Attending last night's party at the Velvet Underground in Toronto (left to right): Tony Tarleton, Kim Cooke, Jeff Nedza, Iain Taylor, Mayor John Tory, Minister Michael Coteau,  Paul Shaver. Photo: Andrew Roach
Attending last night's party at the Velvet Underground in Toronto (left to right): Tony Tarleton, Kim Cooke, Jeff Nedza, Iain Taylor, Mayor John Tory, Minister Michael Coteau, Paul Shaver. Photo: Andrew Roach

Maple Rebrands As Cadence Music Group

So long MapleMusic, welcome Cadence Music Group.

Last night at a swish party in a downtown club in Toronto, Canada's leading independent music company, MapleMusic, announced a major re-structuring of its businesses that starts with a name change to Cadence Music Group. The rebranding coincides with the company’s 15th anniversary and a strategic refocusing on its core endeavours.

The coming out party was held at the newly renovated music venue, The Velvet Underground. Attendees included Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Hon. Michael Coteau, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, along with about 250 guests representing a broad cross-section of Canada’s music sector, government and other music industry stakeholders.

Guests were treated to an open bar and musical performances by Cadence Music Group artists Jim Bryson with Kathleen Edwards, and newly signed artist Ferraro. It was the kind of celebratory bash reminiscent of the good old days and not something the industry has seen in a very long time, with a who's who of invited guests not only from the city but from Montreal, Vancouver and points in between.

Speaking at the launch, minister Coteau congratulated Cadence on "a great day, 15 years in the making.” He drew cheers when he mentioned the Ontario Music Fund is now permanent, though he stressed “we are looking for ways to be more accessible” and asked those in attendance to “send us your great ideas.”
The new company Cadence has already received some notable messages of congratulations. Alabama Shakes remarked, “Huge congrats to our Canadian family on the launch of Cadence Music. We thank them for all their hard work in helping us reach Gold status on our albums Boys & Girls and Sound & Color. Looking forward to our new adventures together!" The Grammy-winning band is on Cadence Music for Canada, and at the launch Iain Taylor announced that their deal with ATO (their label) has just been renewed for another two years.

Jeffrey Remedios, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada, a Cadence shareholder and key strategic partner, said, “Maple has been a pioneer in our business, showing us all that independence and success need not be mutually exclusive. Cadence is the future. Iain Taylor and his team have already made important new strides and I’m excited for what will come next.”

In an interview with FYI, Iain Taylor, President and CEO of Cadence Music Group, shared his thoughts on the company, its new name and the new direction:

Why has MapleCore rebranded as Cadence Music Group?

Cadence Music is the new face of a re-energized music company that is reaffirming its place in the indie music scene. As we mark our 15th anniversary, we are building on Maple’s proud legacy of success in Canada with a new brand that will support the goal of increasing our global reach, which, as we all know, is more important than ever to a company’s success in the music business today.

The feedback that I have received over the last year on the Maple brand is that it represents a Canadian entity with a national as opposed to an international focus. We are proudly Canadian, but that cannot be the only thing our brand represents. For us to be able to help our artists and partners maximize their success, we need a global brand and outlook to complement the deep well of expertise, infrastructure and business relationships we offer.

The new brand also represents a fresh start for Maple which is in line with our strategic refocusing on the company’s core music business. We’re proud to go forward as Cadence – a word that’s all about music and coming together.

What are Cadence Music’s divisions and what share of overall revenue does each one represent?

Cadence provides a full range of services that marry music and commerce under a single umbrella. These services are provided through the following divisions:

  • Cadence Music – our label imprint for artist signings;

  • Fontana North – our domestic and international label distribution company;

  • Fan Experience – North America’s leading fan engagement company;

  • Cadence Management – a new division representing our collective of artist managers;

  • Open Road Recordings – Canada’s leading country music label;

  • Pheromone Recordings – our boutique artist label; and

  • Cadence Songs – our music publishing group.

The majority of our revenue is generated by the four labels above, somewhere in the range of 80%. The remaining 20% comes mostly from music publishing, merchandise sales via our direct to consumer website and Fan Experience. Fan X has the dominant share of that 20% and is growing at an exponential rate. Cadence Management is a new division that has just started (we have 9 acts signed) and represents a significant growth opportunity. We expect it will be a significant contributor in 2017 onwards.

What was behind the sale of TicketBreak to TicketFly?

The sale of TicketBreak to Ticketfly supports Cadence’s strategic refocusing on our core music business. The ticketing business is very different from the music business, with distinct technology and support systems. Our staff did incredible work and we are proud of the service they provided to TicketBreak’s customers. However, it had become clear to us that our best course is to focus on what we do best, and that is music.

What other significant changes have you made since becoming CEO in January 2015?

We laid out a plan in the beginning of my tenure to restructure the company and align its resources to enhance our vertical integration capabilities. That plan calls for us to focus on our core strengths and to enhance and engage in areas such as artist management so that we can become the leading service company that can execute on all cylinders for our artists and customers. To that end, we made several key additions to the company’s senior management team over the last six months.

In the management and acquisitions area we added Steve Nightingale and Tim Des Islets. Jeff Nedza came over to head up Fan X with Christine Comeau. We have become much more active with the various government and industry agencies. The exit from the ticketing business provided us with office space for Tony Tarleton’s team to move into the same space as the rest of the Cadence team, which is amazing – now there’s always music playing in our office! These moves, coupled with today’s rebranding, support Cadence’s strategic refocusing.

Are further major changes planned? 

We are looking to invest in global rights for Canadian and worldwide music assets. We are also seeking to secure more distribution and licensing rights for Canada, and to set the stage for the breakout of our other businesses – Fan Experience, Cadence Management and Cadence Songs. We will be announcing some new partnerships, artist signings and co-ventures shortly. We are just getting started!

What do you count among the biggest successes since your arrival?

Our biggest achievements during the past year include:

  • Supporting Alabama Shakes to make Canada their first and only gold record territory, for the four-time Grammy award winning album Sound & Color

  • Signing deals with artists Amy Lee (of Evanescence), The Pack A.D., Escondido, Royal Tusk, Donovan Woods, Adaline and The Treble, with many more announcements to come

  • New label deals with Justin Time, Canada's world renowned jazz label, Danny Goldberg’s Gold Village Entertainment and Shout! Factory, the leading purveyors of pop culture content. We also expect to announce some significant new partnerships between now and CMW.

  • Signing six new clients to Fan Experience in the last four months and achieving the near sell-out of VIP packages for Hedley’s upcoming Canadian tour; and

  • 11 JUNO nominations this year including Dean Brody, on Open Road, who received Fan Choice Award and Country Album of the Year nominations along with a performance spot on the award show telecast.

What keeps you energized when you arrive at the office daily?

Every day I walk into the office, I encounter new and unexpected opportunities and challenges. There is almost no “routine” in the music business other than shit is going to change and you better be ready to change with it. To me that is an exciting way to work, and keeps me fully energized.



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