A new firm just raised over $100m to buy film and TV music rights – and it’s already made its first big acquisition

James Newton Howard

The market for blockbuster catalog deals has largely been driven by rights belonging to superstar artists and their estates, like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

But copyrights belonging to composers for film and TV are big business, too.

Just last month, UK-based Cutting Edge Music Holdings partnered with affiliates of London-based investment firm Blantyre Capital to acquire music publishing rights owned by composers who write music for film and TV – committing an initial $125 million to the strategy.

Now, a new and very well funded player has entered the fold.

Meet Multimedia Music, a London and Los Angeles-based firm that has just closed a major initial round of fundraising of more than $100 million.

The funding comes from Metropolitan Partners Group and Pinnacle Bank, and Multimedia Music says that it now plans to acquire catalogs of film and TV music rights from production companies, composers and other rights holders.

Multimedia Music has also announced its very first catalog deal, and it includes rights in music from films that have made over $15 Billion at the Box Office.

The firm launches with an acquisition of the catalog of all music income and copyrights from what it calls, “one of the greatest film composers of recent times”, James Newton Howard, including the film and TV music scores for Fantastic Beasts, the Hunger Games Trilogy, The Dark Knight, Maleficent, Raya and the Last Dragon, Snow White and the Huntsman, King Kong, I Am Legend, Blood Diamond, Runaway Bride, ER, Emily In Paris and Pretty Woman.

James Newton Howard’s career spans over 30 years and encompasses more than 140 film and television projects.

He is a 9-time Oscar nominee, and Emmy and Grammy winner. Howard has also been honoured with ASCAP’s prestigious Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement and the BMI ICON Award.

As a record producer, arranger, and songwriter, he has collaborated with some of pop’s biggest names including Elton John; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Barbra Streisand; Earth, Wind and Fire; Bob Seger; Rod Stewart; Toto; Glenn Frey; Diana Ross; Carly Simon; Olivia Newton-John and Randy Newman.

Led by industry veterans Phil Hope (Founder and CEO) and James Gibb in partnership with Atlantic Screen Music, Multimedia Music’s executive and advisory team includes Lord Michael Grade, Simon Fawcett, Rupert Hollier and Robbert Aarts.

Hope has over 25 years’ experience in music publishing, including more than 12 years in Film and TV Music as group MD of music for media business Cutting Edge Music.

He’s also a former VP UK & Europe for Edel Publishing and MD of independent Anxious Music.

Gibb, meanwhile, has more than 25 years’ experience in media and music as head of Cutting Edge’s US business.

“Our thanks go to James and his team for trusting us to deliver the deal in record quick time and we are honoured to be the new custodian of such an amazing Catalog.”

Phil Hope, Multimedia Music 

Multimedia Music founder Phil Hope, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been chosen as the partner for this stellar acquisition from one of the true creative heavyweights of the industry.

“Our thanks go to James and his team for trusting us to deliver the deal in record quick time and we are honoured to be the new custodian of such an amazing Catalog.”

“Phil Hope embodies what it means to honor a handshake, and is a sharp businessman whose word is his bond.”

Sam Schwartz,  Gorfaine Schwartz Agency

James Newton Howard’s long time agent Sam Schwartz of the Gorfaine Schwartz Agency added: “I am so pleased we found a solid and classy home in MMM for James’ legendary body of work.

“Phil Hope embodies what it means to honor a handshake, and is a sharp businessman whose word is his bond.”

In addition to his contributions to film and television music, Howard has written a number of concert works: I Would Plant a Tree and Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, for the Pacific Symphony, 133 . . . At Least For 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, they have just arrived at this new level for the Seattle Chamber Music Society and Concerto for Cello and Orchestra for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Howard has scored films including Raya and The Last Dragon, Jungle Cruise, News of the World, A Hidden Life, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Red Sparrow, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Detroit, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, all four instalments of The Hunger Games franchise, Concussion, Nightcrawler and Maleficent, Snow White and The Huntsman, The Bourne Legacy, Salt, Water For Elephants, Batman Begins, Collateral, Snow Falling on Cedars and Outbreak.

He has also scored the likes of The Village, Hidalgo, Peter Pan, Wyatt Earp, Lady in the Water, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Freedomland, Dinosaur, Treasure Planet, Signs, Falling Down, Primal Fear, Glengarry Glen Ross, Waterworld, The Devil’s Advocate, Dave and Pretty Woman among many others. He has also scored music for numerous television shows, including the smash hit ER.Music Business Worldwide

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