Lady Gaga’s deal with Zynga for her own branded farm in FarmVille made a lot of people sit up and take new notice of the potential for music-related virtual items in social games. However, not that many artists have followed in her footsteps (and Snoop Dogg before her) by striking their own deals with social game publishers. One startup aiming to help is German firm Iconicfuture, a spin-off from sports marketing company Triumph Media Group. It is launching a digital marketplace of brands for social games developers to turn into virtual items. Licensing aspects are either pre-specified or available for negotiation, with revenues from selling the virtual goods shared between the developer and the brand (with Iconicfuture getting a cut, obviously). “Licensors are often looking for a minimum amount of performance, but you often don’t know which items will sell well. It’s a long negotiation,” says founder Ze’ev Rozov. UK TV show Shaun the Sheep is one of the first to take advantage, but will lots of music artists follow? Rightsholders and managers will need to agree on exactly who has the ability to sign ‘verch’ deals first. Source: VentureBeat

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