Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group Acquires Dean Martin Entertainment Rights, Targets Gen Z With TikTok Expansion

dean martin
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dean martin
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Dean Martin circa 1959.

Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group (IAG) has acquired an “equity position” in the entertainment rights – extending to music, an array of film and television projects, and more – of Dean Martin.

Four-year-old Iconic Artists Group recently added a Dean Martin section to its website and linked to a nearly 3,000-word-long LA Times piece that, besides providing an overview of the Steubenville, Ohio, native’s life and multifaceted career, disclosed the deal.

Per the voluminous article, Iconic in November bought “an equity position in the rights held by the Dean Martin estate,” including the “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?” vocalist’s song catalog. The in-depth piece doesn’t appear to identify the specifics of this component of the deal (or the overarching pact), and Iconic doesn’t look to have elaborated upon the details in a formal release.

But the seemingly all-encompassing transaction presumably spans the one-time Grammy nominee’s entire song library, including a multitude of studio albums and hit songs such as “That’s Amore,” “Everybody Loves Somebody,” and “Memories Are Made of This,” to name just some.

(Of course, Martin’s Christmas recordings, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” chief among them, remain extremely popular, and the three mentioned tracks have cracked a combined total of 628 million streams on Spotify alone. Meanwhile, with the holiday season in full swing, Martin’s Spotify artist profile currently boasts nearly 25 million monthly listeners.)

Additionally, Iconic’s agreement with the estate of Dean Martin, who passed away in 1995, likewise covers “vast amounts of work across the audiovisual spectrum, along with a lifetime of archival ephemera,” according to the LA Times.

Needless to say, the extensive television and film work of Martin, who welcomed The Rolling Stones while serving as a guest host on The Hollywood Palace and performed alongside the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lynn Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others on The Dean Martin Show, could prove effective on short-form platforms like TikTok.

And on this front, Iconic Artists Group president Jimmy Edwards (formerly an exec at Warner Music and Frank Sinatra Enterprises) confirmed that his team intends to utilize the controversial app in an effort to bring Martin’s work to a new generation of fans.

“Everything is on the table if it’s appropriate for the artist,” Edwards elaborated of the steps Iconic Artists will take to develop the Rat Pack member’s brand in the 21st century, specifically acknowledging the potential for new Dean Martin documentaries and biopics, musicals, “lifestyle plays,” apparel, other products, and even beverages (alcoholic and otherwise).

In March, the Nat King Cole estate sold “a broad range of rights” to Iconic Artists Group, which in 2021 closed deals with Linda Ronstadt, The Beach Boys, and David Crosby.