Music

The Deals: Grimes’ Elf.Tech Inks Blockchain Clothing Collab; DistroKid Expands TikTok Pact

MNTGE, a vintage clothing brand that integrates blockchain technology into its garments, partnered with GrimesElf. Tech initiative for a limited-edition merch collaboration. The deal will encompass vintage, one-of-one NFC chip-enabled vintage t-shirts and denim jackets, screen-printed with AI graphics designed by Grimes on the back and an Elf. Tech graphic screen-printed on the sleeve. The NFC chips will provide both a digital rendering of the garment and a certificate of authenticity, as well as the ability to preview new music from Grimes by scanning the chips on a smartphone. The Grimes + MNTGE jacket retails for $200 and the t-shirt retails for $50 here.

In other Grimes-related news, CreateSafe — the company whose Triniti API powers Grimes’ Elf.Tech platform — partnered with music technology platform Slip.stream to make more than 200 GrimesAI songs available to creators and fans in their video content and live-streams on any platform. Grimes unveiled the Elf.Tech platform in beta this past May, allowing fans to create and upload songs by cloning the singer’s voice.

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DistroKid struck an expanded agreement with TikTok that will make music from artists distributed by DistroKid available across CapCut and TikTok’s Commercial Music Library as well as its recently unveiled social music streaming service TikTok Music, which is now available in Brazil and Indonesia and in beta in Mexico, Australia and Singapore. This is the first time music from DistroKid artists will be available on TikTok Music.

Additionally, DistroKid partnered with digital audio workstation FL Studio to distribute works uploaded to FL Cloud — described as a new service within the FL Studio 21.2 update that will offer producers a growing library of royalty-free loops and one-shots, unlimited AI-powered mastering and unlimited music distribution to all major digital streaming platforms.

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Esports company GameSquare Holdings entered into a “definitive agreement” with FaZe Holdings to acquire online gaming and youth culture brand FaZe Clan “in an arm’s length all-stock transaction,” according to a press release. The release states that FaZe Clan and GameSquare generated annual revenue of roughly $138 million and reached a 26.3% gross margin last year. “Management expects to realize over $18 million in run-rate cost savings from the FaZe Clan acquisition, supported by reduced duplicate corporate costs and other cost savings,” the release continues. The combined company plans to give guidance following the close of the transaction, after which Richard “FaZe Banks” Bengtson will take over as FaZe Clan CEO; Thomas “FaZe Temperrr” Oliveira will take over as president; and Yousef “FaZe Apex” Abdelfattah will take over as COO. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject in part to the approval of FaZe Clan and GameSquare shareholders.

The Circuit Group, a recently formed entity designed to create business opportunities around artists’ intellectual property, signed a strategic partnership with U.K.-based house music label Defected Records. Under the deal, The Circuit Group will offer Defected, along with its sister- and sub-labels, expertise across its suite of services to help the label build its presence in North America. In turn, Defected will support The Circuit Group as it expands its presence in the United Kingdom, Europe and other territories globally.

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Defected Records also signed an agreement with Reactional Music, the maker of an interactive music engine for video games. Under that deal, Defected licensed the masters for a selection of tracks from its catalog for use on Reactional’s music delivery platform and personalization engine for game developers. Songs to be made available under the deal include cuts from Bob Sinclar, Dennis Ferrer, Kings of Tomorrow, MK and The Shapeshifters, CamelPhat, Honey Dijon and John Summit.

Michael Bublé launched Fraser & Thompson, a new whiskey brand in partnership with longtime friend and master distiller and blender Paul Cirka. The whiskey is blended and bottled by Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Ky. and will be brought to market by spirits incubator WES Brands.

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Warner Music’s ADA renewed its longstanding partnership with independent label LAB Records, which has released music by artists including Tommy Lefroy, BEKA, Beach Weather, Antony Szmierek, Des Rocs, Aziya, Crawlers, The K’s, Nell Mescal and Yoke Lore.

Sphere Entertainment partnered with Madison Square Garden Sports on a deal that will see next-generation Las Vegas venue Sphere become the official jersey patch partner of the New York Knicks. The Sphere logo will now appear on all Knicks game jerseys during both home and away games in the 2023-24 season; it will also be on Knicks practice jerseys, warm-up shirts and jerseys sold at Madison Square Garden’s in-arena retail locations as well as on shop.MSG.com.

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Copyright management firm Pex and its rights initiative, RME, entered a collaboration with copyright protection platform Cosynd. Under the partnership, RME’s community of creators and rightsholders can utilize Cosynd’s copyright registration API to register their works with the U.S. Copyright Office.

ASM Global struck a partnership with Adventist Health that will see the California City of Stockton’s 10,000-seat facility renamed Adventist Health Arena. Upgrades to the arena will include a new 360-degree LED center-hung, ribbon boards, back-of-house enhancements and more.

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Elsewhere, ASM Global signed a deal with the City of Andover, Kans., to manage and operate the Capitol Federal Amphitheater for five years beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. It also renewed its management agreement with the Jekyll Island Convention Center in Jekyll Island, Ga. through 2029, with an option for an additional five-year renewal after that.

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