BUSINESS

UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP ACQUIRES NEIL DIAMOND'S COMPLETE SONG CATALOG AND ALL MASTER RECORDINGS

Universal Music Group | March 02, 2022

UNIVERSAL_MUSIC_GROUP
Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the acquisition of the entirety of Neil Diamond's historic song catalog through Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), its leading global publishing division, as well as the rights to all recordings from his career, including 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival long form videos.

The deal builds upon UMPG's existing relationship with Diamond, as the company has served as his publishing administrator since 2014. Additionally, UMG's agreement with Diamond cements a professional homecoming, reuniting his early Bang recordings and post-1972 recordings with those he recorded exclusively with UMG's MCA Records between 1968 and 1972, a period in which he created and released hits such as "Sweet Caroline," "Holly Holy," and the chart-toppers "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Song Sung Blue." Since 2013, UMG and Diamond have enjoyed a fruitful recording agreement and licensing deal for the non-MCA recordings through its Capitol Music Group division and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), a close working relationship that produced three albums.

Under the new agreement, which includes previously unreleased tracks, UMG will also record and release Diamond's future music, should he decide to return to the studio.

After nearly a decade in business with UMG, I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together and I feel confident in the knowledge that Lucian, Jody, Bruce, Michelle and the global team at UMG, will continue to represent my catalogue, and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fueled my career."

Neil Diamond.
 

Neil Diamond is by definition, a truly universal songwriter. His immense songbook and recordings encompass some of the most cherished and enduring songs in music history. Through our existing partnership, we are honored to have earned his trust to become the permanent custodians of his monumental musical legacy."

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.

A Brooklyn native, Diamond was inspired to become a songwriter when he was still a teenager, after Pete Seeger performed at his summer camp and Diamond saw fellow campers sharing their own music with the celebrated folksinger. Some years later, Diamond ended up dropping out of New York University to pursue his creative dream full time, only to endure several very lean years as a freelance songwriter, often subsisting on hot dogs and hard candy.

Diamond finally broke through when he stopped writing for others and started exploring songs about his own experiences and feelings. His ideas and authentic voice ultimately gave rise to a global career that inspired not just millions of fans, but also some of the world's finest performers.

Diamond's work has become woven into the very fabric of American popular culture in other ways, too. "Sweet Caroline" is one of a handful of pop anthems that compel fans of all abilities (or none at all) to sing along with unrestrained joy, as Red Sox fans do during their seventh inning stretch in Boston's Fenway Park. Perhaps it is fitting that "Sweet Caroline" has become entwined with America's pastime, because Diamond's own ascent – one of aspiration, determination, and the sweetness of success – is a quintessentially American story. But his reach extends far beyond America, with the song sung on soccer terraces in the U.K. by supporters of the English national team, at ice hockey games in Canada, and by WBC World Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, serenading the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas following his knockout victory over Deontay Wilder.

As previously announced, the world premiere of The Neil Diamond Musical: A Beautiful Noise, a new musical production from Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio, inspired by his life will open for a strictly limited six-week engagement at Boston's Emerson Colonial Theatre on Tuesday, June 21, before heading to Broadway, with tickets on sale in early March.

Diamond's accolades, among others, include a Grammy, a Golden Globe, Kennedy Center Honors and an ASCAP Film and Television Music Award, as well as induction into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Such achievements reflect Diamond's relentless devotion to his craft, and his songs' enduring appeal to hope.

By acquiring Diamond's entire catalog, all masters and unreleased concert video – and through ongoing collaboration with the artist himself – UMG is determined that new and growing audiences will remember this unmatched singer and his music for generations to come.

Neil Diamond was represented in the transaction by Gene Salomon from Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. and his manager Katie Diamond.

About Universal Music Group
At Universal Music Group, we exist to shape culture through the power of artistry. UMG is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content. Featuring the most comprehensive catalogue of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans.

Spotlight

The Virtual Reality has already rung the bells and given the signals on being the next-big-thing in the technology world. We can acknowledge the fact that VR is a big deal in the near future. This article reveals a research that said that global search interest in VR grew 4x over the last year alone.

Spotlight

The Virtual Reality has already rung the bells and given the signals on being the next-big-thing in the technology world. We can acknowledge the fact that VR is a big deal in the near future. This article reveals a research that said that global search interest in VR grew 4x over the last year alone.

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Amagi acquires Streamwise to add more power to its streaming data analytics solutions

Amagi | November 24, 2022

Amagi, the global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and connected TV, announced that it has acquired Streamwise, an early stage data aggregation and reporting platform for content distributors. Streamwise specializes in automating and standardizing data collection across streaming platforms. The acquisition will help Amagi to enhance its data solutions capabilities with comprehensive, more streamlined reporting and dashboards. With the explosion of live linear channels, advertising and viewership on Free Ad-supported Streaming TV, data and insights on content and ad performance will become the key differentiator that helps content creators stay ahead of the game. The need for comprehensive insights is forcing content creators to invest heavily in building these capabilities in-house. Amagi THUNDERSTORM, the advanced server-side ad insertion (SSAI) solution offers a robust dataset of performance metrics on viewership and ad engagement to content brands that deploy it for monetization. But, content brands, as part of their distribution and monetization agreements, are often left with data and metrics from a variety of platforms in multiple formats that need to be consolidated to provide a holistic view of how their content is generating revenue. With Streamwise, Amagi will be able to seamlessly integrate its proprietary as well as third-party data to provide content brands with insightful, unified analytics. Streamwise's modern and intuitive UX will make it easy for Amagi's customers to gain actionable business insights in a centralized and automated manner. "What content brands need now more than ever is information at their fingertips. The genius of Streamwise's data platform lies in its simplicity and accessibility, making it an excellent value addition to Amagi's SSAI-based ad offerings. Together, we can enable content brands to shape their programming, optimize their distribution and generate better ROI," -Baskar Subramanian, CEO & Co-founder, Amagi. Our combined offering will help content distributors make smart decisions and scale their business in the streaming economy by saving content, sales, marketing, and finance executives from repetitive, manual, and error-prone processes, said Doug Shineman, CEO of Streamwise, who is joining Amagi to lead business development for its new analytics vertical. Amagi plans to offer Streamwise capabilities as a stand-alone offering to customers. Once it is integrated with the Amagi product suite in the coming months, customers will be able to additionally subscribe to Streamwise solutions in a seamless manner. Amagi provides a complete suite of solutions for channel creation, distribution and monetization. Amagi's global clients include ABS-CBN, AccuWeather, A+E Networks UK, Cinedigm, Cox Media Group, Crackle Plus, Fremantle, Gannett, Gusto TV, NBCUniversal, Tastemade, The Roku Channel and Vice Media among others. About Amagi Amagi is a next-generation media technology company that provides cloud broadcast and targeted advertising solutions to broadcast TV and streaming TV platforms. Amagi enables content owners to launch, distribute and monetize live linear channels on Free Ad-supported Streaming TV and video services platforms. Amagi also offers 24x7 cloud-managed services bringing simplicity, advanced automation, and transparency to the entire broadcast operations. Overall, Amagi supports 700+ content brands, 800+ playout chains, and over 2100 channel deliveries on its platform in over 40 countries. Amagi has a presence in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Paris, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, and broadcast operations in New Delhi, and an innovation center in Bangalore.For more information about Amagi and its streaming TV solutions, visit www.amagi.com.

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AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon EC2 Trn1 Instances Powered by AWS-Designed Trainium Chips

AWS | October 11, 2022

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To get started with Trn1 instances, visit aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/trn1.ore customers are building, training, and deploying machine learning models to power applications that have the potential to reinvent their businesses and customer experiences. These machine learning models are becoming increasingly complex and consume ever-growing amounts of training data to help improve accuracy. As a result, customers must scale their models across thousands of accelerators, which makes them more expensive to train. This directly impacts the ability of research and development teams to experiment and train different models, which limits how quickly customers are able to bring their innovations to market. AWS already provides the broadest and deepest choice of compute offerings featuring hardware accelerators for machine learning, including Inf1 instances with AWS-designed Inferentia chips, G5 instances, P4d instances, and DL1 instances. But even with the fastest accelerated instances available today, training more complex machine learning models can still be prohibitively expensive and time consuming. New Trn1 instances powered by AWS Trainium chips offer the best price performance and the fastest machine learning model training on AWS, providing up to 50% lower cost to train deep learning models compared to the latest GPU-based P4d instances. AWS Neuron, the software development kit (SDK) for Trn1 instances, enables customers to get started with minimal code changes and is integrated into popular frameworks for machine learning like PyTorch and TensorFlow. Trn1 instances feature up to 16 AWS Trainium accelerators that are purpose built for deploying deep learning models. 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TECHNOLOGIES

Azerion acquires AdPlay and strengthens Italian digital advertising foothold

Azerion | November 25, 2022

Azerion has announced the acquisition of AdPlay, an Italian based digital advertising platform. Together, the companies will provide advertisers with access to even larger audiences in Italy through exciting new formats and content like digital out of home and first look at highly relevant sports content. At the same time, publishing partners will benefit from the additional revenues and advertising formats Azerion will bring to them. “I am pleased to announce the acquisition of AdPlay and strengthen our advertising business in Italy. The AdPlay team is a perfect fit with our Azerion culture, and their local expertise and experience will add to our ability to help our Italian customers to get the results they need from their advertising budgets. I am also very excited to welcome AdPlay’s Italian partners to the Azerion platform and grow our business together with them as well as extending our connected TV and digital out of home reach in the local market.” -Umut Akpinar, co-CEO of Azerion Azerion will integrate AdPlay’s digital cross-media solutions and campaign performance management, adding to its robust current offering in these areas. AdPlay exclusively represents some of the most relevant Italian publishers and has been pioneering the digital out of home market in Italy. Through this acquisition, Azerion will strengthen its position in Italy and increase its relevance as a partner that delivers easy, impactful and affordable access to large and diverse audiences through highly engaging content. Additionally, AdPlay recently launched Veedly, a dedicated solution focused on the distribution of on-demand multimedia content from the world of sports. Veedly is already cooperating with various sports leagues. The aggregated consideration is a combination of cash and shares. In total, 580,470 treasury shares were transferred to the selling shareholder. The transaction is effective as of 11th November 2022. AdPlay generated approximately €12 million gross revenue in 2021. This announcement follows various previous acquisitions in 2022, as Azerion continues to execute on its growth strategy. So far this year, Azerion has acquired an estimated annualised revenue in the range of €100 million to €125 million for a total aggregated consideration (combination of cash and shares) in the range of €90 million to €100 million. About Azerion Azerion is a high-growth digital entertainment and media platform. As a content-driven, technology and data company, Azerion serves consumers, digital publishers, advertisers, and game creators globally. Azerion’s integrated platform provides technology solutions to automate the purchase and sale of digital advertising for media buyers and sellers, supported by in-market sales and campaign management teams. Through our technology, content creators, digital publishers and advertisers work with Azerion to reach the millions of people across the globe that play Azerion’s games and view its distributed entertainment content to increase engagement, loyalty, and drive e-commerce. Founded in 2014 by two Dutch entrepreneurs, Azerion has experienced rapid expansion driven by organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Azerion is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is a publicly traded company listed on Euronext Amsterdam. For more information visit: www.azerion.com. About AdPlay AdPlay is a tech media company focused on the development of proprietary solutions for Publishers and Brand advertisers. AdPlay Media Holding is a strategic partner for the implementation of digital transformation and innovation plans, through its owned technologies and tailored consulting services.

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