YouTube’s Foundry Selects 2020 Batch
YouTube Music’s Foundry artist development program has added 12 new artists for 2020. The program is designed to help early stage independent artists with marketing and promotion and has assisted over 120 independent artists from more than 13 countries since its founding in 2015. A complete list of the artists who were selected can be found here. Props to YouTube for finding creative ways to support independent artists and innovative ways to engage fans. It is important to note these selected 2020 artists already have positive traction (Dua Lipa is a previous Foundry artist). It will be interesting to see if this program can continue to help emerging artists and provide them with increased growth.
Joe Rogan’s Exclusive Contract With Spotify Increased Spotify Valuation By $4B (8.56%)
Announced Tuesday, May 19th, Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” (JRE) podcast is moving exclusively to Spotify in September. It’s costing Spotify over $100 million, but in exchange, Spotify’s market cap increased by $3.79 billion or 8.56%. This is significant as the JRE was Apple Music’s number one podcast last year. Previously, music artists have done exclusive deals with platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal, yet none have had the same financial impact as the JRE deal. This deal could suggest that music and podcast streaming could be heading towards exclusive platform deals like the video streaming industry. It will be interesting to follow this and to see if fan loyalty follows creators to different platforms.
Bipartisan Push For More Transparency Behind SBA Loans
There is bipartisan frustration for the SBA agency’s response to mitigating the negative effects of COVID-19 on independent businesses. Main arguments with the SBA are poor customer service towards loan applicants, lack of transparency, and on-the-fly rule changes. However, looking at the facts, the SBA has a relatively small bureaucracy of 4,000 and had to process 5.4 million disaster loan applications in April, or more than 50 times its annual volume, suggesting that the program is overwhelmed. While SBA’s communication to the public could improve, it is unrealistic to expect the program to run perfectly during these conditions. This further showcases the uphill battle lobbying groups like the NIVA have towards securing better government relief for entertainment industry services.
Dyal Capital Partners Looks To Purchase Minority Stakes In NBA Franchises
Dyal Capital Partners, a division of Neuberger Berman investment management firm, is in the process of developing a fund specifically for purchasing minority stakes of several National Basketball Association teams. They will be the first and only institutional investor allowed to work with the NBA in this way. This decision comes as the Association is experiencing increasing valuations for many of its franchises, and minority stakeholders are struggling to sell their unwanted shares because of the high prices. This move means the NBA is reconsidering its ownership limitation on private equity funds and institutional investors. Another industry shift we may be seeing is the growing investment opportunity and profitability in various spaces in the entertainment industry, something that has historically seen very little traction from institutional and public investing.
Live Concert Updates:
First Music Venues Experimenting With Live Concerts Again At Reduced Capacity
Country singer, Travis McCready, performed the first live concert since the start of social distancing restrictions at TempleLive in Arkansas to more than 200 people. Although a historical event, the venue ran at 20% capacity, with strict 6-foot distancing rules on purchasing drinks, food, merchandise, and restroom lines. From an economic perspective, fewer tickets mean higher ticket prices, causing quantity demanded of these tickets to decrease. Other venues like Cleveland’s popular Music Box are also charging a significantly increased ticket price of $75.00 per person for its “Table for Two” series starting on June 19. Lance Beatty, owner of TempleLive, stated that this type of show is financially unstable. While this may be true for many traditional concerts, perhaps artists will find creative ways to put on more intimate events that will still attract fans at the higher ticket prices.
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