Music Industry Moves: Songtradr Acquires Bandcamp From Epic Games

Bandcamp is joining Songtradr, a music licensing marketplace, ending the short-lived ownership of Bandcamp by Epic Games.

Songtradr will offer Bandcamp artists the ability to have their music licensed to all forms of media including content creators, game and app developers and brands. “This will enable artists to continue to own and control their music rights, and increase their earning capacity from Songtradr’s global licensing network,” a press release on the move reads.

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The news comes as Epic Games has announced layoffs impacting 16% of its staff, as was announced by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. Notably, the Fornite maker is “exploring ways to partner” with Songtradr so Bandcamp artists can continue providing their songs in Epic’s gaming and metaverse ecosystem. Epic will continue to collaborate with Bandcamp on projects like Fortnite Radio and “is investing in Songtradr to support Bandcamp’s successful integration into Songtradr,” per the release.

“The acquisition of Bandcamp will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists. I’m a passionate musician myself, and artistry and creativity have always been at the heart of Songtradr,” said Paul Wiltshire, CEO of Songtradr. “Bandcamp will join a team of music industry veterans and artists who have deep expertise in music licensing, composition, rights management, and distribution.”

Songtradr shares Epic and Bandcamp’s values around ensuring artists are fairly compensated for their work,” said Steve Allison, VP and general manager, store at Epic Games. “Bringing Bandcamp to Songtradr will make it easier for independent artists to connect with creators and developers looking to license their music and enable Epic to focus on its core metaverse, games, and tools efforts.”

+ Joie Manda’s Platinum Grammar Publishing has patterned with Photo Finish Publishing, the newly launched publishing division of Photo Finish record label. Under the partnership, Manda and Photo Finish will work to identify and sign new talent in the songwriter and producer spaces.

Matt Galle, founder of Photo Finish, said: “I’ve known Joie Manda for over 15 years. Joie has always been a genuine and steadfast colleague, and I respect him in a huge way. With Photo Finish operating as an independent label for the past 8 years and Joie starting up his new company independently, it made perfect sense to align. We both bring totally different approaches to the table, with various knowledge from different genres across the board. This is a team effort between the whole staff at Photo Finish and Platinum Grammar Publishing. We have already hit the ground running with our first signing Ghostrage, a Billboard number one and platinum record producer, who has recently produced for Lil Durk, Future, Lil Baby, King Von, Lil Yachty, Machine Gun Kelly and more.”

Manda adds, “Galle has an incredible ear for identifying emerging talent, signing and developing artists as proven by his track record since the launch of Photo Finish in 2006. I look forward to ushering in this new phase with him, now signing and developing songwriters and producers under the Photo Finish Publishing and Platinum Grammar Publishing partnership.”

+ Sony Music Publishing UK has partnered with Chumba Music to sign songwriter and producer Pablo Bowman Navarro to a global publishing deal.

Navarro worked on the No. 1 hit “Miracle” by Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding, which spent eight weeks atop the UK Singles chart and helped the hitmaker achieve ASCAP’s “Songwriter of the Year” honor at its 2023 London Awards. His catalog also includes “The Motto” by Ava Max and Tiësto, “Leave Before You Love Me” by Marshmello ft. Jonas Brothers, “Numb” by Marshmello and Khalid, “Sacrifice” by Bebe Rexha, as well as “House on Fire” by Mimi Webb.

In addition to his work in the UK, Pablo, who is fluent in Spanish, has spent the past year working on new projects across Latin music with J Balvin and Tainy, as well as collaborating on projects in the U.S. and globally with Kid Cudi, Pnau and Empire of The Sun, among others.

“Pablo’s extraordinary talent and versatility is shown through the many global hits he has already achieved – I have been in awe of Pablo’s work for some time. As we embark on this new chapter, in collaboration with our trusted friends at Chumba, we look forward to propelling Pablo towards even greater success around the world,” said Saul Fitton, senior director of A&R for Sony Music Publishing UK.

Pictured above (L-R): Jason Evigan, Pablo Bowman Navarro, Aaron Sander.

+ The Beatport Group has promoted Charles Morgan to the position of chief marketing officer at the company.

In this new role, Morgan will oversee marketing strategy and execution across Beatport companies, including Beatport, Beatsource, Loopcloud and Plugin Boutique, among others. Morgan joined Beatport in early 2022 as senior VP of strategy. He will be based in Beatport’s London offices.

“Since his arrival at Beatport, Charles has been instrumental in the transformation of our brand and creative teams, playing a pivotal role in repositioning the company’s leading products,” said Robb McDaniels, CEO of the Beatport Group. “His work has been integral to the growth we’ve seen across our various products for DJs, Producers and labels. We’ve also seen increased growth in our overall global audience, a trend that we expect to accelerate with the world-class team Charles is building around him.”

Tuesday, Sept. 26

+ Live Nation has launched a new program called “On the Road Again” to financially support developing artists and their teams facing growing costs of touring expenses. In making the announcement, the concert promoter has partnered with Willie Nelson, who lent his 1980 country single as the anthem for the initiative.

Live Nation-owned and operated clubs are expected to deliver tens of millions of dollars in extra earnings to club artists and crew by providing $1,500 in gas and travel cash per show to all headliners and support acts, on top of nightly performance compensation. Additionally, these clubs will charge no merchandise selling fees, so artists keep 100% of merch profits.

They are additionally set to provide financial bonuses to local promoters and tour representatives who help execute shows, as well as venue crew members who have worked over 500 hours in 2023. Resources are being provided directly from the venue’s existing earnings. To view the complete list of participating venues, see here.

“Delivering for live artists is always our core mission,” said Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. “The live music industry is continuing to grow and as it does, we want to do everything we can to support artists at all levels on their touring journey, especially the developing artists in clubs. As Willie says, this is all about making it a little easier for thousands of artists to continue doing what they love: going out and playing for their fans.”

“On the Road Again” is also donating $5 million to Crew Nation to support crew across the industry facing unforeseen hardship.

“Touring is important to artists so whatever we can do to help other artists, I think we should do it. This program will impact thousands of artists this year and help make touring a little bit easier,” added Nelson.

+ Brandon Silverstein Publishing and Avex USA have signed a worldwide co-publishing deal with music producer GENT!

The Atlanta-based producer has worked with Lil Yachty, Drake and 21 Savage, and also has credits on Doja Cat’s latest “Scarlet” album (“Agora Hills” and “Shutcho”). Brandon Silverstein Publishing and Avex USA’s joint publishing venture is home to acts such as Jasper Harris, the Grammy award-winning producer behind Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” and HARV, Justin Bieber’s close collaborator and the Grammy-nominated producer behind “Peaches.”

+ The Juilliard School is launching Juilliard Live, a new digital streaming platform that will bring Juilliard’s musicians, dancers, and actors to screens worldwide.

Juilliard launched its first live-streaming video and media platform in 2020-21 to provide students in pandemic isolation with opportunities to perform for audiences. Juilliard Live will build on that impact with a curated and expanding selection of programming from the school’s music, dance, drama, and preparatory divisions.

The platform is now available for free on web browsers, phone and TV apps. All of the daily live streams will also remain available through the performance calendar on their website, where users will be redirected to Juilliard Live for select performances.

+ Warner Chappell Music (WCM) put a cap on its annual Las Vegas Songwriting Camp on Tuesday after gathering artists and songwriters from around the world to collaborate and create new music.

In partnership with YouTube Music, Warner Records, Atlantic Records, and RCA Records, along with other label sponsors, WCM welcomed talent including Chlöe; Danna Paola, Bebe Rexha, Yng Lvcas, P2J, the Proof, Lydia Night and hitmakers like Murda Beatz, Tay Keith, Amy Allen, Ian Kirkpatrick and Nova Wav, among others

“This year’s camp was the first time we brought together creators from all the major music markets – the U.S., Mexico, South Korea, U.K., Spain, and more. We had rap producers working on K-pop briefs and Latin stars pairing up with country acts – we even had writers working with Nickelodeon actor and trending TikTok personality Trey Makai, and it was inspiring to see everyone get out of their comfort zones,” said Ryan Press, president of North America at WCM, in a statement.

Tay Keith added, “This camp always brings the biggest and best names together, and this year was no different. I’ve been really focused on building myself as a producer and an artist and expanding the types of music I’m making, regardless of the genre, and through this camp, I was able to do that. Warner Chappell organized an amazing space to collaborate in unique and fresh ways, and all the sessions gave me freedom to get really creative.”

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