This article first appeared in the May 4, 2013 issue of Billboard magazine, which also features our cover story on Rod Stewart's return to rock, an in-depth look at the 10th anniversary of the iTunes Music Store, our incomparable charts and columns, and much more. Head here to purchase the issue, and here to subscribe.
Nettwerk Music Group has raised $10.25 million in equity growth financing from private equity firm HBC Investments, previous investor Beedie Capital and Nettwerk's four founding partners, Terry McBride, Ric Arboit, Dan Fraser and Mark Jowett. The company encompasses a record label, artist management company, producer management company and music publishing company.
Nettwerk plans to use the funding to sign artists, continue developing artist and acquire catalogs. While Beedie Capital's previous investment in Nettwerk allowed the company to build up its publishing portfolio, Nettwerk had been focused on acquiring individual artist catalogs in more recent years. CEO Terry McBride tells Billboard "it makes sense now for us to go buy some catalogs, definitely ones we believe we can add value to."
HBC Investments believes that Nettwerk is a leader in taking advantage of technological disruptions and shifts in the industry. "Nettwerk has emerged as a successful and thriving music company that is uniquely positioned to create long-term value in its clients’ musical works and content," said HBC's Peter Brodsky in a statement. "The investment comes at the perfect time where the music industry is experiencing a resurgence with explosive growth in monetization opportunities across diverse worldwide retail and distribution models.”
Indeed, global recorded music revenues were up in 2012 as a result of new retail and distribution models. Although the U.S. market dropped 0.5% and the U.K. and German markets had a deeper deficit, global revenues rose 0.2% as digital models gain traction around the world. Sweden's recorded music market rose 18.7% last year while Norway's jumped 6.7%. "The bottom line is the music business is growing," says McBride.
Nettwerk manages fun., Guster and Alexi Murdoch, among others. The company's label roster includes Passenger, Great Lake Swimmers and Wanting Qu, who is also a management client. Its publishing roster has Peter Murphy, Anthony Smith and Sinead O'Connor.