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Who’s News: Simba Dickie Group Names New CEO

The family-owned Simba Dickie Group (SBG) has a new CEO this week, as Michael Sieber (pictured above, at left) officially handed over the reins to the toy company to his son Florian Sieber on May 1. Florian will become the third generation of the Sieber family to run SBG, since Michael and his father Fritz Sieber founded Simba Toys in 1982. Florian Sieber was named as the designated successor and co-chief executive officer of the Simba Dickie Group in a succession plan announced in 2018, and has also spent the last eight years as the managing director of the model railway manufacturer Märklin, an SBG subsidiary. “Together with a dedicated team in Göppingen, my son, Florian, has put Märklin back on track—a masterstroke, I’m very proud of him,” said Michael… . . . read more

What Consumers Will be Looking for in a Post-COVID World

By Alicia Rosa Brand Central Insights Consumers are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. This new vaccinated world will be a testing ground to see if the pandemic-driven trends and habits will stay. At Brand Central Insights we’ve been able to look at the trends from the last year at a bird’s-eye view to see what’s going to stick around for the long haul and what will join the graveyard of TikTok fads. As we get closer to a post-COVID world, consumers will be looking to reclaim the time spent inside and celebrate extravagantly, but won’t want to lose the conveniences, communities, or creative hobbies they discovered in quarantine. E-Commerce & DTC Online shopping and e-commerce habits will likely continue post-COVID, despite the excitement… . . . read more

SPLiCE Hosting ‘License To Play Globally’ Conference on April 26

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE) is celebrating its 17th anniversary on Monday—which is also World IP Day—by hosting a conference on ways to protect, promote and enhance brand integrity through licensing. SPLiCE currently consists of 70-plus member companies which together account for more than 20% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 6% of the S&P 500 Index, and 22% of License Global’s 2020 Top 150 Global Licensors. The membership reads like a Who’s Who of corporate America, including companies like The Walt Disney Company in entertainment; Ford, GM and Harley Davidson in the automotive sector; beverage firms like Coca Cola, Anheuser Busch and Jack Daniels; tech companies ranging from AT&T, Electrolux, Dupont, Boeing and Westinghouse; toy companies like Mattel and Hasbro; and… . . . read more

Brands Cut Ties With Vlog Squad’s David Dobrik Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief At least 10 companies have dropped all ties with popular YouTube star David Dobrik and his troupe of video pranksters the ‘Vlog Squad’ after a Business Insider report chronicled allegations of sexual misconduct. Dobrik is a comedian who pranks the unwary in Los Angeles with his Vlog Squad, and garnered millions of Youtube views. He put the show on hiatus during the pandemic and worked instead on the social media app Dispo, which has also removed him from the organization. At least 10 companies have cut ties with Dobrik, including HelloFresh, SeatGeek, Dollar Shave Club, EA Sports, DoorDash, General Mills, HBO Max, Facebook, and Audible. The report is an absolute bombshell in the world of branding and licensing, involving two separate allegations of sexual misconduct…. . . . 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

Music Licensing Collective Goes Live

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief New Year’s Day marked a major change in the music licensing industry, as the Mechanical Licensing Collective went live as part of the Music Modernization Act. The bill was passed in 2018 with the goal of bringing in more fair rules for the compensation of musicians and songwriters, and called for the establishment of a body to oversee payment of royalties for songs that are downloaded, streamed, or sold as a record or CD. The MLC is a non-profit established under the regulations established in the Music Modernization Act, and has broad implications for songwriters or any company that has purchased the rights to music. The MLC also comes into play just as the market for music rights has heated up, with more… . . . read more

#1 TikTok Star Charli D’Amelio and Family Get Hulu Series

Charli D’Amelio must have one of the fastest arcs to stardom of all time, rocketing to 100 million followers as the top TikTok user, and now getting a series on Hulu with her sister Dixie (also a TikTok star of note), and their parents Heidi and Marc. “The D’Amelio Show” will air on Hulu in 2021 as an eight-episode docuseries that follows “the first family of TikTok” as they live through the sudden transition from ordinary American family to international celebrities. “Two years ago Charli and Dixie D’Amelio were virtually unknown outside of their town, and now have over 100 million fans who tune in daily for their every move. Every teen on social media dreams of becoming famous, but what happens when the reality hits?” said Belisa Balaban, VP… . . . read more

Deadline Passes for TikTok Forced Sale With No Deal in Sight

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief TikTok owner ByteDance has blown by the deadline set by US President Donald Trump to sell the company to a US buyer, but US officials say they are not enforcing the executive order. US officials also say they will not extend the Dec. 4 deadline for TikTok’s parent company to sell off the rapidly growing social media app, but CNN and Bloomberg have both reported the Treasury Department does not currently plan to take action against ByteDance. ByteDance and its subsidiary have been negotiating a deal with the United States aimed at trying to resolve concerns that the app poses a security risk to the United States and other Western nations. ByteDance proposed bringing in US partners like Walmart and Oracle, and in… . . . read more

Universal Music Acquires Bob Dylan Catalog in 9-Figure Deal

Bob Dylan must be ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ right about now, after Universal Music Publishing Group announced the acquisition of the singer-songwriter’s entire music catalog for a reported nine-figure sum. The exact acquisition cost is still ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ but rumors are that it will top Stevie Nicks $100 million deal last week from Primary Wave, and could be one of the largest music catalog deals in history. Universal has acquired Dylan’s entire collection of more than 600 copyrighted songs spanning six decades, from 1962’s Blowin’ in the Wind to this year’s epic hit Murder Most Foul. “To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time – whose cultural importance can’t be overstated – is both a privilege and a responsibility,” said UMPG Chairman… . . . read more


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