NME Networks, a division of BandLab Technologies’ parent company Caldecott Music Group, has sold long-running UK-based music media brand Uncut to Kelsey Media.
The deal includes the brand’s print publications, plus its social and digital assets. All Uncut staff have transferred to Kelsey Media with the sale.
The companies say that “there will be no interruption to Uncut’s publishing schedule”.
(Singapore-based BandLab formed parent company Caldecott Music Group in 2021 to house three divisions: BandLab Technologies, Vista Musical Instruments, and NME Networks.)
BandLab acquired Uncut along with another long-running UK music media brand NME from London-based TI Media in May 2019.
(NME closed production of its weekly publication in March 2018 – ending its 66 year history as a physical magazine. The brand exists today online at NME.com.)
NME is still part of BandLab’s NME Networks division, which also houses media properties Guitar and MusicTech.
BandLab’s acquisition of NME and Uncut in 2019 formed part of a wider M&A spree at the company over the past few years.
In 2018, UK-based Anthem Publishing sold its music-making media portfolio – including MusicTech, MusicTech Focus, The Guitar Magazine, Guitar Classics, www.musictech.net and www.theguitarmagazine.com – to BandLab.
In 2017, BandLab also bought UK-based live video streaming startup Chew.
Meanwhile, BandLab acquired artist services platform ReverbNation in 2021, and most recently, in February, the company acquired beat marketplace Airbit.
The divestment of Uncut to Kelsey Media arrives in the same week that BandLab Technologies raised an additional USD $25 million in its Series B1 financing round, valuing the company at $425 million.
This latest investment followed the company’s successful Series B round in April 2022, where BandLab raised $65 million and achieved a post-money valuation of $315 million.
BandLab’s flagship namesake platform offers a range of features such as the cross-platform digital audio workstation Studio, royalty-free sample and loops service Sounds, and the AI music generator tool SongStarter.
The app counts over 60 million registered users.
Announcing the new funding earlier this week, BandLab CEO & Co-Founder Meng Ru Kuok said: “With this investment, we step forward into a future where every smartphone owner has the potential to be a unique music artist who is protected, empowered, and heard.”
He added: “We are at a captivating juncture where technology and art intersect, bringing down the conventional barriers to creativity,.
“In this transformative era of mass music creation, our dedication to artists, aspiring musicians, and creators worldwide has never been stronger. Not only are we democratizing music creation on a global scale, we are fostering a community where everyone can express themselves through music, irrespective of their resources or technical prowess.”
“Under their new ownership, we’re confident that Uncut will continue to thrive and delight its audience of music obsessives around the world.”
Holly Bishop, NME Networks
Commenting on today’s news about Uncut, Holly Bishop, Chief Operating and Commercial Officer at NME Networks, said: “Since 1997, Uncut’s commitment to championing the past, present and future of great music has been exceptional. The quality of journalism and robust integrity of the award-winning team remains outstanding.
“While we celebrate all that Uncut has achieved over the past 25 years, we recognise the value that Kelsey Media’s extensive experience in passion-led publishing can bring to Uncut. Under their new ownership, we’re confident that Uncut will continue to thrive and delight its audience of music obsessives around the world.”
Steve Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Kelsey Media, added: “We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome Uncut into our business, and look forward to working with the team on its future development.”
Kelsey Media is claimed to be one of “the fastest-growing media businesses in the UK” with a portfolio of more than 80 multi-media brands, including Stuff, Amateur Photographer, Mens Fitness, Motorsport News and Fast Car.Music Business Worldwide