Music Sync: A Market Ripe for Change

Florence and the Machine’s performance of Jenny of Oldstones, which appeared over the closing credits of the April 21st HBO’s Game Of Thrones episode, has registered the most Shazams in 24 hours ever.The placing of a song has always had the ability to transform its fortunes, and that has never been more the case than now. The music sync market is booming, with the number of syncs higher than ever and more platforms and productions seeking new music. It is also a market with a host of structural challenges, which is the focus of MIDiA’s latest major new report on the music sync market – Music Sync Market Assessment: A Market Ripe for Change. Clients can access here and non-clients can purchase here from our report store.

We interviewed senior sync market executives of labels, publishers, sync agencies, sync tech, TV, games etc. for the report to help create the definitive take on this important but problematic sector. Here are some brief highlights of the report.

The music sync market has long been a source of high-margin income for rights holders as well as a means for helping break artists, with a well-placed, successful track having the ability to transform the career of an emerging artist. The growth of channels such as games, social video, and online video (like Netflix), and the corresponding renaissance in TV drama production, have combined to create an unprecedented volume of demand for the sync marketplace. A wave of tech start-ups has followed, each trying to fix parts of an otherwise very ad hoc and relationships-based industry.

Total sync revenues grew by 11% in 2018, but remain a minority component of music publisher revenue and have even less value for labels. Despite a boom in demand, much of the opportunity remains untapped. This is largely because the sync market is a complex, interconnected web of closely guarded personal relationships that operate on tradecraft, reputation and personal connections. It is a marketplace that technology has only brushed the edges of – but when it has, the results have been mixed. For example, streaming playlists have quickly become an established tool used by music supervisors, but on the other hand, many of the new start-ups addressing the space have failed to gain meaningful traction. In part this is because it is a sector that has modest appetite for change. Indeed, with personal reputations an industry currency, and lack of pricing transparency a well-used tool for securing price premiums, there is more internal incentive to remain in stasis than to embrace innovation.

A host of technology companies have come to market attempting to improve the music sync workflow, but many require pre-cleared rights. This is something that would undoubtedly accelerate the market but that rightsholders are typically unwilling to agree to because:

They need individual creator approval

They do not want to cede negotiating power

The music sync market has managed to remain strong by changing far less than most other parts of the music business. However, strategic shifts by newer, large-scale buyers such as Netflix, coupled with wider technology shifts, mean that the sync market will not be able to resist change for much longer.

Micro licensing (e.g. YouTube content) represents a major opportunity, especially if Facebook manages to execute on its thus-far underwhelming social music strategy. However, that requires a technology solution (e.g. Qwire, OCL) and simply cannot work on the same highly-manual and very slow mechanisms that mainstream sync operates with. Unless a tech solution is created, it will be royalty-free music providers like Epidemic Sound that will take most of the scale opportunity.

To read much more on the music sync market, check out the report here (Clients)(Non-clients).

Companies and brands mentioned in the report:A+G Sync, Amazon, Beggars Group, Cue Songs, DISCO, Electronic Arts, Epidemic Sound, HBO, Jingle Punks, Jukedeck, Lickd, Musicbed, Music Gateway, MXX, Netflix, OCL, Proctor and Gamble, Qwire, Reverbnation, Songtradr, Sony/ATV, Soundvault, SyncFloor, Synchtank, Tunefind, Universal Music, Warner Chappell, YouTube


Video’s Rise Can Lift Music's Fortunes, But Only If Music Clearance Catches Up Technologically

As the availability of content continues to balloon and the streaming technology on which it's accessed continues to advance, the process of clearing music for picture remains stuck in the year 1989, even as the demand for synced, pre-recorded music is ever-increasing.

_______________________________

Guest post by Scott Freiman, CEO of Qwire

With the technological transformation of video delivery thanks to streaming, you’d imagine that the entire world of film, TV, and video production--and particularly the music department--would be equally transformed. Yet as the amount of content balloons and margins melt away, music still gets cleared for picture via paper, post-it notes, scattered spreadsheets, and file folders. It may be 2019 on the consumer-facing side, but in the back office, it’s eternally 1989.

The music industry is losing out on opportunities because of this. Even as music supervisors and clearance teams keep using the same manual methods, the demands on them, as well as the licensing landscape and the stakes in sync, have increased dramatically. The need for pre-recorded music has skyrocketed in the OTT (over the top or streaming video) era.

Yet just finding out who owns music that is not from a production library can be very time consuming. Once you’ve finally figured out ownership, you have to send letters and agreements and negotiate separately with multiple parties, for each placement. These offers may have limited lifespans or be limited to specific uses and/or territories. Making a mistake with the precise details about length and type of placement can cost a production thousands of dollars and even open the door to lawsuits.

The more that can be done to simplify the process of clearance, the more time and money production teams can save and the more placements artists, labels, and publishers can get. The easiest way to do this is to simplify and streamline workflow via technology. But that’s not so easy.

The will is there: Music supervisors will tell you they need things to change, but change is hard. I’ve seen this transition before, from paper trails and manual entry to electronic systems, thanks to my work pioneering automobile lending technology in the 1990s. Things are working now--at least sort of. Movies and TV shows are getting made. In many ways, paper feels comfortable. You can touch it and hold it. When it is filed away, you can (sometimes) point to where it is. And those budget figures are stored right in this spreadsheet… that I think I updated yesterday… if I could only find it on my desktop...

4For those holding the purse strings, the focus is on the creative side, on more and better final content that’s more appealing to the viewers, and on the promotion of this content in an increasingly competitive market. The processes that drive production are less visible to the people at the top, much as they are barely visible to viewers. There’s a budget, but monitoring the details of how that filters down to the departments doesn’t feel as pressing. Improving the work of music supervisors and clearance is not always the highest priority.

Improving the music clearance process will clearly save significant time across the entire process while improving efficiency and reducing errors, all of which leads to cost savings. And the benefits of having real-time information at your fingertips is critical--especially when it comes to managing budgets and negotiating better licensing deals.

It’s not only studios and production companies that can reap the benefits of technology to assist music licensing. Ask any music label or publisher, and they will tell you about the often manual systems they have set up to manage and respond to incoming quote requests, as well as track the specific rights granted and the dates those rights expire. They will tell you about business lost due to data entry errors, misrouted quotes, and lengthy response times. And they will tell you about music license fees not received or sent to the wrong party. Imagine how much easier the entire process would be if rights holders could receive and respond to quotes electronically by connecting directly to technology on the music supervisor's desk.

When you peel back the layers, it’s obvious how we can make the entire system work better for all parties. The problems are starting to spark a change. So much content is being produced that media companies are focused on improving efficiency in any way possible. The tide is turning, and music licencors and licensees can be a part of the transformation.


Clearing the Desks, Changing the Industry: Qwire Builds Software to Transform How Music for Picture Gets Licensed, Managed, and Reported

The soundtracks to the shows and films we love have a secret. They were born out of stacks of paper overwhelming desks, dotted with Post-Its and White Out. They sprang from personal spreadsheets that only one person can find or navigate; from data entered numerous times into multiple spreadsheets, keyed into multiple software applications, and stored in multiple paper files. They involved negotiations with little to no historical information to reference -- and mistakes that can cost in the six figures and delays that meant payment headaches for writers, publishers, and music labels.

These experiences are a regular part of licensing music for picture and reporting usages for the purposes of properly paying out royalties, a $4 billion-a-year industry with more than 2 million musical works licensed annually. They are challenges music supervisors, composers, PROs, music clearance and licensing teams, and film and broadcast execs grapple with every day.

Qwire, a SaaS firm founded by production music veterans, has set out to clear the desks and clean up the mess. By knitting together and centralizing scattered data and creating a unified workflow, Qwire’s software products are building on how music supervisors, music editors, composers, and administrators already work while transforming this work into a streamlined, efficient ecosystem with benefits for all sides.

“Everyone involved wants and needs to focus on the creative part of their work, not paperwork,” says Scott Freiman, co-founder and CEO of Qwire. “But when you are coping with tasks that are 50% or more manual processes and with data that’s coming from fragmented sources along the way, it’s hard and very time consuming to get the right licenses, pay rights holders quickly and accurately, or even figure out a basic budget across departments. We’ve estimated that cue sheets alone cost studios and PROs millions of dollars collectively in extra labor costs.”

Qwire was founded by Emmy-nominated composer Jon Ehrlich (House, Parenthood), composer Leigh Roberts (Power Rangers), and musician and tech exec Freiman (the man behind “Deconstructing the Beatles”). Freiman also happens to be a veteran software entrepreneur who took the tangled web of communication between auto dealers and lenders and turned it into a $100 million-dollar public company. His passion for distilling paper systems into sleek technology, combined with Ehrlich and Roberts' deep knowledge of the business, has led to a family of products designed to serve all sides of the complex music-for-picture equation.

Qwire has a set of interlocking products designed to cover the entire lifecycle of music post-production.

qwireClear: The only software product that unites all budget and rights information related to music licensing for picture, including the entire range of letters and notices, into a single platform, from quote to license.

qwireTracks: A database of licensing information available to all Qwire clients that centralizes music rights information for recordings and publishing, to prevent repetitive research and speed up quotes.

qwireCue: The latest product from Qwire, qwireCue helps teams get data into cue sheets as content is created, as opposed to long after the fact. Featuring video integration, support for audio recognition, and an easy-to-use, modern user interface, qwireCue will allow cue sheets to be completed and submitted with much less time and effort, enabling quicker and more accurate submissions to Performance Rights Organizations.

Before Qwire, music-for-picture processes were (and often still are) mired in paperwork. The collection and documentation of cue metadata (cues are the musical moments in films, TV shows, etc. that are subject to royalty payments) had always been a manual, forensic process of tracking down information, long after the fact, about content from creators who have already moved onto other projects, by under-resourced workers with little to no incentive to collect and record information accurately. Composers would get frequent pleas to provide data in retrospect, information that can take time and effort to reconstruct. Teams would be negotiating with music libraries, labels, or composers without access to valuable, pertinent data that current or past colleagues had already collected and done the legwork on.

All of these interactions lived on scattered papers, in random files on individual computers. The software applications designed to facilitate these processes were heavily siloed, limiting historical analysis, real-time budget reporting, or even communication between departments. Everyone involved, people devoted to supporting creative work, suffered from the disarray.

Ehrlich and Roberts decided to tackle the mess--which Ehrlich likes to compare to an overstuffed garage--when Ehrlich was hit by a tsunami of work on multiple TV shows and needed to maximize his output. The two composers created an application to share and manage their work and were shocked at the results. Before long, they had an application that could also help music supervisors and editors -- with all parties able to share and benefit from each other’s information.

“Once we got it to a place I could use it, I could manage those shows that I thought would overwhelm me and I was actually happy doing more work. I wasn’t constantly being interrupted with details that were critical but routine. I could manage it all from my laptop from a plane. It was life changing,” Ehrlich recounts. “Clearance and music supervisors have the same problems. They are also juggling multiple projects and a ton of paperwork that interrupts their flow and ability to stay in creative mode.”

The two composers connected with Freiman, who grasped their vision and helped turn their software into a suite of robust applications with studio-level security. Though Qwire was started by composers, the company’s first software products are designed to help with music clearance (qwireClear) and cue sheet reporting (qwireCue). (The company plans to launch related applications in the not-too-distant future.)

These products have attracted interest from major studios and from PROs, who are all interested in ways to reduce the pain of music clearance and royalty payments. “Along the way, we’ve thought of Qwire as working toward integration, not disruption. We’re adding value, taking what’s there and improving efficiency,” explains Freiman. “You can’t find better ways to pay royalties or streamline music licensing without cleaning it up first. The processes involved have been in place for decades. But we think more efficiency will lead to a great deal of innovation over time -- and we hope Qwire will lead the way.”

“Our overall vision is a big part of what sets us far apart from the tangle of siloed solutions that are just band aid fixes,” says Ehrlich.


Music For Picture Licensing Streamlined

The people behind Qwire tell us that the days of sifting through spreadsheets and stacks of paper to license music for picture are no more. The firm, founded by production music veterans with several Emmy nominations to their credit, simplifies how music supervisors, editors, composers, and administrators handle the business of getting music synced to pictures. Here’s their full press release:

Clearing the Desks, Changing the Industry: Qwire Builds Software to Transform How Music for Picture Gets Licensed, Managed, and Reported

The soundtracks to the shows and films we love have a secret. They were born out of stacks of paper overwhelming desks, dotted with Post-Its and White Out. They sprang from personal spreadsheets that only one person can find or navigate; from data entered numerous times into multiple spreadsheets, keyed into multiple software applications, and stored in multiple paper files. They involved negotiations with little to no historical information to reference -- and mistakes that can cost in the six figures and delays that meant payment headaches for writers, publishers, and music labels.

These experiences are a regular part of licensing music for picture and reporting usages for the purposes of properly paying out royalties, a $4 billion-a-year industry with more than 2 million musical works licensed annually. They are challenges music supervisors, composers, PROs, music clearance and licensing teams, and film and broadcast execs grapple with every day.

Qwire, a SaaS firm founded by production music veterans, has set out to clear the desks and clean up the mess. By knitting together and centralizing scattered data and creating a unified workflow, Qwire’s software products are building on how music supervisors, music editors, composers, and administrators already work while transforming this work into a streamlined, efficient ecosystem with benefits for all sides.

“Everyone involved wants and needs to focus on the creative part of their work, not paperwork,” says Scott Freiman, co-founder and CEO of Qwire. “But when you are coping with tasks that are 50% or more manual processes and with data that’s coming from fragmented sources along the way, it’s hard and very time consuming to get the right licenses, pay rights holders quickly and accurately, or even figure out a basic budget across departments. We’ve estimated that cue sheets alone cost studios and PROs millions of dollars collectively in extra labor costs.”

Qwire was founded by Emmy-nominated composer Jon Ehrlich (House, Parenthood), composer Leigh Roberts (Power Rangers), and musician and tech exec Freiman (the man behind “Deconstructing the Beatles”). Freiman also happens to be a veteran software entrepreneur who took the tangled web of communication between auto dealers and lenders and turned it into a $100 million-dollar public company. His passion for distilling paper systems into sleek technology, combined with Ehrlich and Roberts' deep knowledge of the business, has led to a family of products designed to serve all sides of the complex music-for-picture equation.

Qwire has a set of interlocking products designed to cover the entire lifecycle of music post-production.

qwireClear: The only software product that unites all budget and rights information related to music licensing for picture, including the entire range of letters and notices, into a single platform, from quote to license.

qwireTracks: A database of licensing information available to all Qwire clients that centralizes music rights information for recordings and publishing, to prevent repetitive research and speed up quotes.

qwireCue: The latest product from Qwire, qwireCue helps teams get data into cue sheets as content is created, as opposed to long after the fact. Featuring video integration, support for audio recognition, and an easy-to-use, modern user interface, qwireCue will allow cue sheets to be completed and submitted with much less time and effort, enabling quicker and more accurate submissions to Performance Rights Organizations.

Before Qwire, music-for-picture processes were (and often still are) mired in paperwork. The collection and documentation of cue metadata (cues are the musical moments in films, TV shows, etc. that are subject to royalty payments) had always been a manual, forensic process of tracking down information, long after the fact, about content from creators who have already moved onto other projects, by under-resourced workers with little to no incentive to collect and record information accurately. Composers would get frequent pleas to provide data in retrospect, information that can take time and effort to reconstruct. Teams would be negotiating with music libraries, labels, or composers without access to valuable, pertinent data that current or past colleagues had already collected and done the legwork on.

All of these interactions lived on scattered papers, in random files on individual computers. The software applications designed to facilitate these processes were heavily siloed, limiting historical analysis, real-time budget reporting, or even communication between departments. Everyone involved, people devoted to supporting creative work, suffered from the disarray.

Ehrlich and Roberts decided to tackle the mess--which Ehrlich likes to compare to an overstuffed garage--when Ehrlich was hit by a tsunami of work on multiple TV shows and needed to maximize his output. The two composers created an application to share and manage their work and were shocked at the results. Before long, they had an application that could also help music supervisors and editors -- with all parties able to share and benefit from each other’s information.

“Once we got it to a place I could use it, I could manage those shows that I thought would overwhelm me and I was actually happy doing more work. I wasn’t constantly being interrupted with details that were critical but routine. I could manage it all from my laptop from a plane. It was life changing,” Ehrlich recounts. “Clearance and music supervisors have the same problems. They are also juggling multiple projects and a ton of paperwork that interrupts their flow and ability to stay in creative mode.”

The two composers connected with Freiman, who grasped their vision and helped turn their software into a suite of robust applications with studio-level security. Though Qwire was started by composers, the company’s first software products are designed to help with music clearance (qwireClear) and cue sheet reporting (qwireCue). (The company plans to launch related applications in the not-too-distant future.)

These products have attracted interest from major studios and from PROs, who are all interested in ways to reduce the pain of music clearance and royalty payments. “Along the way, we’ve thought of Qwire as working toward integration, not disruption. We’re adding value, taking what’s there and improving efficiency,” explains Freiman. “You can’t find better ways to pay royalties or streamline music licensing without cleaning it up first. The processes involved have been in place for decades. But we think more efficiency will lead to a great deal of innovation over time -- and we hope Qwire will lead the way.”

“Our overall vision is a big part of what sets us far apart from the tangle of siloed solutions that are just band aid fixes,” says Ehrlich.


The Startup Solving Big Problems In The Music And Media Industry

Did you know that the soundtracks to the shows and films we love hide a secret? Most are born out of stacks of paper overwhelming desks, dotted with Post-Its. They sprang from personal spreadsheets that only one person can find or navigate; from data entered numerous times into multiple spreadsheets, keyed into multiple software applications, and stored in multiple paper files.

The problems begin to surface when involved in negotiations with little to no historical information to reference. In this world, mistakes can cost up to six figures and delays that mean payment headaches for writers, publishers, and music labels.

Qwire creates collaborative, cloud-based software that addresses significant problems with music licensing and royalty reporting common to companies working with music-for-picture, including some of the largest media companies in the world — film/TV studios, trailer houses, video game development companies, advertising agencies, and professional sports networks — as well as rights holders (e.g. music labels and music publishers) and Performance Rights Organizations.

The company has received over $2 million in additional funding from current and new investors. This will expand the New York and Los Angeles-based company’s sales efforts and accelerate development and enhancement of its cue sheet reporting tools.

“This new investment demonstrates investors’ confidence in Qwire and in our software’s ability to transform music post-production and royalty reporting,” said founder and CEO Scott Freiman. “This funding will allow us to take the company to the next level, as we continue to license qwireClear to major film/TV studios, and we bring our next-generation cue sheet management and reporting software – qwireCue – to market.”

I invited Scott Freiman onto my daily tech podcast to learn more about the story behind Qwire.


Executive Turntable: Moves at BMG, Pandora, VidCon & More

BMG announced on Monday (Dec. 10) the hire of Eric Scott as svp, rights administration and royalty services. He will be in charge of BMG U.S.' publishing royalties, master royalties, mechanical licensing and copyright administration. Scott will report to Ben Katovsky, BMG chief operations officer, and Joe Gillen, evp and chief financial officer, North America.

Scott previously worked as the vp, publishing royalties and client services, BMG U.S. where he was in charge of the U.S. publishing royalty department and has been with the company since 2011.

Pandora announced on Tuesday (Dec. 11) the hire of Akim Byrant as top 40 coordinator for the company's curation team. He will work closely with Tiana Lewis, head of pop programing, and Alex White, curation programing chief.

Bryant previously worked in programming at BET Soul.

AWAL announced Tuesday (Dec. 11) the opening of a new office in Toronto, Canada, set to open in early 2019 with the aim of growing the company's North American presence and providing greater resources for artists in Canada.

"In the last year, we’ve made a series of moves to strengthen our global artist services to help them thrive across the globe," said AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick in a statement. "As a result, the AWAL business has more than doubled. AWAL’s expansion to Canada’s number one music market reasserts our commitment to support artist and label clients globally."

The company also announced open roles in marketing, client relations, A&R and more to be based in the office, all of which are available for review via the Kobalt website.

"The Canadian market is incredibly robust and diverse," added AWAL President, North America Ron Cerrito. Toronto is home to some of today’s biggest acts and we’re lucky to work with some independent trailblazers who have gotten their start in the city, ranging from deadmau5 to Mormor.

VidCon announced on Monday (Dec. 10) the hire of Sarah Tortoreti as vp, marketing. She will oversee of managing and developing the company's brand and global marketing strategies. In the newly created role Tortoreti will report to Jim Louderback, VidCon's general manager.

"As a seasoned marketing and live events leader, Sarah brings a wealth of experience to VidCon as we expand the brand’s offerings around the world," said Louderback in a statement. "Her background shaping real-world experiences for the digital-first generation will be an essential part of accelerating our growth as we gear up to celebrate our 10th Anniversary in 2019."

The company also hired Natalie Schaefer as the director of creator partnerships, Julia Maes as the executive producer of VidCon US, Wendi Ekblade as the director of security and Celine Sargent as the executive producer of VidCon London and Australia.

Qwire announced on Tuesday (Dec. 11) the appointment of Joy Marcus, venture partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, and Howard Appelbaum, president of Nielsen Entertainment, to the board of directors.

"Qwire is set to be an industry leader in transforming music-for-media to the benefit of all parties -- production studios, writers/composers, music publishers, and Performance Rights Organizations," said Marcus in a statement. "I am very excited to be part of this adventure as a member of Qwire’s Board."

"It is exciting to join the board of Qwire," added Appelbaum. "The team is top-notch and they are creating solutions to real problems for music licensing and royalty reporting that streamline processes resulting in important efficiencies and faster, more accurate accounting."

The company is currently working on qwireCue, which will automate the cue sheet and reporting process.

Partisan Records announced on Wednesday (Dec. 12) the hire of Sara Dempsey as the director of sales. She will report to Andy Hsueh, label manager, and Zena White, global managing director.

"Sara’s unique talent and experience is perfect for our growing label in the evolving landscape," said White in a statement. "She is a star in her field and is set to drive forward our sales across all formats. We’re very lucky to have her."

Dempsey will be responsible for the company's sales and streaming strategy. She has 14 years of sales experience and previously worked as the associate vp, sales and marketing at ABKCO.

"I am ecstatic to join the Partisan team," added Dempsey. "I've long admired Partisan, not only for their amazing roster and brilliant A&R, but for the passion and innovation they bring to their campaigns. They're great people doing great work."

Music manager Kristen Ashley announced the launch of 11/10 Management on Wednesday (Dec. 12). She added JT Pratt to the teamed and signed longtime client Mitchell Tenpenny.

"It’s a dream to work with a team like this," said Tenpenny in a statement. "I’m just excited about the future as the sky is the limit with this group."

The company also partnered with 377 Management/Red Light.


The Latest Music Industry Jobs: Fearless Records, Spotify Loses Another Exec, Capitol Records, More…

Fearless Records confirms two major appointments.

Jenny Reader will serve as President and Chief Creative Officer at Fearless Records. The sixteen-year veteran previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.

In addition, Andy Serrao will serve as President and Chief Talent Officer. The fifteen-year music veteran joined the company in January as Vice President of A&R.

Both will oversee all label operations as Co-Presidents.

Founder Bob Becker, who made the appointments, will move on to the role of Chairman Emeritus.

The label will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year.

Sonos confirms a new hire.

Eddie Lazarus will serve as Chief Legal Officer at Sonos. He most recently served as General Counsel and Chief Strategy Officer for Tribune Media Company from 2013 to 2018. In his new role, Lazarus will oversee all legal, corporate governance, SEC reporting, government affairs, regulatory, and compliance activities across global operations. Based at the company’s HQ in Santa Barbara, he’ll report to CEO Patrick Spence.

Another Spotify executive jumps ship, this time to CMG.

In a newly created position, Amber Grimes will serve as Senior Vice President of Global Creative at Capitol Music Group (CMG). She previously served as Senior Manager of Urban Independent at Spotify. In her new role, Grimes will lead the company’s Innovation Team and Ten3 content creation department. She’ll also formulate and execute CMG’s global streaming strategy. Based in Hollywood, Grimes will report to Chairman and CEO Steve Barnett.

Pandora announces a new hire.

Akim Bryant will serve as Top 40 Coordinator of Curation Programming at Pandora per MBW. He previously served as Programmer at BET Soul. In his new role, Bryant will work closely with Tiana Lewis, Head of Pop Programming. Based in New York, he’ll also work with the curation team on Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop programming under Alex White, Head of Curation Programming.

MORE NEWS: The Latest Music Industry Jobs: RCA Records, MSG, AEG, Nielsen, Warner Bros. Records, More...

Paradigm’s CODA opens a new division and makes a new hire.

Debbie Ward will serve as Head of Brand Partnerships, Sync, and Corporate at CODA. The move follows the launch of CODA Independent Sports. The company has partnered with Crockford Management and Independent Talent Group (ITG) to launch the sports agency. In her new role, Ward will collaborate with brands and talent to create content-rich, engaging, and groundbreaking solutions.

Partisan Records confirms a new hire.

In a newly created position, Sara Dempsey will serve as Director of Sales at Partison Records. The fourteen-year sales veteran previously served at ABKCO as Associate Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Dempsey has also served at Interscope, ADA, and The Orchard. In her new role, she’ll oversee the company’s sales and streaming strategy. Dempsey will report to Label Manager Andy Hsueh, and Global Managing Director Zena White.

Columbia names two co-heads.

Shawn Holiday and Phylicia Fant will serve as Co-heads of Urban Music at Columbia Records.

Holiday previously served as Senior Vice President of Urban A&R. He has played a key role in securing the company’s partnership with Empire, a hit Fox TV show. Holiday also brought T.I. to Columbia in 2014.

Fant joins from Warner Bros. Records, where she previously served as Senior Vice President of Publicity and Special Projects. She has worked on campaigns for Prince, Lil Pump, Meek Mill, and Drake, among others.

Qwire expands its board.

Qwire, a music-for-media tech company, has added two new members to its Board of Directors – Joy Marcus and Howard Applebaum.

Joy Marcus, a Venture Partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), has served at MTV, Time Warner, Daily Motion, and Condé Nast.

MORE NEWS: The Latest Music Industry Jobs: RCA Records, MSG, AEG, Nielsen, Warner Bros. Records, More...

Howard Applebaum serves as President of Nielsen Entertainment. He has previously served at Nielsen Business Media and Prometheus Global Media.

RAB unveils new board.

The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has unveiled its 2019 Board of Directors.

Susan Larkin, Entercom Regional Vice President, will serve as Chair.

Mike Hulvey, Neuhoff Communications Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will serve as Vice Chair.

Bill Hendrich, Cox Media Group Executive Vice President, will serve as Finance Chair.

Jeff Warshaw, Connoisseur Media CEO, will serve as Board Secretary.

Ginny Morris, Hubbard Radio Chair and CEO, will serve as Immediate Post Chair.

In addition, Duane Davis, All Pro Broadcasting Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been added to the board.

Big Loud ups three executives.

Tori Johnson has signed a multi-year agreement and will serve as Director of Creative and Digital at Big Loud.

Morgan Sweat has also signed a multi-year agreement and will serve as Senior Manager of Creative Media.

In addition, Nick Swift has signed a multi-year agreement and will serve as Creative Media Producer.

Jerry Duncan promotes a top executive.

Laura Prestage will now serve as Coordinator of Promotions at Jerry Duncan Promotions per All Access. She takes over for Lisa Smoot, who recently received a promotion from Director of Promotions to Vice President.

MSG confirms a promotion.

Geraldine Calpin will serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Madison Square Garden Company (MSG). She previously served at WeWork and Hilton Worldwide. In her new roles, she’ll set an overall marketing and digital vision to drive growth across the company’s portfolio.

Bandit Lites ups a team member.

Chas Albea will now serve as Equipment Coordinator at Bandit Lites in Nashville. He’ll plan, direct, and coordinate gear for preparation and distribution among productions. Albea first joined the company ten years ago.

MORE NEWS: The Latest Music Industry Jobs: RCA Records, MSG, AEG, Nielsen, Warner Bros. Records, More...

AEG poaches a former Live Nation executive.

Amir Mertaban has joined AEG Presents / L.A. Live as General Manager of the Microsoft Theater per Pollstar. He recently served at Live Nation as General Manager of the Fox Performing Arts Center and Riverside Municipal Auditorium.

Endeavor names a top executive.

Mark Shapiro will serve as President of Endeavor, the parent company of WME and IMG. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Live Nation. Shapiro first joined IMG as Chief Content Officer in 2014.

MPA Group names a new top boss.

Paul Clements will succeed Jane Dyball as CEO of the MPA Group, a UK music publishers trade association. He currently serves as Executive Director at PRS for Music. Clements will join the MPA Group in February.

WME has a new leader.

Ari Greenberg will serve as President of WME. He’ll oversee all operations across the company, including its offices in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, London, and Sydney. Greenberg first joined Endeavor in 1995. He oversaw the talent agency’s merger with the William Morris Agency in 2009 to form WME.

WIN loses its top executive.

Alison Wenham, CEO of the Worldwide Independent Music Industry Network (WIN), will step down after two years. She joined WIN in 2006 after stepping down as CEO of Association of Independent Music (AIM).

In a statement, she said,

“I am immensely proud of all we have achieved in that time and independent music will remain a passion of mine. I have decided, however, that the time is now right, with the organization in good health, to step down from my position at WIN.”


Qwire Expands Board of Directors, Adds Two Prominent Media Leaders

Qwire, the SaaS company aiming to transform music for picture, has added two highly experienced media executives and thinkers to its Board of Directors, Joy Marcus and Howard Appelbaum.

Joy Marcus is a Venture Partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) where she focuses on digital media and commerce. She has served as a VP of International Business Development at MTV, SVP at Time Warner, GM for North America at Daily Motion, and EVP, GM of Digital Video at Condé Nast. Joy teaches entrepreneurship at Princeton University, beginning in 2014 as a James Wei Visiting Professor. In 2014, Joy received a Women of Power and Influence Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW).

"Qwire is set to be an industry leader in transforming music-for-media to the benefit of all parties — production studios, writers/composers, music publishers, and Performance Rights Organizations," says Marcus. "I am very excited to be part of this adventure as a member of Qwire's Board."

Since 2011, Howard Appelbaum has been President of Nielsen Entertainment, where he led Nielsen's portfolio of entertainment information, data, and insight products serving the Music, Games, Book, Home Entertainment and Sports industries. Prior to his current role, Howard worked at Billboard first as Vice President of Marketing and ultimately serving as President. Before that, Howard held roles as VP of Licensing, VP of Events and COO of Nielsen Business Media as well as President of Brand and Business Development for Prometheus Global Media where he supported Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek and a portfolio of trade shows.

"It is exciting to join the board of Qwire," agrees Appelbaum. "The team is top-notch and they are creating solutions to real problems for music licensing and royalty reporting that streamline processes resulting in important efficiencies and faster, more accurate accounting."

Founded by film and TV composers, Qwire's software products increase productivity for music for picture teams, freeing them to do more of the creative work they love. "We are extremely excited to add Joy and Howard to our Qwire Board," says CEO Scott Freiman. "Both Joy and Howard add many years of experience in business, strategy, music, and media that will be a great help to us as Qwire builds its business."

After a funding round earlier this year, Qwire is currently building its next product, qwireCue, to automate the cue sheet and reporting process. This new product will complement Qwire's first product, qwireClear, Qwire's advanced management tool for music clearance and licensing.


Qwire expands board of directors, adds two prominent media leaders

Qwire, the SaaS company aiming to transform music for picture, has added two highly experienced media executives and thinkers to its board of directors, Joy Marcus and Howard Appelbaum.

Joy Marcus is a Venture Partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) where she focuses on digital media and commerce. She has served as a VP of International Business Development at MTV, SVP at Time Warner, GM for North America at Daily Motion, and EVP, GM of Digital Video at Condé Nast. Joy teaches entrepreneurship at Princeton University, beginning in 2014 as a James Wei Visiting Professor. In 2014, Joy received a Women of Power and Influence Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW).

“Qwire is set to be an industry leader in transforming music-for-media to the benefit of all parties — production studios, writers/composers, music publishers, and Performance Rights Organizations,” says Marcus. “I am very excited to be part of this adventure as a member of Qwire’s Board."

Since 2011, Howard Appelbaum has been President of Nielsen Entertainment, where he led Nielsen’s portfolio of entertainment information, data, and insight products serving the Music, Games, Book, Home Entertainment and Sports industries. Prior to his current role, Howard worked at Billboard first as Vice President of Marketing and ultimately serving as President. Before that, Howard held roles as VP of Licensing, VP of Events and COO of Nielsen Business Media as well as President of Brand and Business Development for Prometheus Global Media where he supported Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek and a portfolio of trade shows.

"It is exciting to join the board of Qwire,” agrees Appelbaum. “The team is top-notch and they are creating solutions to real problems for music licensing and royalty reporting that streamline processes resulting in

important efficiencies and faster, more accurate accounting," he adds.

Founded by film and TV composers, Qwire’s software products increase productivity for music for picture teams, freeing them to do more of the creative work they love. “We are extremely excited to add Joy and Howard to our Qwire Board,” says CEO Scott Freiman. “Both Joy and Howard add many years of experience in business, strategy, music, and media that will be a great help to us as Qwire builds its business.”

After a funding round earlier this year, Qwire is currently building its next product, qwireCue, to automate the cue sheet and reporting process. This new product will complement Qwire’s first product, qwireClear, Qwire’s advanced management tool for music clearance and licensing.


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