Music Industry Moves: Diddy Teams With Salesforce to Launch Digital Marketplace for Black-Owned Businesses

Sean “Diddy” Combs has teamed up with Salesforce to launch Shop Circulate, which the announcement describes as a curated digital marketplace that allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created and sold by Black entrepreneurs. The platform’s goal is to provide Black businesses with a platform to reach global audiences and empowers consumers to shop the world’s best Black-owned brands. This innovative new platform will be designed and built by Deloitte Digital, an experience consultancy and strategic partner for Salesforce, and powered by Marketplacer’s best-in-class online marketplace technology.

The announcement notes, “On the heels of the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, Shop Circulate’s announcement reinforces the importance of supporting and empowering Black entrepreneurs and building wealth through ‘circulating’ dollars within the Black community.”

Combs said: “Building Black wealth starts with investing in Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to the consumers needed to build sustainable companies that can thrive. I’m excited to partner with Salesforce to create a platform that will advance our collective pursuit of economic justice.”

“Salesforce is honored to collaborate with Sean Combs and Combs Enterprises to help close the unjust wealth gap that prevents too many Black Americans from achieving economic equality,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO of Salesforce. “Shop Circulate will empower us all — as individuals, communities and companies — to support Black-owned businesses, amplify the talent of Black entrepreneurs and move us closer to true equality.”

+ Atlantic Records radio vet Juliette Jones, the highest-ranking African-American female exec at Warner Music Group, has left the company, a rep confirmed to Variety. She had been with the company since 2012, preceded by stops at Jive, Virgin and Warner Bros. over the course of her 25-year career. She stated in a post to the staff: “In alignment with my personal goals, I’ve decided that now is the time for me to move forward into the next exciting chapter of my professional career”; the news was first reported by Radio Facts.

+ Def Jam executive VP and GM Rich Isaacson is leaving Def Jam, a source confirmed to Variety, adding that a new GM is expected to be announced “soon”; the news was first reported by Billboard. The Loud Records co-founder had joined the label with former chairman/CEO Paul Rosenberg in January 2018. According to the memo his last day was May 28. “The company,” he wrote, “is going in a new direction, and it is time for me to move on.”

+As expected, French independent distribution and artist-services company, Believe, which also owns TuneCore and several labels, has launched its IPO on the Paris Euronext. The company announced an indicative price range of the IPO of between €19.50 and €22.50, with an initial issuance of 15,384,616 new shares, as reported in Music Business Worldwide, which would enable the company to meet its target for the public listing; it has also announced an over-allotment option that would bring the sum to €330 million. The French fund Fonds Stratégique de Participations has committed to an order for shares in an amount of €60 million, as part of the IPO.

The offering began Tuesday (June 1) and is expected to close next week on June 8 in France and the 9 th for international share transactions; Believe expects to start trading on the Paris Euronext on the 10 th.

+ Amy Ortner has joined Primary Wave Music as General Counsel and a member of the Senior Executive Team. According to the announcement, Ortner will be responsible for structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements for the company’s acquisitions of iconic music catalogs. She also will handle contract negotiations and other legal matters for Primary Wave Music’s publishing division, as well as its artist management, film & TV, marketing and branding divisions. She joins Primary Wave Music after more than two decades of private law practice, most recently with Loeb & Loeb LLP. She will be based in Primary Wave’s Los Angeles office.

+ Round Hill Music announced its acquisition of the publishing catalog of veteran Nashville-based rock band Lit, including its hits “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Miserable.” The band has released six worldwide studio albums, including their RIAA platinum-certified “A Place in the Sun.” Round Hill Records will also release the band’s seventh studio album in 2022.