Dualtone Music Group Bought by Entertainment One, Spinefarm Acquires Candlelight

Dan Briggs
 The Lumineers at Firefly 2014 performs on day 4 at the 2014 Firefly Music Festival on June 22, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.

The beat of label consolidation is picking up speed. Entertainment One (eOne) has acquired the Dualtone Music Group, home of the Lumineers. That acquisition comes on the heels of Universal Music Group subsidiary Spinefarm's acquisition of metal label Candlelight in late 2015. Terms of both deals have not been revealed.

Spinefarm/UMG acquired Candlelight late last year, news first reported by Music Business Worldwide. According to sources, Candlelight does about $350,000 in U.S. billing and the acquisition reportedly cost less than $1 million. The first album from the Candlelight roster that will come out through Spinefarm will be from Norwegian artist Ihsahn on April 8.

Meanwhile, sources say that Dualtone was sought around $10 million for itself, and suggest eOne paid more than $5 million for the group. Over the last several years, Dualtone averaged $9 million in annual revenue, but sales fluctuated depending on how well the Lumineers sold. The band's self-titled album, which featured the hit "Ho Hey," has scanned 1.7 million units so far.

Under a licensing deal, Dualtone will issue a new studio album from the Denver-based folk rock band this year. After that, the label controls the group's catalog for another five years or so, according to sources.

eOne executives decline to comment on financial details. According to a press release, Dualtone will continue to be led by co-founder Scott Robinson and label president Paul Roper

In addition to the Lumineers, the Dualtone label has a catalog of almost 230 albums and includes recordings by such artists as Langhorne Slim & The Law, Noah Gundersen, June Carter Cash, Wild Child, Robert Earl Keen, Shakey Graves, Shovels & Rope and Guy Clark.

While eOne already has a Nashville presence, its office there mainly deals with gospel/Christian music, so the two Nashville operations will remain separate, according to company executives. Dualtone, meanwhile, is distributed by the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), which will continue to represent the label -- including the next Lumineers album -- to accounts in the U.S., at least until the label's distribution deal is up, according to sources.

"We are delighted to welcome Scott, Paul, their team and the talented Dualtone family of artists to eOne," Entertainment One president & CEO Darren Troop said in a statement. "We have long recognized the potential in Americana and Indie Rock and we were keen to find the right opportunity to add the popular music format to our portfolio. Dualtone’s expertise and track-record of success make them stand out, both strategically and culturally, and we are confident that this new relationship will be very complementary."

Dualtone's Robinson said in a statement, "As we continue to grow, eOne will be a strong strategic partner; they share our passion for music, they have the financial resources, infrastructure and vision to see our business into the future and they can offer our artists new and expansive opportunities."