Jul 9, 2024 4 min read

⏩ One Liners: IMRO, Believe, Primary Wave, BMI, Warner Music + more

IMRO ICE deal; Believe’s Global Records stake; Primary Wave acquires Keith Forsey rights; FKP Scorpio and BMI appointments; Warner Music Balkans launch; BPI Grow Music programme; FORWARDS partners with Channel 4; Festivals For Ukraine toolkit; New music from Felix Jaehn, Confidence Man, Jon Hopkins

⏩ One Liners: IMRO, Believe, Primary Wave, BMI, Warner Music + more


Irish song rights collecting society IMRO has extended its agreement with digital licensing hub ICE for a new multi-year period. The two organisations say that the new deal aims to facilitate faster royalty payments and enhance usage transparency for IMRO’s members. The society is currently transitioning to monthly online distributions. Victor Finn, IMRO’s CEO, states, “International collaboration is key to maximising revenues for rightsholders whilst minimising costs without duplicating resources in individual markets. This extension is a testament to the strong relationship we have built over the years and our joint commitment to ensuring the highest compensation for our members for the online use of their music”.
Believe has acquired a 25% stake in independent dance label Global Records, expanding an existing partnership that began in 2016. Global Records, with offices in Romania, Germany and the US, reported over 6 billion streams across all platforms in 2023 and over 20 billion streams for its global catalogue to date. Denis Ladegaillerie, CEO of Believe, says, “I am convinced that together we will build a global leader in dance music, one of the few truly digital and international music genres today”. 
Primary Wave Music has announced a deal with Keith Forsey, acquiring his writer and producer share income streams on works like ‘What A Feeling’, ‘Don't You (Forget About Me)’, ‘Hot Stuff’, ‘White Wedding’ and ‘Rebel Yell’. The deal also covers songs Forsey wrote for films such as ‘Flashdance’, ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Ghostbusters’. Forsey says, “It gives me a good feeling to work with a company like Primary Wave, where I know they will respect and take care of the music that I had the good fortune to be able to create with many talented people throughout my career”.


Live music company FKP Scorpio has appointed Freddie de Wall as its third CEO, joining founder Folkert Koopmans and Stephan Thanscheidt in the role. De Wall, previously COO, will focus on driving the company’s international business. On his appointment, de Wall says, “I am delighted to be able to open another chapter in my role at FKP Scorpio with this new responsibility”. Koopmans adds that de Wall’s “international management experience and excellent network will undoubtedly benefit him as CEO in order to continue to grow our future business”. 
US collecting society BMI has appointed Tom Kershaw as Chief Technology Officer and Justin Rohde as Chief Transformation Officer. Kershaw will lead the organisation’s technological advancements. Rohde, in a newly created role, will focus on improving processes and finding new revenue sources. CEO Mike O'Neill states that these appointments will help BMI grow distributions, advance technology and enhance service to members. Both executives will report directly to O'Neill as part of BMI's strategic growth plan.


Warner Music South East Europe has launched Warner Music Balkans, a joint venture between the major and three labels it previously invested in, Dancing Bear in Croatia, Mascom in Serbia and NIKA in Slovenia. The new venture will focus on signing and developing artists from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and other West Balkan countries, connecting them to Warner's global network. Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska, General Manager of WM SEE, will oversee the label. She says, “Bringing our JVs and investments under one label will benefit everyone involved and enable our artists to get the very best from Warner Music's global network”. 
UK record industry trade group the BPI has launched Grow Music, described as “a scale-up and growth programme for new technologies, innovations and ideas to support the music industry”. It is being delivered in partnership with London & Partners. BPI's Chief Strategy Officer Sophie Jones says, "BPI's vision is for the UK music industry to be a central hub for testing ideas, meeting industry partners and securing investment, and the launch of Grow Music brings us closer to that goal”. The programme includes a twelve week business support course for 25 London-based SMEs and a five-week Angel Investing School. Applications open in July 2024, with the programme launching at Abbey Road Studios in September.


The University Of Westminster's Black Music Research Unit, hosts its inaugural symposium, ‘Black British Music: Past, Present and Futures’, at the British Library this week, on 12 Jul. PRS Members’ Council President Michelle Escoffery will deliver the keynote address, appearing alongside a number of academics, DJs, musicians and writers who will be discussing various aspects of black British music. Dr Mykaell Riley, BMRU director, says the symposium “will distinctively highlight early-career female researchers with a focus on black British music”. The event accompanies the ‘Beyond The Bassline’ exhibition, which documents 500 years of black British music history. Tickets include access to the symposium, the exhibition and an evening Carnival Warm Up party. 


Bristol’s FORWARDS Festival has partnered with Channel 4 for its talks programme, which is called THE INFORMATION and will feature speakers like Brian Eno, Mikaela Loach and Bashy. The programme will address topics including gender roles, race and the climate crisis, and youth exploitation. FORWARDS aims to "harness the legacy and power of live events for positive change", and its music lineup for this year includes Loyle Carner and LCD Soundsystem. It takes place on 31 Aug and 1 Sep.
YOUROPE and Music Saves Ukraine have released Festivals For Ukraine, a free toolkit for festival organisers providing advice on raising funds and awareness for charitable causes. Developed through YOUROPE's Future-Fit Festivals project, it offers step-by-step guides and case studies on implementing fundraising activities at events. The toolkit is based on experiences supporting Ukraine but adaptable for other causes too, and is available online and as a PDF for any cultural event to use.


Felix Jaehn has collaborated with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on new single ‘Ready For Your Love’.
Confidence Man have collaborated with IN2STELLAR on new single ‘BREAK IT DOWN (ON THE BASSLINE)’. It comes from their upcoming Fabric mix series ‘fabric Presents Confidence Man’ out 23 Aug.
Jon Hopkins has released his new single ‘RITUAL (palace)’. His new album ‘RITUAL’ is out 30 Aug.
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