There wasn't exactly a windfall of investments flowing to music-related startups in the first half of 2010, but they are still attracting investors' interest.

There were 30 investment deals in the first half of 2010, according to Billboard analysis of publicly reported deals. That represented a sharp drop from the 45 deals done in the second half of 2009 but was on par with the first-half periods of 2008 and 2009 (which averaged 33 deals between the two).



The first six months of 2010 was characterized by small investments and acquisitions. The known value of those deals was just $121 million, low compared to some previous periods. In comparison, the second half of 2009 had deals worth at least $586 million. Instead, the first half of 2010 notably lacked the large deals that have been common in the previous two years - the creation of BMG Rights Management, Best Buy's acquisition of Napster, Sony's acquisition of Gracenote.

Nine of the deals involved music download or streaming sites (among them MOG, Veoh, Jamendo, Vringo and Slacker). Nine involved companies that provide services for consumers, artists or labels (such as Hello Music, Swaptree, Jelli and ArtistData). Two were related to mobile applications (such as MusicGames), another two were content-related deals that involved Buzz Media - an investment in Gorilla vs. Bear and an acquisition of PureVolume - and there were eight additional various investments.

Venture capital investments accounted for 18 of the 30 deals. That is the lowest number of venture capital deals in music-related startups in the last five half-year periods.



Notable venture capital deals include:
-- Music streaming service MOG raised $9.5 million in second round funding led by Menlo Ventures (announced February 26)
-- Ticketfly raised $3 million in first round funding from High Peaks Venture Partners and other firms (announced May 12)
-- Digital music system maker Sonos raised $25 million from Index Ventures (announced March 22)
-- Ad-supported download site Guvera raised $20 million from AMMA Private Investment (announced January 19)

One of the 30 investments was only tangentially related to music: GetJar, an online store for mobile apps (some of them music apps), raised $11 million in second round funding led by Accel Partners.

A few of the deals were distressed sales. In February, Munich-based entrepreneur Michael Bogatzki acquired the assets of Sellaband. In April, Qlipso acquired the assets of music streaming site Veoh for an undisclosed sum.