Universal Music Signs Robbie Williams; Sony Music Partners with The Onion for Satirical Podcasts; China to Surpass US Box Office by 2020; Disney+ to Run Starz Ads for Film Streaming Rights; Flipkart Launches Streaming Stick to Compete with Amazon; Katy Perry’s New Song Benefits Harley-Davidson; United Airlines to Fly Star Wars Themed Aircraft; United Airlines and Brand USA Sign Global Sponsorship Agreement; Fukrey Boyzzz Appoint BWO as Licensing and Merchandising Partner; CCI Urges eCommerce Platforms to be Transparent; and more.
Universal Music Signs Robbie Williams
Universal Music Publishing Group (UPMG) has signed a global administration deal with Robbie Williams’ publishing company, Farrell Music. The deal will cover the British pop star’s existing as well as future songs. UPMG was the first company to sign Williams at the start of his music career in the 1990s. Williams is a massive music sensation, having won 18 Brits Awards, 5 Ivor Novello Awards and a pair of MTV Video Music Awards, and also having been inducted to the esteemed UK Music Hall of Fame.
Sony Music Partners with The Onion for Satirical Podcasts
Sony Music has announced its partnership with The Onion, a satirical website founded in 1988, to create a new daily satirical podcast, The Topical, which will be launched next year in January. Sony Music will provide marketing and content creation expertise, while The Onion will be responsible for the creative aspect of the podcast.
Sony Music has also announced a new joint venture called Broccoli Content to develop podcasts. Earlier this year the label teamed up with Adam Davison and Laura Mayer to form Three Uncanny Four Productions, that created the investigative podcast, BROKEN: Jeffery Epstein.
Sony Music, with these joint ventures and partnerships, is catching up with major podcast players like Spotify, Apple and SiriusXM.
China to Surpass US Box Office by 2020
Online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have slowed down ticket sales in Hollywood but the good news is that China’s appetite for movies is growing and helping to make up the difference. In the first quarter of 2018, China for the first time surpassed the box office revenue of US. It is predicted by experts that by 2020 China will be the world’s largest cinema market, its box office revenue jumping from USD 9.9 billion in 2018 to USD 15.5 billion by 2023.
These statistics are molding US film trends with more than a third of China’s highest grossing films in the past two years being made in the US. China is struggling to compete with Hollywood movies with their homegrown films both for financial reasons and as a matter of national pride.
Disney+ to Run Starz Ads for Films Streaming Rights
Disney has, as a part of a revised licensing deal with Starz, agreed to run ads of the premium TV channel, in exchange for the streaming rights to some of its films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. These Disney films had been previously been licensed out to Starz, but Disney is now looking to make them available for the launch of its Disney+ streaming service. The ad will appear once on the Disney+ Android app and in the browser after a customer has finished signing up for Disney+ and ESPN+.
Many of the streaming service problems faced by Disney are its own doing. After having spent years making lucrative licensing deals with other streaming platforms like Netflix and Starz, Disney now needs to regain the streaming rights for its own streaming venture.
Flipkart Launches Streaming Stick to Compete with Amazon
Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has launched a streaming stick, MarQ TurboStream, under its private brand MarQ by Flipkart. This streaming stick is targeted at value shoppers who buy affordable non-smart TVs and turn them into smart TVs using streaming sticks. The MarQ TurboStream, though late to the game, is expected to rival Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and Airtel’s Xstream Stick.
Katy Perry’s New Song Benefits Harley-Davidson
‘Harleys in Hawaii’, Katy Perry’s new song inspired by her trip to Hawaii, has been streamed 20 million times on Spotify within two weeks of its release. The music video features the pop star as both a rider and a passenger on Harley bikes, which were provided by the bike company for use in her video. Harley Davidson has discovered a fresh market for its famed bikes following their use in the video, with a fair share of the younger population showing an interest. It anticipates that the song itself, along with the video and Perry’s social media following, will become a useful campaign for the brand.
United Airlines to Fly Star Wars Themed Aircraft
American carrier United Airlines has joined forces with the iconic film franchise, Star Wars, to unveil a Star Wars themed aircraft for the December release of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’.
The aircraft will be a Boeing 737-800 that will feature a re-designed onboard experience and external paint design. The airlines will also offer Star Wars themed amenity kits and launch its latest safety demonstration video featuring characters from the new film, and distribute commemorative pins throughout December in celebration of the movie’s premiere.
United Airlines and Brand USA Sign Global Sponsorship Agreement
United Airlines and Brand USA have signed a multi-year agreement that makes United Airlines an official Global Airline Sponsor of Brand USA, as well as the exclusive airline sponsor of Brand USA’s next IMAX film, ‘Into America’s Wild’, that will premier in February 2020.
It is said that Brand USA’s sponsorship with United Airlines grew out of mutual passion for international travel and sharing America’s treasures.
Fukrey Boyzzz Appoint BWO as Licensing and Merchandising Partner
Fukrey Boyzzz, a children’s TV show on Discovery Kids, has appointed Black White Orange (BWO) as a licensing partner to harness the full IP potential of the newly launched show beyond TV. BWO is targeting interested partners in back-to-school apparel, toys, and novelty products.
CCI Urges eCommerce Platforms to be Transparent
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) will soon put out an advisory focusing majorly on transparency for ecommerce platforms, including online retailers and restaurant aggregators. The CCI is considering, in consultation with consumer and industry groups, whether ecommerce platforms have become large enough to be restrained from using deep discounting practices.
CCI is conducting a market study of the ecommerce sector and taking into account the experiences of mature jurisdictions while creating antitrust commitment and settlement mechanisms.
Authored and compiled by Snehaja Rana and Ashwini Arun (Associates, BananaIP Counsels)
The Licensing and E-Commerce News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the E-Commerce Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected] with the subject: Licensing News.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected] for corrections and take down.