Blackstone-powered Hipgnosis Song Management (HSM) is reportedly vying to strike a roughly $500 million deal for the catalog of Pink Floyd. Neither Hipgnosis nor Blackstone has commented publicly on the curiously timed reports of their pursuing the Pink Floyd catalog, but a Reuters account cautioned that the entities are “not close to striking a deal” for the song rights.
Senior MBW sources tell us that US-headquartered Francisco Partners is currently in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Kobalt Music Group, with the possibility of a deal being signed over the next week or two. Francisco Partners is no stranger to the music business. The San Francisco-based, tech-focused investment firm acquired a majority stake in music creation platform Native Instruments earlier this year, for an undisclosed fee.
Improving service levels, better aligning the interests of music companies with the artists and songwriters they serve is the single most important transformational opportunity offered by streaming. The first phase of that transformation focused on fairness and transparency, a recognition that the historic relationship of music companies to musicians was unbalanced and often unfair.
The ICM Crescendo Music Royalty Fund has acquired manager Albert Grossman’s commission stake in works from Janis Joplin and Gordon Lightfoot. Higher-ups at the ICM Crescendo Music Royalty Fund, which arrived on the scene in 2020 and is based out of Calgary, just recently unveiled the purchase. Strategically, ICM CMRF has made clear its objective of “acquiring entertainment rights that generate revenue generated from streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and Pandora.”
BMI’s cuts came just a few days after Bloomberg reported that the company stopped exploring the possibility of a sale. A sale “is no longer an avenue we are considering,” the company said in a statement earlier this month. “We’ve been clear from the start that as we explored strategic opportunities for BMI, we were going to evaluate all options that would support our affiliates and grow the value of their music.”
Tencent Music Entertainment, which operates China’s biggest music streaming platforms, ended the second quarter of 2022 with 82.7 million paying music users. Online music streaming subscribers paid RMB 2.11 billion (USD $315 million) for TME’s music streaming services including QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music in the quarter to end of June.
MetaSing, a ‘decentralized music platform,’ has revealed the completion of a $3 million seed round. In terms of the funding’s uses, MetaSing unveiled a far-reaching roadmap earlier this month, communicating therein that it intends to debut an app on the Play Store and the App Store (besides pursuing a “record label collaboration”) in Q4 2022 before launching a music NFT marketplace as well as a series of “in real life” concerts in 2023.
Hipgnosis Song Management has moved into asset-backed securities with a $222 million bond offering powered by catalog royalties. HSM’s arrival into the music-bond space – where the likes of KKR and Northleaf Capital Partners have debuted in recent months – came to light in a formal release and report from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).
Last month, Spotify published its Q2 results for the three months to end of June, and within its SEC filing, the company printed precisely what it paid for recent acquisitions Findaway, Podsights and Chartable, and Sonantic. This information, combined with disclosures in Spotify’s annual report for 2021, paints a clearer picture of Spotify’s acquisition spending specifically on companies in order to grow its podcast business.
Hamburg’s ROBA Music Publishing and the AP Music Royalties Fund have announced their acquisition of GERIG, which execs say “consists of more than 20 owned and administered music publishers” as well as some 30,000 compositions and “thousands” of masters. Founded 53 years back, ROBA bills itself as “the best home for songwriters, repertoire owners and artists in the digital age,” with its website displaying publishing partners including Reservoir Media and Round Hill Music.