Business

Wizeline expands its outsourced IT services business into southeast Asia

Wizeline, a provider of outsourced programming services, is expanding its global footprint with agreements to partner with a slew of development shops across Southeast Asia. Founded in 2014, the company has a similar vision as Andela — providing programming jobs for developers in emerging markets to unlock the local talent pool and expose a new generation and geographies to the startup world. While Andela has focused on opportunities to employ developers in Africa, Bismarck Lepe, Wizeline’s founder and chief executive, initially focused on Latin America. The company currently employs 300 people in Guadalajara, Mexico and opened its second office a year ago in Ho Chi Minh City. Now, the company is expanding its footprint by leveraging third-party developer shops to add additional programmer...

Nine More APA Comedy Agents and Execs Join Mike Berkowitz at WME

Former APA Agents Marcus Levy, Amy Lynch and Andrew Russell among those to make the switch. WME has added nine more APA agents, executives and coordinators to its comedy touring team following the high profile exit of Mike Berkowitz from APA to WME earlier this month.  Former APA agents Marcus Levy, Amy Lynch and Andrew Russell have joined the agency’s comedy touring team. They are joined by agents Danielle Esparza and Tommy Pucciani, formerly of APA, as well as APA’s former marketing director, Jillian Doyle and former financial director, Cara Nordberg, along with two coordinators. Earlier this month, Berkowitz, a former APA partner and head of Comedy, announced he was joining WME as partner and would be overseeing the agency’s comedy touring team.  During his tenure at APA, Levy pla...

Fed boosts benchmark rate for third time this year

The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the third time this year and foresees three additional hikes in 2018, a vote of confidence that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing 8? years after the end of the Great Recession. The Fed said Wednesday that it’s lifting its short-term rate by a modest quarter-point to a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. It is also continuing to slowly shrink its bond portfolio. Together, the two steps could lead over time to higher loan rates for consumers and businesses and slightly better returns for savers. The central bank said in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it expects the job market and the economy to strengthen further. Partly as a result, it expects to keep raising rates at the same incremental pa...

Four People Arrested as Part Of U.K. Investigation Into Secondary Ticketing

Four people have been arrested and a number of properties have been raided as part of an ongoing investigation into the U.K. secondary ticketing market.   The raids were carried out yesterday (Dec 12) by officers from British government body National Trading Standards. Computer equipment, mobile phones and storage devices were seized and held as evidence. Local police, specialist police officers and the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team assisted with the operation. No details have been released about the four individuals arrested or businesses they work for. “These raids are part of an ongoing investigation looking into unfair practices in the secondary ticketing market and particularly the practices of businesses that buy and sell tickets in bulk,” said a statement from ...

The Ivanka Trump label repositions at home and soars in Asia

LAUREN, a Democrat from Maryland, makes an impassioned case for not shopping at Ivanka Trump, the business founded by Donald Trump’s daughter. First comes a predictable argument; she abhors supporting any brand that uses the Trump name. Second, the sparkly sandals she bought back when Ms Trump was a tabloid celebrity, not an adviser to the president, fell apart within a year. Shoppers will soon be able to take such complaints directly to sales staff: the brand is about to open its first standalone store, in Trump Tower in New York. Floral frocks, stilettos and bangles aimed at the mid-market customer do not often inspire strong reactions, but Ms Trump’s fashion line is divisive. Though Ms Trump distanced herself from her company in January, she owns it and receives money through a trust. S...

Apple Gains Power With Shazam, But It’s Still ‘No Silver Bullet’ For Music Discovery: Analysis

If integrated effectively, Apple’s ownership of Shazam data could help position it as a genuine music-industry leader, rather than as someone casually joining the streaming bandwagon. While there are countless differences between Apple and Shazam, perhaps the most culturally significant one is that “Apple” is not yet a verb. In contrast, “Shazaming” a song is now second-nature in music discovery, and the namesake audio recognition app has become the top utility for music identification, discovery and monitoring — for consumers and content creators alike. As a tech behemoth, Apple aims to be a similarly omnipresent utility in its customers’ lives. Notorious for its secrecy and insularity, the company excels at keeping users active 24/7 within its proprietary ecosystem of hardware and ...

Spotify Gifts Artists With ‘2017 Wrapped’ Year-End Data

The campaign for creators tells musicians and their teams distills insights from the past year into custom micro-sites. Spotify unveiled its “2017 Wrapped” for creators campaign on Wednesday (Dec. 13), offering year-end insights to artists with custom micro-sites celebrating their successes on the music streaming service.  The campaign is the latest in Spotify’s “2017 Wrapped” initiative that rolled out a consumer-facing option last week, chronicling users’ listening habits from the past year. The artist offering delivers similar results, but for their own music.  Musicians and their teams can access and share their “2017” wrapped pages via the dashboard in their Spotify for Artists accounts. Among the data points included are the biggest day...

HAAWK, Which Tracks Down Revenue for Rights Holders, Buys RoyaltyClaim and TuneRegistry

HAAWK, a rights management and content monetization firm started by Ad-Rev co founder Ryan Born, has acquired RoyaltyClaim and TuneRegistry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed although Haawk had previously raised $2.5 million in seed venture capital from Rincon Venture Partners. Prior to this current acquisition, HAAWK bought certain assets from Dart Music, which specialized in cleaning up music rights metadata, among other rights management services. That company filed for bankruptcy last summer and its assets were sold in separate deals to HAAWK and Core Rights LLC this fall. As part of the current deal, RoyaltyClaim founder Dae Bogan will become CEO of HAAWK while Born will retain the titles of chairman, president and CFO. “HAAWK’s mission is to create and retrieve newfound reve...

NFL’s Super Bowl VIP Company On Location Acquires PrimeSport

Combined with CID Entertainment, the new company is now one of the world’s largest hospitality companies. On Location Experiences has acquired PrimeSport, continuing to grow its sports and entertainment VIP portfolio with 500 employees in nine offices, covering the Super Bowl and the National Football League as well as events for 150 rights holders, including the Professional Golfers’ Association, the NCAA and U.S. Tennis Association. The deal includes music and festival VIP company CID Presents, which provides high-end hospitality offerings for Coachella, Bonnaroo and Stagecoach, as well as tours by Metallica, Luke Bryan, Phish, Blake Shelton and The Lumineers. CID has produced a number of destination events including Phish’s Riviera Maya, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa and...

WME Signs Gov’t Mule, My Morning Jacket & Michael Franti

CAA artists latest to join WME following Scott Clayton’s exit from CAA. Three more artists have left CAA following the November exit of CAA Nashville co-head Scott Clayton. Michael Franti, My Morning Jacket and Gov’t Mule have all signed with WME for representation in all areas including music, film, television, books and endorsements. Gov’t Mule and Warren Haynes will be represented in North America, while CAA will rep them internationally. Both Gov’t Mule and Haynes continue to be managed by Hard Head Management. Franti continues to be managed by Bernie Cahill and Matt Maher, and My Morning Jacket continues to be managed by Red Light Management. Gov’t Mule is comprised of Grammy Award-winning vocalist and guitarist Haynes, Matt Abts on drums, Danny Louis who plays keybo...

Analog Merging With Magnum Bookings to Launch Analog Spain

The house and techno agency’s roster for global booking includes Nic Fanciulli, Monika Kruse, Carl Cox and more. International electronic music booking agency Analog announced Tuesday (Dec. 12) its merger with Spanish agency Magnum Bookings to form Analog Spain. The merger will be finalized Jan. 1, 2018. Analog is the house and techno agency founded by Ian Hindmarsh — formerly of Safehouse management — in October 2016 with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Punta Del Este, Mexico City, and now Madrid and Barcelona. The roster includes global booking for Nic Fanciulli, Monika Kruse, Carl Cox, Heidi, Yousef and more, as well as more than 50 South America DJs and the representation of Sasha & John Digweed when they tour together. Magnum Booking is helme...

Viacom Settles Defamation and Discrimination Lawsuit From Ex-BET Exec

Viacom and BET have reached a settlement with a former executive who had sued the media companies for discrimination and defamation related to her cancer diagnosis.  Zola Mashariki sued in March, claiming she was terminated while on medical leave for breast cancer treatment and that BET and Viacom questioned her cancer diagnosis, interfered with her short-term disability request and suggested that she was “faking” the illness. She had also alleged that she was subjected to repeated gender discrimination and harassment by then-president of programming Stephen Hill. Both the network and Hill moved to dismiss Mashariki’s suit, but U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez in August allowed some of her claims to proceed.  The parties on Monday filed a stipulation to dismiss with p...