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From The Weeknd’s ‘crypto powered’ tour to BeatStars’ $200m paid out to creators: It’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up


Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.


This week, cryptocurrency exchange Binance was named as the official sponsor for The Weeknd’s upcoming world tour.

An announcement from Binance claims that the tour will be “the first global concert tour to integrate Web 3.0 technology for an enhanced fan experience”.

Binance will release an exclusive NFT collection for The Weeknd’s tour, along with co-branded tour merchandise. Attendee’s virtual ticket stubs can also gain access to “commemorative” NFTs, which Binance says will provide unique experiences for fans.

The Weeknd’s partnership with Binance follows this week’s news that Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of Binance, closed a new $500 million investment fund supported by institutional investors like DST Global Partners, and Breyer Capital.

Also this week, on Tuesday (May 31), Universal Music Group was assigned its first credit ratings since going public in September 2021.

UMG has been assigned a first-time Prime-2 short term credit rating, and a Baa1 long term credit rating “with stable outlook” by Moody’s Investors Service.

In addition, S&P Global Ratings has assigned the company an A-2 short term credit rating, as well as a BBB long term credit rating “with stable outlook”.

Elsewhere, music production marketplace and distributor BeatStars reveals that it has paid out $200 million to date, to creators worldwide who license and sell beats and sounds via its platform….

Founder and CEO Abe Batshon also told MBW that BeatStars is hoping to pay out close to $100 million this year and that the company has “plans to grow those earnings exponentially over the next 5 years with new innovative business models and global accessibility”.

Plus, music experiences company Pollen has let 150+ staff go after raising $150 million in April, while Spotify launched a music career advice platform it says is “like an artist manager in your pocket”.

Here’s what happened this week…


1) THE WEEKND PARTNERS WITH BINANCE FOR ‘FIRST CRYPTO POWERED WORLD TOUR’

On July 8, superstar artist The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) will play the first date of his ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ world tour at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

According to an announcement from the artist, the stadium tour will be “the first global concert tour to integrate Web 3.0 technology for an enhanced fan experience”, with cryptocurrency exchange Binance named as the tour’s official sponsor.

Binance has collaborated with Toronto-based HXOUSE, a so-called “think-center and community incubator” for creative entrepreneurs, to release an exclusive NFT collection for The Weeknd’s tour, along with co-branded tour merchandise.

Attendee’s virtual ticket stubs can also gain access to “commemorative” NFTs which Binance says will provide unique experiences for fans…


2) UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP ASSIGNED BAA1 AND BBB LONG-TERM CREDIT RATINGS BY MOODY’S AND S&P

It’s been eight months since Universal Music Group listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

On Tuesday (May 31), the world’s biggest music rightsholder was assigned its inaugural credit ratings since going public from two of the world’s three major rating agencies.

UMG has been assigned a first-time Prime-2 short term credit rating, and a Baa1 long term credit rating “with stable outlook” by Moody’s Investors Service.

In addition, S&P Global Ratings has assigned the company an A-2 short term credit rating, as well as a BBB long term credit rating “with stable outlook…”


3) MUSIC MARKETPLACE BEATSTARS HAS PAID OUT $200M TO CREATORS TO DATE

In December, we suggested that the music business shouldn’t sleep on the creator revolution, after Singapore-based music making platform BandLab raised a significant new sum of funding.

BandLab’s Series B round was revealed in April to have closed at $65 million, with a post-money valuation of $315 million, and comes at a buoyant time for the music creator sector.

Today brings further evidence of this, as music production marketplace and distributor BeatStars reveals that it has paid out $200 million to date, to creators worldwide who license and sell beats and sounds via its platform….


4) AFTER RAISING $150M LAST MONTH, MUSIC EXPERIENCES COMPANY POLLEN LETS 150+ STAFF GO

In April, music, travel and experiences company Pollen raised $150 million in a Series C round.

This month, the firm has made a number of redundancies, according to social media posts from former employees, which indicate that the London-headquartered firm has let over 150 members of staff go in the UK and the US.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Callum & Liam Negus-Fancey, the company made two impressive hires in the UK in 2021, naming Zeon Richards as Head of Hip Hop Partnerships and Christine Osazuwa as its Strategy Director for Pollen Presents…


5) SPOTIFY LAUNCHES MUSIC CAREER ADVICE PLATFORM IT SAYS IS ‘LIKE AN ARTIST MANAGER IN YOUR POCKET’

Spotify has launched a new interactive career advice portal for artists called In Focus.

In a blog post going into more depth about the new education site, Spotify claims that In Focus “is like an artist manager in your pocket that arms you with the tools and guidance you need to nail each of your career goals”.

On the actual In Focus site, the five career categories defined by Spotify, including “create, promote, connect, earn, and learn” provide resources on everything from how to “level up your songwriting”, to how to “grow your superfans….”


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.Music Business Worldwide



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