The Deals: WMG to Help Study ‘Music as Medicine’; Secretly to Distribute for Madlib, David Gray & More


Also this week: SoundCloud announces artist services deals with Helix and Payday Records, ASM Global strikes a new sustainability partnership and more.


Warner Music Group has partnered with British health tech start-up MediMusic to trial “music as medicine” to help relieve pain, anxiety and stress. MediMusic will conduct research testing in several closed randomized controlled trials in both the United States and the United Kingdom that will deliver playlists from the Warner Music catalog to patients and sample groups to observe how they respond to the music in real-time.

“MediMusic’s proprietary algorithms extract the relevant features from the digital DNA of a piece of music, resulting in a fingerprint for healthcare use,” according to a press release, with the help of artificial intelligence, machine learning and patient data. The company then automatically creates personalized 20-minute playlists and plays the music through a streaming device called the MediBeat and a pair of headphones. Patients wear a heart rate monitor on their wrists to monitor the physiological effect of a piece of music.

The release states that initial trials conducted by MediMusic and the UK National Health Service using the MediMusic technology reduced the heart rate of anxious dementia patients by 25%.

Secretly Distribution announced new global multi-year deals with Danger Mouse‘s 30th Century Records, the catalog of singer-songwriter David Gray and Madlib‘s Madlib Invazion. Secretly will support all of 30th Century Records’ new music and back catalog, including vinyl reissues. For the Gray catalog, the company will work with Bella Figura Music to provide the catalog with global digital support and vinyl reissues. And for Madlib Invazion, Secretly will handle distribution for Madlib and the rest of the label, including new music from Madlib expected next year.

Additionally, Secretly announced multi-year contract renewals with three longtime label partners: Captured Tracks, Rhymesayers Entertainment and Run for Cover.

SoundCloud announced partnerships with dance label Helix Records and hip-hop label Payday Records to offer expanded global artist services for emerging electronic and hip-hop artists identified by SoundCloud for a potential signing with one of the labels.

ASM Global and Voltus, a distributed energy resource platform and virtual power plant operator, struck a partnership through which ASM Global-managed venues will be paid for energy reduction efforts across all venues located in wholesale and regulated power markets in the United States. Earlier this year, the ASM Global Acts Foundation announced a plan to convert the company’s venue portfolio into the world’s most sustainable, which includes reducing energy consumption by 25% by 2030 from this year’s baseline and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Colorado Springs, Colo.-based live entertainment company Notes Live entered into a non-binding letter of intent for a business combination transaction with wine producer Fresh Vine Wine, a company listed on the NYSE American stock exchange. The two parties expect to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement before the end of January; Notes Live is planning to seek shareholder approval for the transaction at a meeting scheduled for Jan. 31.

The final closing is expected in the second quarter of 2024, subject to closing conditions including approvals by NYSE American of the continued listing of the combined company’s common stock after the closing. The combined company’s common stock would trade on the NYSE American under the ticket “VENU” following the closing.

Notes Live currently operates two entertainment campsites in Colorado Springs and Gainesville, Ga. and is also developing luxury amphitheaters in Colorado Springs; Broken Arrow and Oklahoma City, Okla.; and northern Texas. According to a press release, “The parties expect that the owners of Notes Live would own a substantial majority of the issued and outstanding shares of Fresh Vine common stock on a post-transaction basis, which may be in excess of 90%.”

The Feldman Agency is teaming with Tennis Canada to launch The Bowl at Sobeys Stadium, a new open-air concert venue in Toronto. Located on the York University campus, the Bowl will accommodate up to 9,000 guests and feature private lounges and an onsite restaurant.

Lucas Thomashow, former senior vp at Avex, announced SANA, a new label that will be a joint venture with recently launched artist and label services company Santa Anna (led by Todd Moscowitz and Lee L’Heureux), Sony Music and independent label LISTEN TO THE KIDS (founded by Conor Ambrose). SANA’s partnership with Santa Anna will encompass distribution, marketing and promotion, while the A&R and marketing teams at LISTEN TO THE KIDS (which partnered with Santa Anna in January 2023) will work with SANA on the strategy and development of the label. SANA will be based in LISTEN TO THE KIDS’ studio and offices in L.A.

Production company Jesse Collins Entertainment has signed with CAA for representation. The company, which boasts three divisions — specials, unscripted and scripted — is next slated to produce the 75th annual Emmy Awards. The company’s credits include the American Music Awards, BET Awards, Becoming a Popstar, Cardi Tries, American Soul and The New Edition Story. Founder/CEO Jesse Collins and president Dionne Harmon executive produce all Jesse Collins Entertainment programming; the company has a multi-year, non-exclusive overall deal with Paramount Global.

Lyric licensing and data solutions company LyricFind and music metadata leader Music Story extended and expanded their multi-year relationship. The broader partnership allows Music Story to help further LyricFind’s commercial reach by selling the company’s services to customers in the United States and globally. Prospective customers can also tap Music Story’s U.S. and international metadata services.

“By making Music Story an extension of LyricFind’s services, we’re taking a major step forward in unlocking the power of metadata to help more people discover and enjoy the music they love with lyrics while ensuring that songwriters and copyright holders are fairly compensated for their incredible work,” said LyricFind founder/CEO Darryl Ballantyne in a statement.

B2B streaming media service Tuned Global partnered with the new “artist-centric” streaming platform Sona to help launch Sona’s music service and marketplace, Tuned Global will provide content delivery, tools and reporting services for Sona under the deal, including its content delivery and APIs that will allow fans to create playlists and launch radio stations based on their favorite artists (beginning in 2024).

Co-founded by artist/producer TOKiMONSTA and Laura Jaramillo, Sona allows fans to stream music for free without subscriptions or ads but also to buy SONAs, or digital twins of specific songs that share future streaming rewards with their owners. Artists can choose which songs to auction as SONAs, while fans can purchase songs as SONAs to earn 70% of that song’s future streaming rewards on the Sona platform.

Beats marketplace BeatStars has partnered with software developer Resonant Cavity, creators of the popular mobile studio and vocal effects app Voloco, to integrate with Voloco beginning in January. “Our collaboration with BeatStars will bring the best beat catalog into the most powerful mobile recording studio,” said Patrick Flanagan, CEO/founder of Resonant Cavity, in a statement. “As artists experience studio-quality vocals from Voloco over top-tier beats from BeatStars producers, they’re going to be inspired to create something exceptional.”

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