The Deals: Multimedia Music Raises $100M For Film/TV Music Rights; Hipgnosis Licenses Catalog to Gaming Company
Also this week: Chrysalis pacts with Secretly Distribution, Beatport partners with a blockchain network for a Web3 marketplace and more.
Multimedia Music secured a $100 million investment “uplift” from its group of investors and lenders, including Metropolitan Partners Group, Bardin Hill, Pinnacle Bank and Regions Bank, according to a press release. That grows the company’s total funds raised to $200 million. Multimedia Music also announced a deal to acquire the catalog and income streams of Emmy-winning composer Sean Callery (Homeland, 24, Bones). Launched in 2022 and led by music industry veterans Phil Hope and James Gibb, Multimedia Music with the goal of acquiring catalogs of film and TV music rights from production companies, composers and other rights holders. The company says it has so far spent over $120 million on acquisitions, including the catalog of film composer James Newton Howard and the film music library of STX Entertainment, which it purchased in February.
Reactional Music, a startup specializing in music personalization for video games, licensed the catalog of Merck Mercuriadis‘ Hipgnosis Song Management. Reactional owns patented technology that allows any music to be brought into a video game, where it reacts live to various elements in the game, including visuals and sounds — thereby creating a “personalized” experience for gamers. Reactional tracks all music use across the platform, while its Reactional Engine does not alter, mix or edit the music master. It previously partnered with Tuned Global, Musiio and Blokur for music delivery, consistent tagging and rights management of all music and sounds. “The intersection of games and music is incredibly exciting,” said Reactional Music president David Knox in a statement on the Hipgnosis deal. “Commercially it presents opportunities for both industries with in-game purchases; creatively it is compelling for artists, composers, and games developers to work more closely. And it’s not just new game releases. Reactional’s platform enables curation and personalisation of music in existing games franchises as part of a seasonal refresh.”
Chrysalis Records signed a global agreement with Secretly Distribution that covers all physical and digital distribution for the label’s frontline releases moving forward, including new projects from Laura Marling, Emeli Sandé, Ben Harper, William The Conqueror, The Wandering Hearts and more. The first release under the deal is The Endless Coloured Ways – The Songs of Nick Drake.
Digital electronic music store Beatport struck a partnership with blockchain network Polkadot to launch Beatport.io, a digital collectible marketplace that will bring “electronic music culture to Web3,” according to a press release. Developed and designed in collaboration with Define Creative, Beatport.io will launch on Aventus, a Web3 solutions provider in the Polkadot ecosystem. The new platform will allow record labels and artists to create and sell digital assets and engage with fans. In addition to the launch, Beatport and Polkadot will collaborate on 10 events over the next 18 months, each held to celebrate the launch of a new NFT collection accessible via Polkadot-integrated wallets. The events will be produced by Beatport and “take place alongside major music and Web3 events,” according to the release.
The Orchard acquired Above Board, a dance and electronic music distribution and artist/label services company. Under the deal, Above Board’s roster will have access to The Orchard’s full suite of distribution and artist and label services. Above Board founder/managing director Dan Hill will report to The Orchard managing director Ian Dutt as he continues signing and developing global dance/electronic talent for the label. The Above Board team is now based in The Orchard’s U.K. headquarters. The Orchard’s roster of dance labels also includes Liquid State/Dimitri Vegas, Amtrac, TMRW Music Group and Rose Avenue.
Recently-launched live events company LiveCo acquired faith-based concert promoter Transparent Productions, which works with Christian and gospel music artists including Phil Wickham, CeCe Winans, Casting Crowns and For King & Country.
The Warner Music Group/ Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund bestowed a $150,000 grant to Janelle Monáe‘s nonprofit, Fem the Future, which has a mission to create opportunities for under-resourced girls and non-binary youth of color in music, the arts and education. The grant will serve as a pilot for a longer-term collaboration between the two organizations. “This grant will enable Fem the Future to scale up its programming; elevate the power and brilliance of Black girls and non-binary youth; and ensure greater access to life-changing opportunities,” said Warner Music Group/ Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund executive director Lorelei Williams in a statement.
Universal Music Central Europe partnered with Web3 music company Centaurify. Under the deal, Universal Music Central Europe will release a series of exclusive, limited-edition collectibles celebrating its artists’ achievements. As streaming numbers grow for artists included in the collection, the collectibles will “evolve,” according to a press release. The collectibles will also grant pre-sale access to future collectibles in the series as well as access to exclusive releases from artists. The first wave of collectibles will be available this year in Norway and Sweden, with more countries to be announced soon.
The U.K. office of digital music company Believe signed a long-term label solutions partnership with drum and bass label Hospital Records for Believe’s new b:electronic imprint. Believe will distribute Hospital’s entire catalog of more than 5,300 tracks to its global network of DSPs while offering audience development services to support growing Hospital’s international reach, including video channel management and strategic support from dedicated genre specialists on Believe’s label management and DSP editorial and marketing partnerships teams. Upcoming releases to be distributed under the deal include albums from P Money x Whiney, Metrik, Hugh Hardie and Flava D. Believe also boasts partnerships with other electronic labels including Metalheadz, Shogun Audio, Cr2 Records, Greco-Roman, Knee Deep in Sound and Southern Fried Records.
Warner Music Czech Republic renewed its partnership with and invested in local hip-hop label Mike Roft to help expand its roster’s global reach. Under the deal, Warner Music will become the sole distributor for Mike Roft’s roster, including Czech superstar Calin — also a shareholder in the company alongside fellow Czech artist D-Kop and video director/graphic designer Radim Zboril. All three will continue to lead Mike Roft as an independent label. Mike Roft is also home to artists including Conspira, KOJO, Indigo and STEIN27.
Voyage, a talent consultancy founded by music executive Spencer Moya, has been acquired by digital-focused talent management firm Select Management Group. In partnership with Select, Voyage will now expand its offerings to encompass artist management services across music, TV/film, creative and fashion. The Los Angeles-based Moya will continue running Voyage as a standalone enterprise within Select.
ASM Global and Frost Bank struck a multiyear deal that names Frost as a founding partner for San Antonio Boeing Center at Tech Port. As part of the agreement, Frost is now the official commercial banking partner for the 130,000-square-foot convention center, which has renamed the premium lux level at the arena as Frost Club.
Independent sales, marketing and distribution company Republic of Music signed a global delivery services deal with distribution management platform Labelcamp. Republic of Music’s label partners — including City Slang, Full Time Hobby and Ghostly — can now upload new releases, manage their catalogs and access daily trend analytics from Labelcamp’s white-label dashboard, while the company’s operations and marketing teams are using Labelcamp to manage release submission from partners and ensure their delivery to DSPs. Labelcamp’s other partners include [PIAS], Because Music, Concord Music Group and Ditto Music.