For The Record (September 6): Vevo, Sam Fender, Sony/ATV, Marathon, Eventbrite, Madison House

For The Record (September 6): Vevo, Sam Fender, Sony/ATV, Marathon, Eventbrite, Madison House

Music Week’s round-up of essential music biz stories you might have missed...

NetEase does its

Alibaba has acquired NetEase's e-commerce platform Kaola for approximately $2 billion (£1.63bn). The deal will also see Alibaba, together with Yunfeng, invest approximately $700 million (£569.4m) in NetEase Cloud Music in its latest round of financing. NetEase will remain the controlling shareholder.

William Ding, CEO of NetEase, said: "As the controlling shareholder of NetEase Cloud Music, we will continue to fully support the growth of this business, helping it to realize its strategic goals in the music industry."

Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said the company looks forward to “exploring innovative collaboration in the digital entertainment space."

Lift off

Vevo has announced Sam Fender as the UK Lift act for 2019. Tom Walker, Sam Smith, Years & Years and Rag‘N’Bone Man are previous Vevo UK Lift artists. 

Fender drops his debut album, Hypersonic Missiles (Polydor), on September 13. Vevo will release performances of The Borders and new single Will We Talk? on September 16.

JP Evangelista, Vevo’s SVP of content, programming and marketing, said: “It has been very special to watch Sam Fender grow into the artist he is today, having worked with him through our Dscvr Artist To Watch program and now graduate to become a Lift artist, it feels like his musical journey is only just getting started. We shot some amazing pieces of video content with him which we are excited for his fans to see, and on the cusp of a new album and a headline tour, big things await this singer-songwriter.”

Hedrick honcho

Sony/ATV has promoted Kristina Hedrick to VP, US business development, based in the company’s New York head office. In her new role, she will oversee the analysis of US songwriter deals and will be the initial point of contact for the A&R and business & legal affairs departments when evaluating US business development opportunities.

John Pires, SVP, business development, said: “Over the past few years Kristina has developed into a go-to resource for the creative and business affairs teams when it comes to helping craft and complete many of the US pop, urban and country deals. She has become a true asset to both the department and Sony/ATV. I am extremely happy and proud to see her take this next step in her career.”

Marathon man

Marathon Music Group has appointed James Farrelly to the role of global trade marketing director. Farrelly joins the company from Ministry of Sound Recordings/Sony Music UK, where he was streaming/digital strategy manager. His previous roles include senior positions at Believe Digital and AIM.

Farrelly said: "There's a real entrepreneurial spirit here – combined with a diverse roster of talented artists, making Marathon Music Group an exciting place to be. I look forward to working closely with our partners, helping to build long term careers for our artists and connecting their listeners with some of the best new music from around the world.”

Eventbrite idea

Eventbrite has partnered with Grupo Pacha to become the exclusive ticketing provider for three of the group’s venues: Pacha Ibiza, Lío and Destination Pacha Ibiza Resort. The deal with Pacha Group follows Eventbrite’s global agreement with Elrow family, a music and party brand from Spain.

Chema Ballarín, head of business development Eventbrite Spain & Portugal, said: “Grupo Pacha is a brand that is world-renowned for its memorable parties, its extraordinary events and innovative entertainment concepts featuring some of the best DJs in the world. Trusting us with ticket sales – a crucial part of their business – for these prestigious Ibiza venues is a clear vote of confidence into the power and international reach of our platform, and we are delighted to power yet another independent who’s pushing the envelope in entertainment.” 

Boulder move

Booking agency and management company Madison House has expanded the team with three new recruits – senior agents Brian Swanson and Brent Tactic, and junior agent Chris Palmer. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the company has also added a new office in California.

"The landscape has changed enormously," says Madison House co-founder Nadia Prescher. "Anyone who has been in the business a few decades has certainly seen a massive shift in the number of independent agencies operating in North America. Twenty-three years later, we still pride ourselves on owning an agency that focuses on our independent spirit – one that continues to benefit our clients." 

All that jazz 

Charity Help Musicians has opened the application process for a £10,000 Jazz fund. The fund offers £5,000 for the prestigious Peter Whittingham Jazz Award winner, and a further £5,000 for up to three rising talents through the Peter Whittingham Jazz Development Awards.

Lucy Bampton, head of creative programme, Help Musicians, said: “We have seen some amazing talent develop through this award and we are certain this year will be no different.”

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