NEAR TRUTHS: VALUATION GAMES

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE: In the wake of the HYBE/QC deal (reportedly for $250 million in cash and $50m in stock)—and with the amount of money from big financial, sovereign wealth and strategic players (including deep-pocketed entities in the Middle East, South Korea, Singapore and elsewhere) seeking music investments looking virtually limitless—many entrepreneurs and artists fortunate enough to enjoy significant record and publishing royalties as well as branding and big live income are questioning their valuation.

The QC deal, more than those for Alamo, 300 or Mike Caren’s APG, has resonated loudly with such players because it was made outside the Big 3. Now that HYBE and Scooter Braun have pulled out of their bid for a majority stake in SM, what other labels, management shops and/or distro companies might be in their sights?

THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS: Another ambitious new venture in which, like HYBE/QC, Raine’s Fred Davis has played an outsize financial role is Larry Jackson’s newly announced entity, gamma. Encompassing a panoply of deals in music, film, fashion, tech and more, the well-capitalized company has a powerhouse board that includes Davis and co-founders of Eldridge and A24. Among the various interesting tributaries are the return of L.A. Reid with Usher and the presence of erstwhile Warner U.K. exec Ben Cook and Jackson’s fellow Interscope alumnus Ike Youssef (who worked closely with Ye). There’s also been buzz about gamma as a competitor to TikTok, with an emphasis on breaking acts. How that might be accomplished remains to be seen.

Expect a new single imminently from Usher, who’s repped by Ron Laffitte (Pharrell, Backstreet Boys, Ryan Tedder), as he continues to break the bank in Vegas. It’s been rumored that Jackson has a close affiliation with Frank Ocean and has been working on a possible brand-development pact with Travis Scott. Scott, who made headlines recently when his Rolling Loud set was cut short due to curfew, is still signed to Sony and is said to have a new album ready to deliver. The buzz is that Team Travis, led by manager David Stromberg and Ziffren attorney David Byrnes, had been negotiating a new deal for their client and that this is the last album under his current deal.

HITS LIST:
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Going yard (7/11a)
SONG REVENUE:
SCHLEMIEL, SHABOOZEY
Th epitome of new country (7/11a)
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On your Marks, get set, go. (7/8a)
TOWARD A FRUITFUL GRAMMY SEASON
Our editurr in chief has something on his mined. (7/10a)
SABRINA TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS WITH TOUR MERCH?
Her table's stacked. (7/10a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
Who's already a lock?
COUNTRY'S NEWEST DISRUPTOR
Three chords and some truth you may not be ready for.
AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
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