business

Allianz takes up 99.03% stake in Ensure Insurance

By Rosemary Onuoha ALLIANZ Group  has acquired 99.03 percent stake in  Ensure Insurance Plc. The majority equity stake was previously held by Greenoaks Global Holdings Ltd (GGH). File: insurance According to Allianz, the company will operate in Nigeria as ‘Ensure – a company of Allianz’. At a press conference in Lagos, Allianz Group said it views Nigeria as a high-potential market in Africa with a strong regulatory environment and promising demographics. The Regional Chief Executive Officer, Coenraad Vrolijk, said, “We are pleased to enter this fast-growing market through the acquisition of a solid financial player with strong local expertise. This new step of development will allow us to leverage the strength of the Allianz Group and the expertise of the Nigerian team...

Cindy Oliver Q&A: Getting to Know the Woman in Charge of Doling Out the Dough to Universal Music Artists

UMG’s head of royalties knows “artists expect more” in the streaming era. Hear she talks about her team’s efforts to get people paid… faster. As far as artists are ­concerned, Cindy Oliver has one of the most vital jobs in the industry: She pays them. And in a business dominated by ­streaming, that’s far more complex than it used to be. “Years ago, you had relatively brief agreements that told you the royalty rates you needed to pay on physical ­products,” says Oliver, sitting in her office at Universal Music Group’s Woodland Hills facility, in Los Angeles, which holds most of her 300-member team. “But that has become much more complicated.” That’s a typical understatement from Oliver, a 25-year UMG veteran who loves S...

Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, Canada’s Top Venue, Focuses on Fan Experience With Name Change & $800M Deal

Don’t worry Drake’s members-only Sher Club will remain untouched at the venue formerly known as the Air Canada Centre. Toronto’s Air Canada Centre — Canada’s top grossing venue for the past three years — officially underwent its name change to Scotiabank Arena on Canada Day (July 1). Replacing the signage that has graced the Downtown building since 1999 is just part of a $800 million 20-year deal with the Canadian multinational financial institution. The 19,800-person capacity venue has also undergone improvements to enhance the fan experience, including restaurant renovations, gates entrance fixes and more. The first concert under the new banner was K-Pop band GOT7 on July 3 and Shania Twain, the Eagles and Radiohead (Thursday, July 19, and Friday) have...

Cat Stevens Extends Deal With BMG, Including Entire Music Publishing Catalog, Reissues, AV Releases & More

Prolific singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam — better known by stage name Cat Stevens — has extended his deal with BMG, which was originally formed in 2010. Under this new agreement, Stevens is entrusting the media company with over 50 years of his original songs and recordings, as well as other visual, audio and literary content. The news comes just ahead of the iconic musician’s 70th birthday on Saturday.  In addition to administering rights for Yusuf/Steven’s entire music publishing catalog, BMG will also be responsible for releasing celebrated titles from his collection dating back to 1976. Moving forward, BMG will be collaborating with the artist’s own Cat-O-Log Records company to honor his existing body of work while also striving to reach new audiences. “Cat-...

Zac Brown’s Circus Act Tries a Pay-It-Forward Approach to Concert Ticketing

A cryptic 13-second Facebook video from the Zac Brown Band has circulated in recent weeks, with dancers, horns and glitter teasing an “epic,” one-night-only event at Denver’s 1st Bank Center Aug. 7. The show is free — but only a friend can get you in the door. It’s all part of Zac Brown’s latest project with his other band, the EDM pop outfit Sir Rosevelt, and their collaboration with Montreal-based theatrical pioneers, Cirque du Soleil, with fans themselves distributing all the tickets. Brown kicked off the initiative June 21, by distributing free tickets to just a handful of followers, who were then instructed to keep one ticket for themselves and share three additional ticket codes with friends who were important in their lives. Those fans, too, recei...

TuneCore Now Allows Monetization on Facebook & Instagram

Independent digital music distributor TuneCore announced Wednesday (July 18) it will begin allowing users to monetize on Facebook and Instagram. Users can access the free new tool via their TuneCore dashboards, where they can sign up and select eligible tracks that they’ve already distributed through the service. From there, TuneCore will send that music to Facebook, where any earnings will be paid directly to the artists’ TuneCore account. “Over a decade ago, Facebook launched its platform as one that would end up changing not only the world of social media, but the world at large. As it evolved, the newsfeed eventually became a key part of most independent artists’ marketing mix as an almost unavoidable method of engaging with fans,” said Content Manager Kevin Cornell, in the company’s b...

In a Fragile Festival Market, Artist-Run Events Are Gaining Steam

Launching a first-year festival has long been a risky — and often money-losing — business. But in 2018, some startup fests are emerging as exceptions to that rule: events curated by big-name artists. “We announced Posty Fest without a lineup and sold out in two hours,” says Post Malone’s agent, Cheryl Paglierani of United Talent Agency, who helped the 23-year-old star develop the concept for his one-day event on Oct. 28 at Dos Equis Pavilion in his hometown of Dallas, a city that has never had its own major festival. Malone joins a number of artists launching their own music extravaganzas this year, including Florida Georgia Line, whose FGL Fest at the Indianapolis Speedway on Sept. 8 features Cole Swindell and Nelly. J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival in Raleigh, ...

‘Korean Vevo’ Launched By BTS’ Label and Other Major K-Pop Companies

Seven of the biggest South Korean entertainment companies attended a signing ceremony on Thursday (July 19) to establish what is being called the Korean VEVO — a global platform company called Music and Creative Partners Asia Ltd. (MCPA). The companies involved in the new venture are MYSTIC Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, Star Empire, SM Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. According to a press release from SM Entertainment, “MCPA will serve as a representative window for determining and negotiating music video distribution and related policies for YouTube and other global digital service platforms, and will also provide new platform services for distributing music video contents.” MCPA will specifically focus on the distribution and managem...

Spotify Launches New Playlist Consideration Feature for Artists, Labels

Spotify wants to make it easier for artists and labels to put forward new music for playlist consideration. The streaming giant has launched a new feature in beta, which improves the way content owners can reach out to Spotify’s editorial team with their unreleased tunes. With this new rollout, Spotify for Artists account holders or label reps plugged into Spotify Analytics can log in, select an unreleased song for playlist consideration and hit submit. For the industry, the development offers “unprecedented, efficient and easy access to Spotify’s entire global editorial team,” a statement from the streaming giant reads. A Spotify spokesperson says the new product is just the first step in a process to connect music with the right people.  “The number one question we get from labels,...

Comcast Ends Pursuit of Fox, Bidding War With Disney

Cable giant Comcast has decided to end its pursuit of large parts of 21st Century Fox and not top a sweetened $71.3 billion cash and stock bid that Walt Disney had unveiled on June 20. The company said Thursday it would instead focus on its bid for European pay TV giant Sky. It recently submitted a raised $34 billion offer for the business, in which Fox owns a 39 percent stake, topping an increased bid from Fox. “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the 21st Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the company said early on Thursday. Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts added: “I’d like to congratulate [chairman and CEO] Bob Iger and the team at Disney and commend the Murdoch family and Fox for creating...

Pipeline attacks, insecurity increase energy coys shutdown days to 160 days

By Prince Okafor Constant pipeline breakages, uncertainties in security of assets amongst other issues in the Niger Delta oil fields have increased oil and gas companies’ average shut down days from 45 to 160 days. Oil-pipeline A former Director at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Osten Olorunsola, made this disclosure during a roundtable meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) organised by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI) yesterday in Abuja. Olorunsola said, “There are operations around the world where you can almost guarantee 330 days for production. You can’t do all through the year because you have scheduled maintenance and all that, but usually it is not more than...

Justice Department Gives Roadmap for AT&T-Time Warner Merger Appeal

Requesting an expedited appeal, the government says the trial judge “rejected fundamental principles of economics.” Want to understand the Justice Department’s appellate bid to unwind the merger between AT&T and Time Warner? A viewing of the 2001 Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind might not be a terrible place to start. When a notice of appeal was filed in the antitrust case on July 12, the government didn’t provide any immediate word on what arguments it would bring to the D.C. Court of Appeals. On Wednesday, in a bid to expedite consideration of the appeal, the Justice Department teased its big argument: “In approving the merger, the district court rejected fundamental principles of economics, creating uncertainty that will have an outsized effect on vertical merge...