- There is that sweet sound of music as Universal Music Group’s IPO debuted as the largest in the history of the music business, with the listing on Euronext Amsterdam valuing the company at more than $53 billion. The stock’s closing share price was €25.10 – 36 percent above its initial reference price of €18.50. This IPO marks a major turning point for the industry, signaling the strong appetite for music content, also with the rise and sustained popularity of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
- Will brands continue to widen their scope and collaborate more and more with contemporary artists and designers (in addition to celebrities and star athletes) to transform products into art masterpieces? Such is the case with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), a luxury goods conglomerate, which has an abundance of cultural infrastructure in place to support these partnerships. LVMH’s luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot is partnering with a number of artists such as Brazilian artist Romero Britto, and writer and art world star Takashi Murakami to create new takes on the watch brand’s Classic Fusion line.
- NFTs once again dominate the headlines this week with owners of KB24 (Kobe Bryant’s former website) launching Kobe-inspired art collectibles as NFTs for a charitable cause and receiving more than 7,000 reservations for the auction already; Tiger Woods releasing an NFT collection of his digital signature and other memorabilia through Autograph (company co-founded by Tom Brady); and Jay-Z embroiled in a legal battle with Damon Dash over NFTs.
- Esteemed filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s decision to leave his 19-year-long relationship with Warner Bros. for Universal to make his next film (about Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of an atomic bomb) continues to highlight the strife between studios and talent. Nolan and Warner Bros. had been clashing over ongoing issues, including disagreements over his contract, his entire 2021 slate being released simultaneously on HBO Max during the height of the pandemic, and release plans for “Tenet.”
- The intersection of music and sports may have reached a fever pitch: Drake will be curating music for 10 of the Monday Night Football games, producing what CEO of Trillernet Mahi de Silva calls “four-quadrant” entertainment (starting with last Monday’s Baltimore Ravens-Las Vegas Raiders game), which aims to capture a wider, and sometimes overlapping fan base, to ultimately create a cultural moment that’s larger than life.
- Apple has announced it has created a new process that can properly identify rights holders of the music used in DJ mixes and will be able to directly pay them.
- NIL opportunities for college athletes continue to pick up steam. Marketing and licensing agency The Brandr Group is partnering with Altius Sports Partners to provide student athletes education around their NIL rights and group licensing opportunities in tandem with the athletic departments.
- With crypto investment frauds on the rise, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent a warning to investors and published an investor alert listing out possible signs of a scam. Along similar lines, a Bloomberg article discusses the critical need for financial regulators to provide investors with tools to protect themselves when investing in NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
- NFTs further infiltrate Hollywood and now the hospitality industry. The Dream Hollywood Hotel, located in Los Angeles, built The Crypt Gallery inside the hotel, featuring one of the city’s first collections of NFT art that’s also open to the public.
- Music Business Worldwide’s analysis of Spotify’s streaming numbers for Drake’s latest album debut, “Certified Lover Boy,” tells the tale of the fickle minds of the modern music fans and the challenge to attract their attention, even for a blockbuster album.
- "Whose job is in Jeopardy?" Mike Richards may be an appropriate answer. Sony announces that he will be dropped as Executive Producer of the program on the tails of stepping down as a host. He joins a number of celebrities who have made similar exits from their posts as a result of questionable past actions and comments. The iconic gameshow continues its search to replace Alex Trebek.
- In a blast from the past, the 'Nirvana Baby' is back in the headlines raising issues of right of publicity, emotional distress and child pornography laws. This seems to be a flip-turn from his past reenactments of the photo (albeit not nude) that he previously did for the album's key anniversaries. The 30-year old Spencer Elden has filed a federal lawsuit against the estate of Kurt Cobain and other band members.
- With the NFT market showing no signs of slowing down, a new trend may be fractional ownership of the NFTs. The Doge meme which holds the crown as the most expensive meme NFT will be split into 17 billion pieces for auction. Now anyone can own a piece of history.
- In the realm of sports and entertainment, how far is too far when it comes to hero worship? Following in the tracks of Lil Nas-X, Tony Hawk collaborated with a water company to produce limited edition skateboards that contained of all things: his blood.
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The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.