Finance

Shrinking M&A Appetite Spells Bad News for Digital Media 

The pace of media M&A in 2022 so far this year is slower than last year, and transaction values are down significantly. By this time last year, media M&A transaction volume reached $143 billion compared with just $18 billion so far this year. Excluding 2020, that is the lowest total going back to 2013. With just three months left in 2022, it is hard to see this year’s media M&A activity surpassing last year.

Source: Shrinking M&A Appetite Spells Bad News for Digital Media 

Could Comcast make a move for Warner Bros. Discovery?

The report suggested Comcast CEO Brian Roberts could be interested in combining WBD with NBCUniversal, giving the cable giant access to a well-known streaming service in the form of HBO Max. “Obviously Peacock sucks,” one exec familiar with both companies told THR. “There are some good synergies. I’m sure [Roberts] is licking his chops because the [WBD] stock is so low. And I think that’s Zaslav’s endgame. Get the place sold.”

Source: Could Comcast make a move for Warner Bros. Discovery?

Blockchain music making startup Arpeggi Labs raises $5.1m from Steve Aoki, 3LAU and more

The startup claims to be the first blockchain music creation platform, allowing creators to compose, collaborate and sell their music on the blockchain. The startup says that it lets musicians “compose and mint their songs as fully on-chain NFTs”. Arpeggi also claims that its Arpeggi Studio is the only on-chain digital audio workstation (DAW).

Source: Blockchain music making startup Arpeggi Labs raises $5.1m from a16z crypto, Steve Aoki, 3LAU and more

Steve Cooper: Warner Music is becoming less financially dependent on superstar artists 

Speaking at Communacopia on Monday, Cooper suggested that Warner Music Group is investing an “enormous amount of A&R resources” across a bigger number of artists than it once did – including superstars and non-superstars. This, he said, constitutes a “portfolio” strategy that on average results in “mid to high teen [percentage] returns” for WMG.

Source: Steve Cooper: Warner Music is becoming less financially dependent on superstar artists – and wants to see ‘regular’ streaming price rises

Podcast subscription service Podimo raises $58.7m in fresh funding

Podimo, a Denmark-based podcast and audiobook subscription platform that competes with the likes of SpotifyApple, and Luminary, has raised €58.6 million ($58.7m). The company says that the funding will go towards market expansion, content, and enhanced investments in tech and product. The latest raise follows Podimo’s $78 million Series B round in November.

Source: Podcast subscription service Podimo raises $58.7m in fresh funding

Night Media wants to acquire “established consumer-facing companies,” launches $100m investment firm

Night Capital will focus on “acquiring established consumer-facing companies in partnership with leading talent,” according to a press release. Translation: Night will use its nine-digit war chest to pick up majority stakes in the companies it backs. Then it will connect those entities to creators, who will help guide “the strategic vision and future business growth” of Night Capital’s assets.

Source: Night Media wants to acquire “established consumer-facing companies.” That’s why it’s launching a $100 million investment firm. – Tubefilter

Sir Lucian Grainge on streaming growth, catalog deals and the balance of power between labels vs. DSPs

Commenting on music streaming’s growth prospects in the face of the economic uncertainty and the cost of living crisis, Grainge argued that music is “robust”, and looked to previous downturns in the eighties and nineties where music was shown to be a resilient entertainment format in spite of macroeconomic headwinds.

Source: Sir Lucian Grainge on streaming growth, catalog deals and the balance of power between labels vs. DSPs

YouTube says it paid the music industry over $6bn in the past year

YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, has announced that YouTube paid music rightsholders over USD $6 billion in the 12 months to end of June 2022. That figure is significant for a number of reasons, not least that it’s a$2 billion increase from the $4 billion contribution to music rightsholders that YouTube said it paid out in the prior-year period (the 12 months to end of June 2021).

Source: YouTube says it paid the music industry over $6bn in the past year – with around $2bn coming from UGC

2,000 artists and creatives in Ireland to be paid basic income of $330 per week 

A total of 2,000 musicians, painters and writers in Ireland are set to receive a weekly basic income of €325 ($330) per week under a new scheme to be piloted by Ireland’s government. The artists were picked anonymously from over 9,000 applications and those that were chosen will receive the weekly grant over the course of the three year-scheme.

Source: 2,000 artists and creatives in Ireland to be paid basic income of $330 per week under new pilot scheme

The Kobalt sale: 3 takeaways from the music industry’s biggest story of the moment

Following the sale of AWAL and Kobalt Neighboring Rights to Sony Music for $430 million last year, Kobalt was left with two core businesses – Kobalt Music Publishing and collection society AMRA – as well as a decent pile of cash on its balance sheet. That cash pile was enhanced over the past two years by fees related to the sale of a pair of catalogs – for a total $1.4 billion – by Kobalt’s now-defunct investment management arm (Kobalt Capital).

Source: The Kobalt sale: 3 takeaways from the music industry’s biggest story of the moment

Get the latest RightsTech news and analysis delivered directly in your inbox every week
We respect your privacy.