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Wright’s in New Collaboration with NYT’s Wirecutter

Wright’s Media, an industry-leading global content licensing agency, will collaborate with Wirecutter, a product recommendation service acquired by The New York Times Company as its official content licensing partner. Wirecutter is now a division of the New York Times that is dedicated to testing and researching thousands of products every year to recommend the best of everything, saving its readers time and stress in figuring out what to buy. Wright’s says licensing will help amplify brands that have been recommended by Wirecutter, and showcase their advantages in a way that consumers trust and appreciate. “We are truly honored and proud to be working with such an iconic brand that serves as an innovative leader in the consumer services space,” says Michelle Myers, Chief Revenue Officer of Wright’s Media. Wirecutter is changing the… . . . read more

Freesound Wins Grant to Monetize Creative Commons Content

Barcelona-based audio archive Freesound is working on new ways to help small content producers monetize their Creative Commons content, in a move that could have significant impacts on all types of content producers. Freesound is the sound exchange platform of the Music Technology Research Group (MTG) of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of the University Pompeu Fabra. The non-profit has now obtained a grant from the Grant for the Web initiative to promote new monetization tools, and encourage research on how web monetization can benefit specific communities. This award “is very significant as it recognizes the promotion of open access digital culture,” explain the promoters of the MTG project. “With this grant we will start the new project Freesound Licensing, a platform to help content creators monetize… . . . read more

Special Report: The Evolution of Music Licensing

By Gary Symons, TLL Editor in Chief The Bob Dylan music deal with Universal Music has shown that for musicians and music companies, the times truly are a’changin’. But, in truth, that change was coming long before Universal stroked a check for a reported $300 million to $400 million, in return for Dylan’s entire music catalog of roughly 600 songs. Also in December Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks sold 80 per cent of the rights to her catalog of songs she wrote to music publisher Primary Wave for a reported $100 million. In August, Imagine Dragons sold their catalog for more than $100 million to Concord Music Publishing. What should have gained a lot more press, however, were the other deals happening in 2019 and building momentum through 2020. For… . . . read more

Neil Young to Cash In on Music Catalogs

Canadian rock star and songwriter Neil Young is out of the blue, and heavily into the black, after selling a 50 per cent interest in his music catalog for an estimated $150 million US. As noted in this week’s Special Report from The Licensing Letter, the past four years and 2020 in particular have seen a massive increase in the value and scale of music catalog deals. Sales rose from an average of $100 million to $200 million a year prior to 2016, to more than $4 billion in 2019. Figures for 2020 are not yet out, but music rights deals are expected to hit a new and dramatic high after landmark deals with Bob Dylan, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, and many others. Young’s sale… . . . read more

Z2 Retells Legend of Elvis in Comic Book Form

Z2 Comics has acquired a license to the story of rock’n’roll icon Elvis Presley, and will release the singer’s biography in the form of a graphic novel. The graphic novel will be released in partnership with Authentic Brands Group, owner of the Elvis Presley Estate. Elvis: The Graphic Novel was written by Chris Miskiewicz, who wrote a similar piece on the Grateful Dead for Z2, and will feature art by Michael Shelfer. “Legends have to start somewhere,” the story points out, and the graphic novel takes reader through “The King’s” humble beginnings as a young artist, his struggle to find his own unique voice, and his triumphant arrival on the world stage as the first global rock star. The graphic novel is available now at Z2comics.com.  

We Can All Look Better, Thanks to Queer Eye Licensing Deal

Sartorially challenged men and women everywhere can rest easy, knowing a new licensing agreement will bring the Emmy award winning fashion sense of Queer Eye to an ecommerce portal near you.  Scout Productions, the company behind the hit series, announced on November 5 a multi-layered licensing program of new products and the launch of QueerEyeStore.com, bringing fans all things fashion, inclusivity and “Queer Eye.” The program, created in partnership with the show’s licensing representative IMG, features products based on the television series, including an extensive new apparel line featuring everyone’s favorite Queer Eye personalities, which is available now at Amazon and on QueerEyeStore.com.  Other highlights include the recently launched exclusive home furnishings line at Walmart.com, whose success out of the gate has resulted in many products being sold out, and… . . . read more

The Week in Licensing Deals

LEGO How do you get to Sesame Street? Easy, just ask Lego.  The European construction toy giant is bringing out a Sesame Street-themed set for the first time called Lego Ideas 123 Sesame Street.  The new set features iconic characters you’ll remember from your own childhood (yes, it’s been that long) like Big Bird, Elmo and Oscar the Grouch.  The set will be up for sale on Nov. 1, 2020, leaving lots of shopping days before Christmas.  Last Airbender Goes Live on Twitch The enduringly popular Nickelodeon kids’ series The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra are breaking new ground, thanks to a deal with ViacomCBS Networks Americas.  The rapidly growing streaming platform for gamers will be streaming the two series in Latin America from October 26… . . . read more

Experiential

Wrap-Up: Experiential, Promotional & Personalized

The top deals this week, in brief, from King Features, AT&T, HBO, Urban Outfitters, Peeps, Dunkin’ Donuts, Amazon, Scholastic, Global Icons, and more…


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Digital Content

Streaming & New Media Updates

The latest in streaming and digital content updates from NBCUniversal, Endeavor, Disney, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Meredith, and more…


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Business

M&A & CSR

We wrap up some of the biggest moves to impact business in 2019 and highlight those who are particularly good and doing good—Apple, IOC, Alibaba, Sesame Workshop, ABG, eOne, NASCAR, and more…


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