Trusted Advisor is the dedicated resource for advisors of high profile clients in Entertainment, Music and Sports.

Our membership of top business managers, music managers, entertainment attorneys, wealth managers, and family offices, are bound together with our education initiatives, private meetups, and global summits.



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Our Second Annual Tech Summit...

Recap: The Second Annual Trusted X LA Technology Summit

Trusted Advisor would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us at our 2nd annual Trusted X LA Summit on June 8th in Santa Monica! 

This 1-day conference brought together top business managers, prominent figures in the entertainment industry, CPAs, attorneys, experts in tech and Web3 advisors. Trusted X LA featured five panels covering topics on music & Web3 gaming, business management and venture capital in entertainment, leveraging software solutions and exploring the legal implications of artificial intelligence.

We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to our speakers, whose expertise and passion captivated us throughout the conference. Speakers included Sidney Fohrman (Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP), Sherrlene Reno, PFS (Premier Financial Search), Matt Urmy (Artist Growth), Rochelle Yambao (Axos Bank), Mark Wickersham (AgilLink), Dani Deahl (BandLab), Joe Rust (Prager Metis) and many more!

A special shout out as well to our partners, Axos Bank, Artist Growth, AgilLink, BILL, MGO,…

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Introducing Trusted Women in Entertainment...

Trusted Advisor Launches the ‘Trusted Women in Entertainment Chapter’ in Los Angeles

Trusted Advisor, a renowned network of leading advisors in the music, entertainment and pro sports industries, is pleased to announce the launch of the Trusted Women in Entertainment Chapter in LA. 

This chapter is one of our biggest initiatives this year, and one of the most requested from our members. We’re proud to offer a space for female leaders in the entertainment industry to come together and network. This chapter will unite leaders from top entertainment business management firms, music and entertainment law firms, artist management and other trusted advisors that work closely with music, film/tv and pro sports clients. 

The launch event on April 27th will take place on the rooftop of Petit Ermitage in LA,…

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Talking Music in NYC...

Recap: Music X NYC

We had such a wonderful time hosting Music X NYC at the amazing Classic Car Club in Manhattan!

Music X NYC was a 1-day summit devoted to the business of music – for the business managers, attorneys, artist managers and trusted advisors that power the careers of top artists. They day consisted of 6 panel discussions about catalog sales and lending, collecting royalties, new artist opportunities, legal challenges, the rise of AI, technology solutions and more.

Speakers included Tom Smith of Prager Metis, Ashley Carman of Bloomberg, Jamie Dominguez of Sound Royalties, David Park and Christian Santaniello of Axos Bank, Cat Marcasciano of PSBM, Tony Smalls of MGO LLP, Charleton Lamb of Stem, Soy Kim of Spotify, Peter Sinclair of beatBread, Andrew Batey of Beatdapp, Lauren Mack of Masur Griffitts Avidor LLP, Rob Bonstein of HIFI and many more!

Thank you to our amazing title partner,…

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starting off 2023 right...

Recap: The 2nd Annual Trusted Advisor Summit

We had such a wonderful time hosting The Trusted Advisor Summit at the amazing Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles!

This event was the 2nd annual gathering of professionals with A-list celeb clients, musicians, pro athletes, creators, and family offices. The day consisted of interactive panels, presentations and closed-door networking with topics including: royalties and licensing deals; tax, legal and regulations updates; the future of business management; risk management; and art collectables.

Speakers included Alex Mar of BILL, Tate Henshaw of ARC Business Management, Brad Barros of Private Risk Capital, Rochelle Yambao of Axos, Lucas Keller of Milk and Honey Sports + Music, Jennifer Coyne of Adeptus Partners, Laura Rutebuka of Lifeline Financial Group, Alex Heiche of Sound Royalties, Liz Tan of Enjinstarter, Anita Heriot of The Fine Art Group,…

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Industry Changers

The Future of Business Management

Trusted Advisor is back for the second year to announce the honorees of the Future of Business Management List, sponsored by Signature Bank.

With in-person events back in full swing and the entertainment space rapidly expanding, business managers have been busier than ever, whether their clients are in the music, gaming, professional sports, or creator space.

Trusted Advisor has dramatically grown its membership of entertainment advisors in the last year, which means coming across a number of excellent business managers who have inspired the second annual “Future of Business Management” list. All of the honorees on the list were nominated by top entertainment and music attorneys, artist managers, and other advisors that are regularly rubbing shoulders with the business managers.

“This year’s list highlights rising stars that are revolutionizing the field, alongside seasoned vets who are re-inventing ‘business as usual’ and those who are in between: who share the vigor and excitement to improve the financial security of their clients,…


In Case You Missed It...

Recap: Gaming X LA

We are thrilled to have hosted Gaming X LA earlier this month on November 14th, at the beautiful Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

Innovators, investors, and entertainment advisors connected in an exclusive networking and educational environment during 6 carefully curated talks. At the inaugural Gaming X LA Summit we dove into opportunities for top film and music acts to expand their audience and generate revenue in the gaming space. Topics included the current investment climate, gaming meets web3 and the metaverse, Esports, the future of IP and more. The event is was hosted by Trusted Advisor and NFT LA with special presentations from Mathieu Nouzareth, CEO of The Sandbox US, Celine Joshua of Universal Music Group, Alex Kamins of Warner Music Group, Joanna Popper of CAA and Jesse “Aggroed” Reich,…

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A Look Inside Our Summer Social...

Trusted Advisor’s Summer Social at The One Penthouse

It was wonderful seeing everyone at our Summer Social last week – we had a blast hosting it and seeing so many friendly faces together at the amazing One Penthouse! With close to 150 folks attending it was our biggest Social yet. We hope you made some meaningful new connections and caught up with old friends.

Here are some great photos of the event. Hopefully you’ll spot yourself in the crowd! We will also be posting them on Linkedin to share with our network. Special thank you to our awesome photographer Chase Yi!

A sincere thank you to our partners – they are each incredible assets for entertainment teams and we’re proud to work with them:

The Agency (Billy Rose + Aimee Stern), Orange Comet, BitGo, David B Schachter,…

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We are thrilled to have hosted Trusted X LA earlier this month on June 15th, at the fantastic Globe Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles.

Cryptocurrency and NFTs have been a hot topic – and one that advisors with high net worth clients are looking for concrete guidance on. Many clients are heavily invested in the space, and are interested in creating and collecting NFTs. This has created a series of unique challenges from a tax, legal, and risk perspective. 

With over 40 speakers, the day was filled with insight from CEOs, business managers, agents, attorneys, CPAs, and Web3 advisors who hold special expertise in entertainment, digital assets, and the metaverse.

Many of the speakers, sponsors, and attendees have been a part of our tight-knit community and involved in Trusted Advisor since the early days…. gif maker small

Powering your wallet

Announcing: The Trusted Advisor Card

Since we launched the Trusted Advisor membership 2 years ago, we’ve been dead set on creating the highest quality resources for entertainment advisors and managers. Today we are taking an exciting new step forward – to bridge between our in person events and the virtual world.

Today we are excited to launch our solid metal Trusted Advisor Membership Card.

The cards are physical counterparts to unique blockchain-powered wallets for each Trusted Advisor member, accessed by tapping the card to a phone, or scanning the QR code.

There is no need to own any cryptocurrency – in fact there is no financial aspect to the wallets or the cards at all. The card is bigger than that – it serves as a blockchain record of participation, and communication between group members.

For our members that require CPE credits – we will be dropping in the certificates as NFTs into wallets. At the end of the year you’ll be able to access and download all of your certificates (we are certainly the first ones to do that!).

The card grants access to all Trusted Advisor events, and also serves as a blockchain business card ……

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The Art Market is Looking Up...

An Optimistic Outlook for the Art Market

The art fairs, spring auctions, and general art-world excitement of May is back in New York this year. A writer for Artsy recently called the convergence of events a “cosmic blessing,” including the concurrent auctions of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, exhibitions at Performance Space and Queens Museum, and much else.

Amidst the blessing, on May 12, Thursday, The Fine Art Group, a partner of Trusted Advisor, presented a livestream on the Spring 2022 Auction Season and the contemporary art market.

Anita Heriot, the president of TFG, moderated the presentation, with the assistance of Morgan Long, managing director TFG, and Elena Ratcheva, director, art advisory, TFG. Heriot emphasized the “deep deep bench and deep knowledge” of the advisory team.

Good News and New Records

After a period of pandemic-induced decline, the world’s art market returned to form last year. The pre Covid market peak had been in 2018….

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Advising a New Generation...

Communicating with clients about ESG, NFTs and other difficult three letter acronyms’s managing editor, Diana Britton, hosted a webinar May 11 on how to talk to one’s clients about ESG, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens.

Matthew Hoffman of Trusted Advisor moderated the discussion with a distinguished panel that included Louis Barajas, the co-founder and CEO of Business Management LAB; Julian Schubach, VP, Wealth Management, ODI Financial; and Sara Qazi, SVP, Q&M Sports and Entertainment WM Group, Raymond James. 

Much of the talk was about the different generations of clients, their different experiences and expectations. For example, Barajas said that for a period of about 11 years, beginning in the trough that followed the global financial crisis, “an expectation grew up that you could not lose money in the market.” People in their 20s, including those whose musical athletic or other gifts have given them money to invest, “have not experienced anything like the levels of volatility we have now.” 

This, Barajas added, raises the threat that their investments will be more “behavioral finance” ruled by greed and fear, than rational personal planning.

ESG and the Generations

When the panel turned its attention to discussion of various environmental, social, and governance screens for investors,…

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Trusted Advisor X Amber Group

Amber Group Partners with Trusted Advisor

Trusted Advisor is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with Amber Group, a global digital asset company that provides a full range of digital asset services spanning investing, financing, trading, and spending.

Amber Group, founded in 2017, has a 24/7 trading desk that serves over a thousand institutional clients globally while the integrated digital asset platform WhaleFin serves the individual investors via mobile and desktop applications.

Amber Group’s cumulative trades to date exceed $1T, with $5B in assets under management.

Temasek gets Hands-On

Recently, the company raised $200M in its Series B+ round led by Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund based in Singapore, at a valuation of $3B.

Amber Group has raised a total of $328 million in funding from such heavyweight investors as Temasek, Sequoia Capital, Paradigm, Tiger Global Management, Dragonfly Capital, Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures,…

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New Partnership Alert...

The Fine Art Group Partners with Trusted Advisor

Trusted Advisor is happy to announce that it has entered into a partnership with The Fine Art Group, an advisory art finance agency with assets under management of $300 million.

TFAG offers a range of services, including appraisal, advisory (buying and selling), collection management, and related white-glove concierge support services.

About three years ago, TFAG created a High Profile Private Client Group, a team of experts that offers customized services to actors and celebrities, directors and producers, musicians, athletes, and other high-profile individuals so they can make informed decisions about the management of their fine art, jewelry, and collectible tangible asset classes.

“The Fine Art Group is the only tangible asset advisory firm with a division dedicated to servicing high profile collectors who are professionals within the sports and entertainment industries. We look forward to educating our business management, risk management, accountant, and legal partners through our new collaboration with Trusted Advisor,” said Shane David Hall,…

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Environmental, Social, and Governance Considerations...

Zooming in on the S in ESG Investing

Florian Wettstein is professor of business ethics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and the editor-in-chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal. He has written a book, Business and Human Rights: Ethical, Legal, and Managerial Perspectives, that deserves some attention from a wide range of potential investors and their advisors. Perhaps this will become a reference book regularly found on the shelves of the latter.

Investment professionals around the world speak of “ESG” as either a filter or a guide for investments. The initials refer to “environmental, social, and governance” considerations, especially as they apply to firms issuing stocks or bonds. An environmental concern might be: is the issuer working to reduce its carbon emissions,…

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A New Metaverse-Based Community...

Illmind’s Ambitious New Platform: Moonwalks and Metaverses

A Grammy award winning producer has launched the first ever NFT and metaverse-based community focused on connecting and mentoring aspiring musicians and artists.

The producer, Illmind, is a Filipino-American who lives in Brooklyn and who has been nominated for ten Grammy awards and has won twice. 

Illmind has worked with some of the biggest names in the rap and hip-hop world, including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who together are known as “The Carters,” (and who did the album that won him his first Grammy, 2018’s EVERYTHING IS LOVE). He has also collaborated with Ye, Drake, etc.

Now Illmind has launched Squad of Knights as a digital creative community to offer tools (such as the sound pack tools from the community “808 Chest”), incentives, and mentorship for the up-and-coming.  Illmind, aka Ramon Ibanga Jr., said, “Finding people to work with is tough. Finding the RIGHT people to work with is even tougher….

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The Climate of Crypto Investing

The Appeal of Proof of Stake

On March 24, David Siemer of Wave Financial, Parker Waldron of SkyBridge, and Matthew Hoffman, founder of Trusted Advisor, engaged in a wide-ranging discussion of the contemporary climate for crypto investing. In what follows we will expand upon on aspect of that conversation, the appeal of Cardano and Algorand, two platforms that have in common the use of a proof-of-stake protocol as a cryptographic system rather than the proof-of-work protocol that bitcoin begat and that other cryptos have, for the most part, followed. 

Wave Financial, headquartered in Toronto, provides both financial services and financial software for small businesses….

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It's Nuanced...

Accounting for NFTs: the Nuances of Buying, Hodling, and Selling

Suppose an advisor’s client is tempted to invest money in an entity that, in turn, holds non-fungible tokens as a significant part of its business, or simply is considering such an investment. Should the adviser (who may well be tasked with due diligence as to such an entity) be concerned with the specifics of how the entity treats these transactions on its books?

We are thinking here specifically of financial accounting and presentation; and will here set tax issues aside….

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The Dream Team

Announcing Our Advisory Board

Matthew Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Trusted Advisor, a tight-knit association of advisors with A-list celebrity clients, influencers, pro-athletes, musicians, creators and producers, today announced the company’s newly created advisory board.

Founded in 2020, Matthew Hoffman has worked to build the Trusted Advisor brand with the mission of fostering an exclusive community of entertainment business managers, artist managers, entertainment attorneys and celebrity family offices. These advisors, like their clients, have unique needs from a technology, investment, cybersecurity and risk perspective.

The association is bound together through education initiatives, private meetups and global summits. Trusted Advisor has longstanding partnerships with leading institutions like Signature Bank, Miller Kaplan, Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Amber Group, UBS, Axos Bank, and​​

Commenting on the new Advisory Board, Hoffman states: I’ve always been deeply inspired by the talent of the entertainment advisors we work with. Entertainers are perpetually at the leading edge of seismic technological and cultural changes….

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Making Deals

How To Structure A Typical Talent Deal

Spoiler alert: there isn’t one

The number one question I get asked is “What percentage does the talent take in an equity deal, and do you pay them?” This usually ends up with me going on a diatribe about variables with partnerships and how no two deals are the same.

But this is only partly true.

There are standard ways of setting talent deals up, but first let’s look at the evolution of talent and brands.

Endorsements versus equity

Although ownership is relatively new, endorsements are not. Some would argue that endorsement deals could be dated back to the Greek Olympics; however, endorsement deals as we know them can be traced back to Chuck Taylor who agreed the first sneaker contract with Converse Rubber Shoe Company in 1923 (I’ll leave the impact of endorsement deals for another newsletter, but it’s safe to say that this iconic sneaker is still relevant 90 years later – estimated that 60% of all Americans will own at least one pair of “Chucks” in their lifetime)….

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New Labs Division

NFTs in the Land of Milk & Honey

Music and sports management company Milk and Honey is expanding into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

NFTs are an artifact of the same blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrency. And, appropriately enough, NFTs are often bought with the cryptocurrencies. But NFTs and cryptos are very different applications of the underlying tech. Bitcoins are fungible. An NFT is a virtual-world collectible. Its appeal lies precisely in the fact that it is provably unique or rare. The buyer-recipient acquires a unique token for his or her own digital wallet, just as the buyer of a Picasso obtains the physical object to display on a tabletop or on the wall of his/her home.

What other rights pass from seller to purchaser when the NFT is sold depends on the specifics of the project and can require careful contracting by the parties to the transaction.   

The blockchain that creates an NFT gives to the token a cryptographic signature that cannot be transferred or copied without the consent of the holder….

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A New Employment Standard

The Digital Cooperative Leading the Democratization of Self Employment 

In 2022, we are witnessing the rise of independent creators who earn significant revenue from social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and etc. The entertainment industry isn’t the only industry affected by this paradigm shift, according to John Paller (Founder, Opolis)  53% percent of recent college graduates have elected to work independently in lieu of traditional working arrangements. While the perks of self-employment are well publicized, there are still corporate employment benefits that are not as easily accessible to independent workers; let alone creatives earning in the entertainment industry. Projections indicate that by 2028 there will be 90 million self employed individuals in the US alone; yet the infrastructure for this population of workers is still outdated….

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To The Moon

Concierge Service MoonPay Helps Celebs Buy NFTs

Crypto payments firm MoonPay has just launched an initiative that not only plans to introduce celebrities and high net worth figures to NFTs and cryptocurrency, but also will play a role as a concierge service that will assist these same exclusive VIP individuals with hassle-free digital collectible purchasing.

According to The Block, MoonPay describes its new service as a “white glove service for high net worth individuals who want to purchase NFTs in the simplest way without all the hassle of setting up a wallet, buying crypto, using that crypto to purchase an NFT and then taking custody of it.”

Just recently, MoonPay announced its beta service alongside two of today’s biggest names in pop culture: Talk Show host Jimmy Fallon and genre-bending musician Post Malone. First, the television personality took to his Twitter account to tweet “Permission to come a bored?” as a caption alongside a picture of Bored Ape #599….

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The Arena and more...

The Present and Future of Crypto Deals in Sports

The world famous Staples Center in Los Angeles will be renamed to Arena starting on December 25, 2021. The name change is believed to be the biggest rights naming deal in sports history, with rumors that the agreement is upwards of $700M with a 20 year contract. 

The new name will come into effect during the NBA’s heavily anticipated annual Christmas Day slate, with the Los Angeles Lakers defending their home court against fellow championship contenders, the Brooklyn Nets. With this announcement, also welcomes the Lakers and fellow arena tenants, NHL’s LA Kings as official partners.

This isn’t’s first foray into the sports space, as the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform currently has other high-visibility sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, and a sponsorship patch on the Philadelphia 76ers’ uniform.

An announcement this transcending may be the beginning of a domino effect across all of the industries involved. We interviewed Darren Heitner, a well-recognized industry expert on sports licensing, practicing lawyer, arbitrator, professor, writer, and talking head as seen on CBS, Fox News, CNBC, ESPN, and regarding the future of cryptocurrency and licensing….

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Things be changin'

New Digital Asset Reporting Requirements Are on the Way

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law on November 15, 2021. It includes new information reporting requirements that will generally apply to digital asset transactions starting in 2023….

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You had to be there!

Recap: 2021 Trusted Advisor Summit

We launched Trusted Advisor last August, in the middle of the pandemic, with our first virtual Summit. After 15 months of operating virtually we were thrilled to host the 2021 Trusted Advisor Summit this last Wednesday, Nov 10th, at the beautiful Mayan theater in Downtown LA.

With close to 30 speakers, the day was filled with insight from the most innovative and talented business managers, artist managers, entertainment attorneys, investment advisors, technologists and trusted advisors – speaking on a wide range of topics relevant to HNW entertainment, music and sports clients. The 100+ attendees fit the same mold.

Many of the speakers, sponsors and attendees have supported Trusted Advisor since day 1 and for that we offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved. We can’t wait to develop new ways to bring everyone together and share information into 2022 and beyond!

We also want to thank our sponsors for the event – it wouldn’t be possible without them. This includes Momentous Insurance Brokerage,, Signature Bank, Stem, and Axos Bank. These companies and the folks that work there are huge resources for the community and have been helping support artists and their teams for a long time….

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Industry Changers

The Future of Business Management 2021

With COVID-19 mashing the brakes on the entire live entertainment industry, business managers who are usually behind the curtains of an artist’s career have been placed in the driver’s seat to save, maintain, nourish and even grow a client’s career at a time when many clients have had their careers upended.

It is because of these success stories that we’ve been inspired to create the inaugural “Future of Business Management” list: a holistic and all-encompassing collection of the most inspirational, successful and innovative business managers in the country. They represent a talented, multi-faceted and pro-active business management industry that is changing as fast as our definition of “entertainment” changes.

“This list highlights the new face of business management: a diverse, talented and ambitious group of professionals,” says Matthew Hoffman, Founder of Trusted Advisor. “The honorees were nominated by the best entertainment attorneys, artist managers, music industry executives, and entertainment advisors from around the country.”

Among those, you will find rising stars revolutionizing the field, seasoned veterans who are re-inventing “business as usual,” and those who are in-between but share the vigor and excitement to serve the industry for the better and improve the financial security of their clients,…

The NFT Tax Guide 2021 Edition

The NFT Tax Guide is here!

The NFT market is continuing to grow at a staggering pace each month. There is ever-rising capital available and it’s growing so rapidly that not many professionals like lawyers and accountants have broken into the space yet. …

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influencer and streaming industries

Click This! Why Social Media Influencers and Streamers Need Business Managers too

With a projected market growth of $13.8 billion in 2021, social media influencers and streamers on platforms like Twitch aren’t slowing down. Behind this dramatic growth is a need for services for these influencers, like what business managers offer. 

It’s common knowledge that celebrities like movie stars,…

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What to expect at the Trusted Advisor Summit

Our second Trusted Advisor Summit 2021 is right around the corner, and we hope to see you there! In-person for the first time ever, we’re excited to offer panelists ranging from business managers, CPAs, talent managers, entertainment attorneys, royalties experts, investment advisors and real estate professionals, as well as many more, in the beautiful Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

This event will begin at 8am, Nov. 10, 2021, with check-in and breakfast and followed by opening remarks before topic panels begin. With more than 100+ top entertainment professionals, there will be a wide array of topics to learn about including the future of business management, investment and financial strategies, cyber security and why it’s important, how to leverage an audience off of name, image and likeness deals, influencers and how to maximize opportunities and talent-hunting workshops.

The first keynote presentation will focus on how NFTs pertain to the entertainment industry and will be led by Joe Conyers III, global head of NFTs at

The after-lunch keynote features Gary Marella of Mono Music Group and Deb Klein of Primary Wave focusing on what it takes to manage top music artists and producers as well get insight on how artists are leveraging crypto and NFTs to benefit their royalties.

Afternoon panels include the unforeseen issues of relocating, how potential tax changes may impact high-earners and why it is important to leverage attorney-client privilege. An open-bar networking cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres will close out the night and is open and encouraged to all attendees and speakers….

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Suddenly Wealthy? Expert Advice on Where to Start

What happens when someone suddenly comes into a lot of money? Well, that depends, but finding and consulting with a financial professional is a great place to start….

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Dapper Labs Acquires Brud

After taking non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and turning them mainstream, Dapper Labs has acquired Brud, a virtual startup focusing on decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Dapper Labs, which was recently valued at more than $7.5 billion, purchased Brud, a virtual influencer startup company consisting of a 32-person team….

TikTok’s parent company is launching a new streaming platform.

ByteDance Announces New Chinese Streaming Service

TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is preparing to launch a new streaming platform in China.

ByteDance is currently securing licensing deals with record labels, but will also seek out independent artists to partner with as well. Alex Zhu,…

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Lucas Keller from Milk & Honey on Streaming, Copyright and NFTs

Music Royalties and Where They’re Headed: Streaming and Social Media

Like everything else, the music industry has had to adapt to keep up with social media taking over. Labels and publishing companies must constantly negotiate rights and royalties to ensure their artists are compensated fairly for their work, whether it be from tracks being streamed on Spotify and Apple Music or a viral video on TikTok or Instagram.

Royalties from Streaming: A Brief Recap

The iTunes Store first changed the way music was consumed by selling digital single tracks for $1.29, which earned the artist just about $0.09 per single track purchased. Spotify and Pandora released free streaming services that profited off of ads, or users could pay for a subscription without ads. Apple jumped on the streaming bandwagon,…

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An authoritative 10-page deep dive

Available for Download: Information Security for Entertainment Advisors

“Never before in the history of humankind have people across the world been subjected to extortion on a massive scale as they are today.” – Symantec, The Evolution of Ransomware 

Available for download today: Produced in partnership with Miller Kaplan and their world-class Information Security team, this authoritative 10-page deep dive covers how advisors can keep their client data safe, and the ongoing strategies they need to maintain their security….

proposed changes impact few

Only Few Affected by Proposed Democrat Retirement Tax Reform

Several retirement account changes have been proposed by House Democrats in an effort to fund a $3.5 trillion budget plan. If passed, the changes would only impact retirement accounts with over $10 million, with most changes beginning in 2022.

In 1997, Republican Sen. William Roth Jr., from Delaware established a law allowing “hard-working, middle-class Americans” the opportunity to save money, tax-free, in a Roth IRA for their retirement….

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Virtual music here to stay

Live but Not In-Person: How Livestream Concerts Benefits Everyone

When the world shut down in March 2020, concerts and live events with it, almost everyone’s time spent on their screens skyrocketed.

Live, in-person events were obviously a no-go, and fans and artists alike were itching for a way to connect, even if it had to be from their respective living rooms. With an increase of time spent on social media while everyone was at home,…

NCAA now allows profitability

Name, Image and Likeness — a Popularity Contest? Not Quite!

Known legally as a “right of publicity,” name, image and likeness (NIL) is arguably one of the largest changes made to college athletics in years. Under NIL, an athlete may make money off merchandise, commercials and advertisements that use their name and recognizability.

The NCAA, which previously would pull eligibility if student-athletes made any income off social media or brand deals, changed its policy in July 2021 to allow student-athletes to benefit off their NIL, so long as “……

5 financial planning for musicians

By Julian Schubach, ODI Financial

5 Financial Planning Strategies for Musicians in 2021

The past eighteen months have been tough on musicians for a variety of reasons, but now is a great time to get some intelligent financial planning done before touring goes into hyper-speed in 2022 and opportunities to make changes to a financial plan become difficult as availability becomes limited. Some musicians are fortunate to have a support team of business managers, attorneys, and advisors in their corner, helping to make recommendations and give advice about building multi-generational wealth, but as you know, this process can be time consuming and often, the artist doesn’t have the bandwidth to implement the changes in their fast-paced world….

E Pluribus Unum Out of the Many One

Insights from The Royalties Summit

E Pluribus Unum: Out of the Many, One

The world of royalties is becoming continually more complex. At Trusted Advisor we held our first Royalties Summit on May 6 where we were able to unite business managers from tech, music, and entertainment to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models. 

For our last presentation “E Pluribus Unum: Out of the Many, One” we brought in Chris McMurtry, Head of Music Product at Exactuals. Exactuals is a financial software company aimed to simplify and resolve the complex metadata that surrounds royalty payments. After the success of PaymentHub, the company is now launching RAI, an open API that uses machine learning to enhance metadata surrounding intellectual property. McMurtry demonstrated how machine learning is used to create an aggregate consensus across disparate data sources to record and resolve the data on hand. 

Royalties and artificial intelligence 

Exactuals started in 2011 in film and TV; however, once they pivoted to music, they realized the data became a lot more complex. McMurtry discusses the components, and consequently, the challenges that come with metadata — he stated that the accuracy depends on the quantity of and quality of the data, but the resolution of metadata is troubled by the fact that it is disparate and dynamic. …

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Insights from The Royalties Summit

Fireside Chat: Music Rights Organizations

The music industry has changed over the course of the last several years. The shift to digital consumption of music has resulted in the need for restructuring and re-evaluation of the ways in which artists and their teams protect themselves. 

For our panel “Fireside Chat: Music Rights Organizations,” we brought in experts from the top music collection organizations to weigh in on data accessibility. Moderated by Portia Sabin, President of Music Business Association, our panelists included Colin Rushing, Chief Legal Officer at SoundExchange, James Leach, VP of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC West Coast Operations, and Kris Ahrend, CEO of the newly formed organization, The Mechanical Licensing Collective. 

Music Rights Organizations and collections 

SoundExchange provides royalty solutions for sound recording and publishing, distributing digital performance royalties for over 245,000 recording artists and master rights owners. The collective was created in response to the DMCA establishing a new revenue stream for digital artists in 1998 — the master use license. Since then the organization has helped turn massive amounts of data into revenue for creators, paying out more than $7 billion in royalties. 

Founded in 1931, SESAC has become a cornerstone of the music entertainment industry,…

Leveraging Catalogs Monetizing While Retaining Ownership

Insights from the Royalties Summit

Leveraging Catalogs: Monetizing While Retaining Ownership

Catalog sales are booming in the music industry right now. At Trusted Advisor we held our first Royalties Summit on May 6, where, supported by Miller Kaplan, we were able to unite business managers from tech, music, and entertainment to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models.

For our panel “Leveraging Catalogs: Monetizing while Retaining Ownership,” we brought in Stem CEO Milana Rabkin Lewis, one of the youngest and first digital media agents in Hollywood. She was named 2017’s “30 under 30” by both Forbes and Inc Magazine, and featured in Hollywood’s “New Leaders” by Variety. 

Founded in 2015, Stem is a distribution and payments solution that offers music and video distribution, visualized data, monthly royalty payments, and simplified revenue splits. According to Lewis, she created Stem after her own experience with the outdated payments system in the entertainment industry, as often artists’ integrity and interests are foregone to service big labels and distributors. 

“I’ve worked with a number of filmmakers, TV stars, and comedians,” Lewis said. “But most of my clients were Youtube stars, or what we now know as ‘influencers.’ What I saw working was that revenue opportunities in digital were massive,…

Business Managers on Music Clients

Insights from the Royalties Summit

Business Managers on Music Clients

The music industry has seen quite the shift in the past year. At the Royalties Summit on May 6, Trusted Advisor united business managers from tech, music, and entertainment to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models. 

Since the pandemic, musicians and their teams are generating revenue in new and novel ways. Our panel, “Business Managers on Music Clients,” discussed how leading business managers Kristin Lee, founder of KLBM, Josh Klein, founder of TKG, and Leftbrain Royalty Consultant Andrew Ullah have helped their clients navigate a changing industry landscape. 

Music clients and a changing relationship with finance 

With touring and live shows off the table, Lee noticed that the pandemic made clients confront the way they spend money. 

“Immediately I looked at long-term cash flow, reserves, to see what is on hand. It is important to have a safety plan because even looking at the next year in front of us, it might be a slow build until we get to the position we were two or three years ago,” Lee said. 

This made clients more closely scrutinize their finances — clients became a lot more attentive and a lot more involved with day-to-day management. …

Music Royalty Gold Rush

Insights from the Royalties Summit

The Music Royalty Gold Rush

The topic of royalties has been gaining momentum over the last several years. At The Royalties Summit on May 6, Trusted Advisor united with business managers from tech, music, and entertainment to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models. 

Media is currently going through what we describe as a “gold rush,” as the industry has generated over $9 billion for royalties owners worldwide in just the last five years. We brought in Antony Bruno, Director of Communications at Royalty Exchange, to outline the forces driving this boom for royalties, and show how all creators can take advantage. As the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling royalties, Royalty Exchange reveals the factors that drive investor demand, the benefits of royalties for creators, and how to guarantee the most successful deal. 

The Music Royalty Gold Rush: the landscape 

Bruno states that while over $4B have been spent on music catalog deals just in 2019 alone, the revenue is largely generated from the royalty deals made with the richest one percent of artists. This is what Bruno refers to as the “tip of a very large iceberg,” which is why Royalty Exchange hopes to broaden accessibility to this industry through their online marketplace….

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Insights from the Royalties Summit

The anatomy of a gaming deal

At Trusted Advisor we held our first Royalties Summit on May 6, where, supported by Miller Kaplan, we united business managers and industry experts to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models. 

Vincent Leoni, also a speaker at the “Extending an Artist’s Brand” panel, is the partner-in-charge of the licensing and royalties department at Miller Kaplan. His presentation, titled “Gaming the Market: the Anatomy of a Gaming Deal,” is a deep dive into the royalties market of the gaming industry — he details how the $300-billion brand-licensing industry is structured, how it has grown, as well as the potential future of licensing and royalties within the space. 

The Global Video Game Market 

According to Visual Capitalist, the worldwide gaming market grew eight percent in 2020 to $165BN. 

Mobile gaming comprises nearly half of this growth, with a double-digit increase of 15.5% from 2019. The market is spread evenly across the globe, with frontrunners being the United States, China, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific each contributing about 25 percent of market share. According to Leoni, unlike other types of entertainment, gaming is consumed fairly evenly across the globe. Leoni also found that gaming, with a global revenue of $152BN,…

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Insights from the Royalties Summit

How to extend an artist’s brand

At Trusted Advisor we held our first Royalties Summit on May 6, where, supported by Miller Kaplan, we united business managers and industry experts to discuss the rapidly changing world of licensing, royalties, and ownership models. 

For our first panel “Extending an Artist’s Brand,” we brought in Vincent Leoni, Partner at Miller Kaplan and head of the Royalties Audit Department; Tony Mulrain, Partner and Co-Chair at Mintz’s Sports and Law Practice Group; and Daniel Weisman, VP at AllianceBernstein. The three panelists discussed the changing definition of celebrity, and how the past year has impacted the way brands and artists negotiate endorsement and licensing deals….

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Insider Sources: Reggie Gooden and Joshua Martin from 818 Management

At Insider Sources we had the opportunity to talk to Reggie Gooden and Josh Martin, Partners at 818 Management, a business management firm catering to elite entertainment and sports professionals

Gooden has worked in finance and entertainment for over twenty years,…

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A special report from Synchtank

Drowning in Data: Royalty Accounting and Systems in the Digital Age

The pandemic has fundamentally changed how music is monetized — the necessity of a sustainable virtual platform and distribution revealed how outmoded many streaming, publishing, and payment systems have become in a digital age.

Synchtank, a SaaS software company specializing in managing digital entertainment assets, intellectual property, metadata and royalties, recently published a report “Drowning in Data.” The report examines the issues facing music publishers in trying to tackle ever rising volumes of data from an increasingly diversified and fragmented number of sources. 

The report found that many of the systems the industry relies on are unable to keep up with the sheer amount of data processing required. Due to poor data management and fragmented rights and payment landscape, the demands for payment transparency and efficiency are growingly difficult to satisfy. …

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Hosted by AllianceBernstein

NFT What? The Latest Cryptocurrency Craze Explained

Research investment firm AllianceBernstein has long been a trusted source within global finance and capital markets —  with $680 billion in client assets, they regularly publish in-depth research on all aspects of asset allocation, including whether crypto or NFTs should be a part of it.

In their webinar “NFT What? The Latest Cryptocurrency Craze Explained,” the firm brings in panelists CEO of SuperRare John Crain, CEO of Create Safe Daouda Leonard, Founder of Brud Trevor McFedries, and CEO of General Galactic Corporation Harper Reed and was moderated by AllianceBernstein Vice President Dan Weisman.

On the cutting edge of NFTs

John Crain, CEO of SuperRare, works to make NFT creation and exchange accessible. Described as “Instagram meets Christies,” SuperRare allows artists to collect, trade, and view digital artworks on an interface similar to Instagram and Coinbase. 

Harper Reed is a technologist at General Galatic Corporation. He was a former CTO for the Obama 2012 campaign tasked with advising policy experts on the connective capabilities of tech. The technology he developed at his former start-up Modest Inc. was acquired by Paypal, and now he sits on the advisory boards of IIT Computer Science and the Royal United Service Institute, as well as the Cornell College Board of Trustees.

Daouda Leonard, CEO of CreateSafe, has over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry. He’s managed and produced artists such as DJ Snake, Skrillex, and BloodPop, but in terms of the cryptomarket, he’s most known for facilitating Grimes’ incredibly popular NFT drop “War Nymph.” His company,…

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The importance of thought-leadership

Insider Sources: Evan Jehle From FFO

Last Thursday at Insider Sources we spoke to Evan Jehle, Partner and COO of FFO, a family office and business management firm.  …

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Navigating pitfalls and prepping for forgiveness

💡Insights from a Banker: Navigating PPP Pitfalls

The Paycheck Protection Program started as a way to help small businesses — an integral part of the CARES Act in terms of COVID relief,…

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Education, education, education

Insider Sources: Louis Barajas, Angie Barajas and Ashley Romero from Business Management LAB

Last Thursday at Insider Sources we spoke to Louis and Angie Barajas, co-owners of Business Management LAB, a boutique firm specializing in international celebrities in the entertainment industry….

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How Crypto and NFTs are being taxed

Crypto and NFT Taxes – A Brief Guide

By Julian Schubach – Head of Entertainment Division | VP, ODI Financial

and Jacob T. Martin – Managing Attorney, JTM Tech Law

Shortly after joining the social media app Clubhouse I learned a few things but nothing stuck out to me quite as much as this: People are happy to put NFTs into the world and they love the idea of doing it with another complimentary creative, but there is an incredibly loose approach to doing so that pervades the space. Not only is collaboration a big part of creating and selling an NFT, it also leads to multiple major issues in the long term viability of the revenues generated off of the product.

Prior to getting into the details of how the IRS views NFTs and collaborations, I feel the need to say this “NFTs are awesome. Working with your friends and other creatives… is awesome. But the idea of tying yourself, to another individual and an NFT, that has a single wallet address in PERPETUITY has never been done before. There are many major issues across the NFT marketplace platforms right now with royalties that fall off if the NFT is moved from one place to another, the simple inability to set up a “split royalty” between two wallets, and the lack of guidance from most marketplaces on how they intend to handle issuing 1099’s. That last part is also due to the lack of clarity on what platforms are centralized vs….

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What it takes to manage an artist

Insider Sources: Sally Velazquez and Tracy Velazquez from Empower Business Management

Last Thursday we spoke to Sally and Tracy Velazquez from Empower Business Management for our weekly “Insider Sources” series on Clubhouse. Sally is a tax attorney with over twelve years’ experience in tax, accounting, and business management, providing concierge services while overseeing investments, insurance, and bookkeeping for high-net-worth clients and made partner in 2020. She is joined by her sister Tracy, who has been a business manager at Empower Business Management for over three years. 

At the start of the talk, Sally and Tracy shared the necessary steps they take to educate clients, ensuring they make smart business dealings while keeping communication with them open and honest. Later on, they were joined by LaPolt Law attorney Tom Dean, manager of 21 Savage Justin “Meezy” Williams, and CPA Alex Roytenberg, where they discussed novel ways musicians and entertainment clients are generating revenue, attempting to understand the best way to guide clients through investing in this sudden gold rush of NFTs and cryptocurrency. …

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The Importance of Mentorship

Insider Sources: Greg Getzinger from Gursey Schneider

Last Thursday we spoke to Greg Getzinger for our weekly “Insider Sources” series on Clubhouse. Getzinger has worked in business management for over 10 years, and made Partner at Gursey Schneider LLP in January 2020. Specializing in in-front and behind camera talent and high net-worth families, Getzinger shares what it is like leading a business management practice within a larger CPA firm, educating new talent, and the importance of mentorship during his time in business management.

Importance of mentorship

Getzinger got his start at a traditional accounting firm before switching to business management, working in firms such as Gelfand and Mejia & Kaplan before he was recruited by Marie Ambrosino to work for Gursey Schneider. Getzinger shares the importance of mentorship in business management, as he is especially thankful for the guidance Ambrosino showed him when he was first starting out at the firm. 

“When I first went in for an interview, Marie and I talked almost none about business management — she just wanted to see what I was like as a person and if we would get along,” Getzinger said. “It’s nice to have someone to teach you those soft skills, and to just have confidence in you when you’re presented to clients and outside counsel….

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Interview with Mike Hurst, CEO, and Bryan Walley, COO & President

How to Process over $1BN in Payments

Los Angeles-based financial software company Exactuals reports that its flagship product PaymentHub saw 250% year-over-year growth in the past 12 months. Some of the company’s biggest clients include Global Music Rights, Entertainment Partners, and entertainment’s biggest union: SAG-AFTRA. Aiming to expedite the efficiency in which people are paid, PaymentHub has recently surpassed $1 billion in all-time dollars processed. 

Exactuals’ product library includes PaymentHub, RAI, and SR1 which are furthering the company’s goal of centralizing and expediting how metadata is stored,…

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The celebrity side-hustle

Licensing 101: Our guide to celeb licensing

Celebrities have been crossing genres to increase their exposure and personal brands for decades. But while it used to be that only the most captivating personalities could cultivate an impactful brand, the modern world of influencer marketing has changed how we define celebrity. And while it has never been easier to become an influential figure, it has also never been more essential for influencers to license their inner celebrity.

What Is Celebrity Licensing?

Celebrity licensing is when an existing business licenses the image and naming rights of a celebrity. The result is a product that appears to be fully backed and promoted by an influential celebrity personality.

An easy example to show how celebrity licensing can work effectively is the George Foreman grill. Do we think George Foreman was tinkering away in his garage building a plug-in panini maker? Of course not, but the product appeared to be George Foreman’s baby,…

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"Work like you want to be famous."

Insider Sources: Kristin Lee & Steven Palin from KLBM

KLBM describes itself as “fiercely independent.” A boutique business management firm staffed by a 10-person team, KLBM serves some of the top talents in music, sports, TV, and entertainment. Headquartered in Los Angeles but with offices in Nashville and Seattle, the firm prides itself on helping creatives structure their craft into a sustainable business model. 

Managing Director Kristin Lee founded KLBM over seven years ago, after previously working at top firms such as Gelfand, Rennert, and Feldman, and NKSFB. The daughter of accountants who happened to love classic rock (dad) and new wave (mom), Lee knew how to operate a record player by age five.

At our weekly “Insider Sources” series, we got a chance to talk with Lee, as well as KLBM’s Operating Manager Steven Palin on Clubhouse last Thursday. We discussed both Lee and Palin’s background in entertainment business management, the relationships the firm develops with the clients, and why business management is an essential part of how entertainment runs. 

Lee believes that a performing background helped set a “different level of understanding.” 

Lee grew up in an environment where music “was absolutely necessary for life.” She spent long hours listening to the record with her grandparents, and her heavy music background inspired her to play live music herself — she was a touring artist for a few years and now has nearly 20 years of experience in the music business. 

Her background not only as an accountant but as a performer allows for a unique level of empathy between her and her client base. …

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WTF are NFTs

NBA Digital “Moments” and Crypto Art? Here is the NFT Guide

Move over CryptoKitties, there are some new digital collectibles in town! Launched in late 2017, CryptoKitties became the first “product” to go viral in the blockchain world. It’s timing was rather fortuitous as well as Bitcoin reached a peak of almost $20,000 per Bitcoin towards the end of 2017 (the world is currently in a new round of Bitcoin-mania, with prices climbing to over $58,000 per Bitcoin in late February, 2021.

At the time, CryptoKitties were this generation’s form of Pokemon cards, or Beanie Babies, depending on which generation you are coming from. Its mania hit an all time high in 2018, when one CryptoKitty was sold for approximately $170,000.

CryptoKitties, Blockchain, and Fungibility?

The Blockchain: Before diving into CryptoKitties, it helps to understand how blockchain works, and how in retrospect, CryptoKitties have paved the way for blockchain products – which will likely become more and more prevalent in the coming years….

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Insider Sources: Alex Smith & Justin Sroka from MGGGY

Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee LLP (MGGGY) has, as quoted in Variety, branched out from its roots as a traditional accounting and tax firm. Today, business management accounts for a third of its revenue, as they’ve attracted a client base of major actors, writers, producers, directors, musicians and social influencers — solidifying them as a noteworthy presence in entertainment….

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A Win for Songwriters & Music Publishers – The Collection of over $424M in Unmatched Royalties from DSPs

Thanks to the 2018 Music Modernization Act (MMA), on February 16th, 2021, music creatives around the world were able to celebrate a victory against the Goliaths of the Digital Service Provider industry. The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) announced last Tuesday that it had received $424,384,787 in historical unmatched royalties from some of the biggest names in the business.

Apple Music led the way with over $163M transferred, followed closely behind by Spotify (~$152M), with Amazon Music (~$42M), Google Play Music (~33M), Pandora Media ($12M), and SoundCloud ($10M) collectively adding another $100M to the overall bucket. In total, 20 DSPs transferred these unmatched royalties to the MLC. A breakdown of these royalties can be seen below:


Additionally, the DSPs handed over more than 1,800 data files, containing over 1.3 terabytes of data, consisting of over nine billion lines of information.

How exactly did this money come about?…

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Where's my money?

How to Collect Music Royalties in 2021

With live performances not even a consideration for most, collecting royalties has never been more essential. The problem is that the lines have gone from blurry to nearly invisible when defining how and when artists should collect certain royalties….

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Taxes, taxes, taxes

Mini-Guide: 2021 Tax Law is a-Changin’ & Here is How

New changes to 2021 tax laws have far-stretching implications for the entertainment industry.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (known as the Act) was signed into law on December 27,…

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Things Are Changin'

Your Guide to Royalties in 2021

Progress in copyright law and the music industry has been a slow, uphill climb for decades. But those who desire change are getting closer to the summit,…

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Milk & Honey Music Launches Milk & Honey Sports

How One Music Management Company is Navigating New Verticals

In a world where “Ballers want to be rappers, and rappers want to be ballers”, the creation of a division of sports management in a music management company doesn’t seem so strange. …

Copy of Trusted Advisor

What you need to know

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is Here

In 2018, The United States Congress passed the Music Modernization Act, also known as MMA, a landmark legislation which impacted a wide range of music licensing….

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Goodbye 2020

How The Music Industry Can Rebound in 2021

This article was originally published at Music Connection and has been republished here with permission from the author, Andrew Kintz,…

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By Louis Barajas, MBA, EA, CFP

Five Biggest Factors Ruining Athletes’ Finances (And What They Should Do Instead)

Having served as a wealth and business manager to athletes for multiple decades, I can easily recognize the warning signs when a client’s wealth begins to take a turn for the worse….

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Louis Barajas on The Future Game

The Future Game

One of the greatest challenges that many professional athletes face happens off-field; it’s the issue of financial security. 

With a career span of only several years,…

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Time is money

High Net Worth Individuals Leaving the Golden State

This week in Business Mgmt: High Net Worth Individuals Leaving the Golden State

For the best and the brightest,…

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Social Engineering Scams on the Rise

Social Engineering scams on the rise, Hollywood Reporter Names Top Business Managers of 2020, NBA teams face different tax rates,…

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Blue Wave vs a Red Tide: Tax Implications of the Election Results

This week’s business management news:

The Tax Implications of the Election, Quibi – the short-form streaming service shuts down,…

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The New Jet Set: The Rise of Concierge Transportation

Though living in a busy city like Los Angeles comes with many perks (weather, business, culture, food), there is one major problem that almost everyone that has spent some time in the city is aware of: traffic….


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