A serious new player in the global music rights acquisitions space is making itself known.
Seoul-based Beyond Music, a company calling itself “the Korean version of Hipgnosis“, has been splashing cash in the music rights market in Asia, and says that it now wants “to conquer the global music IP market”.
Beyond Music claims to be Asia’s largest single music IP asset management company, with current operating assets of approximately 300 billion South Korea Won (USD $200m).
The firm says it expects to have 1 trillion South Korea Won ($800m) worth of assets under management by the end of this year.
Beyond Music was set up in early 2021 by hit-songwriter Park Geun-tae plus Jang-won Lee (CEO), who founded “Mafia Company,” which is claimed to be Asia’s largest digital music score platform.
According to Beyond Music’s website, in April 2021, the company completed a financing round worth 65 billion South Korea Won ($51m) from Korean institutional investors including KB Securities, Base Investment, Maven Growth Partners
In December 2021, Beyond Music raised another 200 billion South Korea Won ($160m) of investment from Praxis Capital.
The company has also been busy on the acquisitions front.
In May last year, Beyond Music acquired Korea-based KNC Music, in what it claims was “the largest single music IP portfolio acquisition in the history [of the domestic Korean music market]”, for 46.6 billion South Korea Won ($36.8m).
In March this year, Beyond Music acquired FNC Investment – a subsidiary of Korea-based FNC Entertainment – which it says is “the second largest music IP management company” in South Korea, for 47 billion South Korea Won (approx $37m).
Via its deal to buy FNC Investment, Beyond Music says that it has acquired the “neighboring rights copyrights” – presumably the neighboring rights revenue stream – for over 400 tracks, including hit official soundtracks for South Korean TV shows Hotel Del Luna and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart.
The deal includes all of FNC Entertainment’s common shares in FNC Investment and all of the convertible bonds invested in FNC by Dreamus Company, a consolidated subsidiary of SK Square, an investment business arm of South Korean conglomerate SK Group.
Beyond Music has also entered into a strategic partnership with Dreamus, which owns South Korean music streaming service FLO, with plans “to cooperate on music IP business on a global scale”.
FLO was Launched in 2018 in cooperation with partners like Big Hit Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and SM Entertainment.
Beyond Music’s latest acquisition was confirmed this week, buying what it says is the “entire volume of music neighboring copyrights” owned by South Korean record label and management firm Interpark Music.
The company says that the deal includes 878 songs worth over 50 billion South Korea Won ($39m) owned by Interpark, in which South Koean tech firm Yanolja is the largest shareholder.
Beyond Music says that it has “accumulated” over 25,000 domestic and foreign music copyrights since launching last year.
In a press release issued this week, Sean Rhee, a partner of Beyond Music, claims that the firm “will continue to push for various mergers and acquisitions to create business opportunities unlike any other domestic and foreign companies”.
“We will continue to push for various mergers and acquisitions to create business opportunities unlike any other domestic and foreign companies.”
Sean Rhee, Beyond Music
Sean Rhee, a partner of Beyond Music, said: “From May 2021, we have been able to secure not only KNC Music (Beyond Music’s former name), FNC Investment, and Interpark Music Department’s popular songs in the 80s to 90s, but also OSTs, and 2010s’ hit song.
“This enabled us to gain an upper hand in the music and entertainment markets with high profitability. We will continue to push for various mergers and acquisitions to create business opportunities unlike any other domestic and foreign companies.”
“We will focus on obtaining more high-quality music IPs on a global scale.”
Jang-won Lee, Beyond Music
Speaking in March, and commenting on Beyond Music’s FNC acquisition and Dreamus partnership, Jang-won Lee, said: “We will expand Beyond Music’s IP portfolio by adding a new list of music IPs including famous tv series’ OSTs with high demands.
“Subsequent to the purchase of new IPs and the partnership with Dreamus Company, we will focus on obtaining more high-quality music IPs on a global scale and become the ASIA’s largest IP management company beyond the market leader in S. Korea.”Music Business Worldwide