Two years in the past, the main music corporations had been all splashing large cash on rising their merchandising / attire providing for artists.
Warner Music Group had not too long ago spent $180 million shopping for merch maker (and e-commerce retailer) EMP in Europe. Sony Music went by itself acquisition spree, shopping for the likes of UK merch firm Kontraband, plus the music merch division of The Araca Group after which, later, one other merch agency in Probity.
Common Music Group, in the meantime, had simply acquired one of many main US indie merch companies, Epic Rights, and folded it into UMG’s personal flagship world merch firm, Bravado.
Then the pandemic hit, bringing severe turbulence to the sector.
Throughout the 12 months of final 12 months (calendar 2020), in keeping with firm filings, Common Music Group’s world ‘Merchandise + Different’ revenues fell by greater than a 3rd (-39.6%) on an natural foundation versus 2019. That represented a decline of over $200 million per 12 months.
In October 2020, Common parted methods with Bravado’s long-time CEO, Mat Vlasic, who had led the corporate since 2016.
This 12 months, although, the inexperienced shoots of a recovering merch trade – intertwined, in fact, with a recovering touring trade – have gotten evident: Common’s ‘Merchandise + Different’ revenues had been up 19.4% YoY at fixed forex within the first 9 months of 2021 (see beneath).
In consequence, this important phase of Common’s worldwide enterprise appears to be like very prone to surpass USD $300 million throughout the course of 2021.
Now, after a year-long search, Common’s world merch firm has a brand new chief: MBW can as we speak (November 15) reveal that revered exec Matt Younger, who left Warner’s WEA after 13 years in September, has been employed as President of Bravado.
Primarily based at Bravado’s New York places of work, Younger will report back to Richelle Parham, UMG’s President of World E-Commerce and Enterprise Improvement.
Parham mentioned, “Matt has the management and imaginative and prescient to enhance Bravado’s stellar track-record of innovation and success.
“In his position, Matt will probably be a vital ingredient of the ecosystem we now have constructed to ship unparalleled consumer-driven e-commerce, in addition to guarantee our artists are reaching their followers and new audiences world wide with thrilling merchandise and experiences.”
“Matt will probably be a vital ingredient of the ecosystem we now have constructed to ship unparalleled consumer-driven e-commerce.”
Younger mentioned: “I’m stoked to guide Bravado at this pivotal time and to construct on the corporate’s repute because the chief in our trade. Bravado is understood for creating revolutionary new alternatives for artists to meaningfully join with their followers, each instantly, on tour and thru a few of the most distinguished retailers on this planet.
“With Richelle and her staff, Bravado will work intently with our roster of artists, in addition to UMG’s labels, territories and working corporations to take UMG’s direct-to-consumer and merchandise technique to an excellent higher degree of success.”
“I’m stoked to guide Bravado at this pivotal time and to construct on the corporate’s repute because the chief in our trade.”
Matt Younger, Bravado
Throughout his profession, Younger has racked up greater than 20 years of music trade expertise in constructing manufacturers and artist companies, with a deal with merchandising, e-commerce, retail, shopper product licensing, ticketing and buyer relationship administration (CRM).
Younger joins Bravado from Warner Music Group, the place he was instrumental over the past 13 years in creating shopper engagement, advertising execution and income technology for a variety of WMG’s recording artists.
Earlier than Warner Music, he labored at Bandmerch, the place he held the roles of Common Supervisor of the New York workplace, and Head of Retail and A&R, and earlier as Vice President of Gross sales at Blue Grape Merchandise.
Put up-pandemic merch gross sales aren’t simply bouncing again at Common, both.
Earlier as we speak (November 15), Warner Music Group introduced that its ‘artist companies and expanded rights’ enterprise – which homes WMG’s merch operation – noticed quarterly revenues soar by a whopping 71% YoY within the three months to finish of September 2021, producing USD $168 million within the interval.Music Enterprise Worldwide