 as an assistant. In 2021, he was promoted to agent trainee working with Steve Hogan on tours for clients such as Peggy Gou, Eric Prydz, Madeon, Porter Robinson, and more.

+ Elektra Entertainment has promoted Katie Robinson as the marketing division’s new senior VP while Adam Ruehmer has been upped to senior director and head of digital marketing. Based in Los Angeles, Robinson and Ruehmer will both report to Elektra co-presidents Mike Easterlin and Gregg Nadel.

Easterlin and Nadel added: “Over the past three years Elektra and our artists have greatly benefited from Katie’s expert approach to marketing. From start to finish she treats each campaign with an unrivaled level of passion and care, bringing artists closer to their fans in authentic and innovative ways. Adam is undoubtedly one of our rising stars – he’s deeply embedded in culture and will continue to experiment in the digital space to deliver strategies that move the needle. We’re pleased for both Katie and Adam on these well-deserved new posts.”

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