Universal Music Group targets ‘name and likeness’ acquisitions in partnership with Authentic Brands Group

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So-called ‘name and likeness’ rights have been simmering away as an attention-grabbing enterprise throughout the music business for a while.

In quick, the acquirers of mentioned rights can freely make use of an artist’s model and, erm, likeness, throughout varied merchandise and media, together with movie and TV.

Obviously sufficient, when mentioned acquirers additionally personal the music rights to an artist’s catalog, controlling ‘name and likeness’ turns into all of the extra highly effective.

For instance: one pioneer in the ‘name and likeness’ acquisitions enterprise is Primary Wave, which has relied on its ownership / part-ownership of such belongings to co-create the extremely anticipated Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

Primary Wave has additionally acquired / partially acquired ‘name and likeness’ rights to a bunch of other legends, from Luther Vandross to Prince, Stevie Nicks and many extra.

Others who’ve made latest acquisitions in this world embody Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group (Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt) and BMG (Tina Turner).

The main file corporations clearly can’t merely stand by and watch all of this exercise play out with out taking motion.

And at present (November 16) the most important main of all of them has made its personal assertion announcement in the ‘name and likeness’ house.

Universal Music Group has confirmed it’s launching a strategic alliance with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to amass and actively handle artist manufacturers.

ABG is a worldwide model proprietor whose portfolio already contains iconic superstar manufacturers akin to Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, and Elvis Presley.

According to a press launch, ABG makes use of these rights to create “memorable brand experiences that come to life across key consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media”.

UMG and ABG say they may now collectively “combine [our] respective leadership in artist brand management to expand the legacies and cultural impact of artists around the world”.

Confirmed the press announcement: “Working with artists, their representatives and legal heirs, [UMG and ABG] will strategically market and position artists across a wide range of consumer touchpoints leveraging their name and likeness to drive opportunities in merchandise, memorabilia, licensing, brand experiences and media and entertainment, among many others.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group mentioned, “UMG and ABG have strong track records as powerful stewards of artist and celebrity brands. Through this initiative, we will invest in name and likeness rights to create unique opportunities for artists with the goal of greatly expanding their cultural and commercial impact.”

Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO, ABG mentioned, “We are honored to partner with the enormously talented team at UMG for this groundbreaking initiative. Together, UMG and ABG will work strategically to preserve the legacies of history’s greatest artists.”

This is an attention-grabbing transfer from Universal Music Group, which was notably aggressive in the music rights acquisitions enterprise in 2020.

According to firm filings, UMG spent over $1.71 billion (€1.52 billion) final yr on a mixture of catalog acquisitions and “advances to artists net of recoupment”.

That determine was greater than 3 times the equal spending sum that UMG splashed in 2019.

Universal’s 2020 acquisitions, in fact, included the music catalog of Bob Dylan, for which UMG is believed to have paid upwards of $350 million.

In September this yr, UMG floated on the Amsterdam Euronext inventory change.

At the time of writing, UMG carries a €26.37 share value, equating to a €47.81 billion ($54.3bn) firm market cap valuation.Music Business Worldwide

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