Latin Grammys 2018

Kobalt and Faction Forge New Partnership: Exclusive

Courtesy of Faction Entertainment
Robb McDaniels

The independent music services companies align forces.

Kobalt, the independent music services company, has struck a new alliance with management services group Faction Entertainment, Billboard can exclusively reveal. 

Through the new arrangement, Faction's talent managers will use Kobalt as their preferred partner for publishing, label and digital distribution services. Artists currently using both the companies' services include Sick Puppies and Trevor Hall.

"Having a world class digital distribution and publishing administration partner was a priority for us as we look to empower Faction's managers and their artists,” said Faction's co-founder and CEO, Robb McDaniels in a statement.

"As Kobalt continues to expand its creative offerings and partnerships, we remain loyal to our mission of transparency, trust and innovation," explained Richard Sanders, president of Kobalt, who noted that McDaniels' "progressive and innovative approach perfectly aligns with ours."

Kobalt was founded in 2000 and has expanded from a rights management and publishing company to now include three distinct divisions: music publishing, label services, and neighboring rights. It now serves over 8,000 songwriters and 500 publishing companies.

Artists Kobalt has worked with include Beck, Kelly Clarkson, 50 Cent, Dave Grohl, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Pitbull, Sam Smith, Skrillex, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Pet Shop Boys among others. In July the company announced it had purchased Nettwork's publishing catalog which includes songs by 10,000 Maniacs, Teenage Fanclub, Jesse Malin, Young The Giant, Sinead O'Connor and Peter Murphy.

Faction was launched earlier this year by Robb McDaniels, founder and former CEO of INgrooves, and Kevin Zinger and Ivory Daniel in collaboration with Regime Management. Its initial management partners include Kino Childrey (Royce 5'9", Slaughterhouse), Paul Stepanek (Sick Puppies, Trevor Hall), Marc Friedenberg (Jamestown Revival), Anna Axster (Ryan Bingham) and Brian Ross (Thievery Corporation, Blackalicious). The company, which bills itself as disrupting the traditional artist management business, offers its partners a combination of creative services, innovative technology and collaborative resources with what it calls a "plug-n-play infrastructure" allowing managers to more expediently scale their businesses.

The company announced in August it had signed eight new managers, launched a proprietary tech platform and moved into a 6,000 square foot Hollywood office. The company at that time point had raised a total of $1.1 million in capital.