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Billboard Looks For a Hit With Branded T-Shirts

Billboard and Hot Topic Join Forces to Launch Collection of 50 Standout Tee Shirts Inspired by Pop Culture & Music Hot Topic, the ultimate retail destination for music fans, has tapped Billboard, renowned music authority, to launch a limited-edition collection inspired by past, present and future iterations of music culture. Billboard is a global music media brand, and a renowned authority among artists, fans and the industry. Billboard powers the ultimate global music destination and magazine, featuring unrivaled reporting on music news, issues and trends, the industry’s definitive music charts, encompassing the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The new range includes 50 standout tee-shirt designs that celebrate the power of music across generations and fuse pop culture trends with historic retro influences. As one… . . . read more

CreateOn Partners With The Beatles

The creative people at CreateOn have entered into a partnership to create The Beatles Collection, featuring classic imagery from the Beatles era. With individual Magna-Tiles depicting album covers and classic images, The Beatles Collection represents a new pinnacle of design and versatility for CreateOn. Individual tiles can be configured into multiple structures including the classic Yellow Submarine, the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club drum, the Magical Mystery Bus, the Abbey Road crosswalk, a record player, and more. Since its founding two years ago, CreateOn, has applied innovation to Magna-Tiles, bringing new life to the stories and characters of iconic children’s brands like Sesame Street, the World of Eric Carle, Crayola, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Build-A-Bear Workshop. Now, the colorful creation studio is leaning into supporting play and interactive storytelling for… . . . read more

Hasbro Selling eOne Music Division

Major news from toy and entertainment giant Hasbro Inc., which says it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Entertainment One Music (“eOne Music”) for an aggregate price of US$385 million in cash. The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of Hasbro and Entertainment One Canada Limited, and is subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals. Hasbro says eOne Music will be acquired by entities controlled by Blackstone, which also owns SESAC, a leading music rights organization. Subsequent to the closing of the transaction, eOne Music will operate as a separate business unit headed by its current Global President, music industry veteran Chris Taylor, and will focus on building a creator-first music brand with global scale and expertise. Purchased by Hasbro in 2019 as… . . . read more

Mattel Signs a ‘Ludacris’ Deal

Toy giant Mattel is joining forces with star musician and songwriter Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges on a new animated series called Karma’s World, to air on Netflix later this year. The agreement creates a joint venture between Mattel, 9 Story Media Group Inc., and Karma’s World Entertainment for a multi-year global licensing deal tied to Karma’s World, the series created by Bridges. Better known by music fans as ‘Ludacris,’ Bridges is a successful actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as one of music’s most successful recording artists. He has starred in several top box office and critically acclaimed films, including the Fast and Furious Franchise, Fear Factor, and Crash. The Atlanta, Georgia rapper is known for his love of community, which led him to launch The Ludacris Foundation (TLF), in 2001. This nonprofit organization… . . . read more

Keen Shoes and Jerry Garcia Take On Climate Change, In Style

Shoemaker KEEN and the Jerry Garcia Family have expanded the company’s branded collection of sandals and sneakers, featuring Jerry Garcia’s artwork, in a campaign to save the Tongass temperate rainforest. The Tongass is considered the largest remaining temperate rain forest in the world, and KEEN is now auctioning off the #420 individually numbered collector’s limited-edition Newport Junglescape Sandal via Bidding For Good, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit The Wilderness Society’s ‘Protect the Tongass’ campaign. The auction will close April 30 at 11:59 p.m. PT. “Jerry Garcia was devoted to the exploration and performance of music and was not known for taking public positions on issues,” says Erik Burbank, Vice President of The KEEN Effect. “But, in September 1988, he and the Grateful Dead felt compelled to step up… . . . read more

Merlin Announces New Music Licensing Pact With JOOX

The indie music licensing company Merlin has just announced a new partnership, this time with the makers of the music app JOOX, owned by Chinese parent company TenCent. JOOX is a new strategic partner that gives Merlin members access to new audiences in Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as South Africa. The agreement between the parties licenses Merlin content via JOOX’s ad-supported and premium tiers, as well as its karaoke feature and library. The music streaming company says it’s thrilled to work with Merlin, bringing a vast new library of unique content to its users across Asia and South Africa. “JOOX always strives to bring users a wide range of music entertainment content from around the globe in different languages and genres, catering… . . . read more

Paul Simon Latest To Sell Music Catalog

Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon has become the latest star musician to cash in on his lifetime body of work, selling his entire music catalog to Sony Music Publishing for an undisclosed amount. “I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades,” said Simon after the deal was announced. “I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the publishing side as well.” The deal is just the latest to be announced in a continuing trend that began in 2016. Prior to that year, investments in music catalogs never exceeded $200 million, and were usually much less, but in 2016 and the years since the sector has seen rapid growth. In that year sales… . . . read more

Songwriters Demand Musicians Stop Taking Credit For Their Work

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief A group of the world’s top songwriters are launching a rebellion of sorts against “a growing number of (recording) artists” who they say are taking credit—and royalties—for songs they had no hand in writing. Called The Pact, the group includes writers who have penned massive hits for Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, One Direction, Lorde, Michael Bublé, Shawn Mendes, and Selena Gomez, but it’s worth noting the The Pact has not named any of those artists as being part of the problem. This week the new advocacy penned an open letter, which we’ve reprinted in its entirety below, demanding a fair share of publishing royalties and full credit for songs they’ve written. They say music labels and artists alike have… . . . read more

Maurizio Distefano Licensing Inks Four Key Deals Through Global Merchandising Services

The Italian licensing firm Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) has begun its partnership with Global Merchandising Services with a slate impressive deals, including several iconic musical artists and the brand of British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Thanks to its agreement with Global Merchandising Services, a leader in creating unique and innovative international merchandise programs, MDL now represents in the Italian market a roster of artists who together have sold in excess of one billion records. They include some of the biggest names in rock, pop and metal: Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Backstreet Boys, Little Mix and Louis Tomlinson, to name only a few. MDL says the group of artists—who can boast sold-out tours all over the world and an influence on global fashion trends across a variety of musical genres—will offer MDL… . . . read more

Bob Marley Family Inks Deal With Psychedelic Mushroom Company

The family of reggae legend Bob Marley has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Silo Wellness, a company operating in the newly developing psychedelic and functional medical mushroom industry. The deal offers Silo the exclusive worldwide rights to brand, market, and sell a product line of functional and psychedelic mushrooms with the name and likeness of the reggae superstar, who died in 1981. “Our family is happy to collaborate with Silo Wellness to create the first ever global mushroom brand,” said the singer’s widow, Rita Marley. “When Bob and I were young we followed a strict, natural diet and we would include medicinal mushrooms. Mushrooms fit with our vision of a world transformed for good through natural products.” This is not the family’s first foray into licensing deals for products… . . . read more