Instrumental is an A&R scouting platform and record label owner headquartered in the United Kingdom.
The company was founded by former Warner Music Group executive Conrad Withey alongside Abi Hanna in 2016.
Instrumental’s main app uses data science and AI – crunching information from various streaming platforms – to discover and evaluate the potential of independent artists.
This service has been used by companies including all three major labels plus, Live Nation and Paradigm.
In 2018, Instrumental launched its internal record label, Frtyfve, which enables it to invest early in emerging artists spotted by its own technology.
Investment in Instrumental
Warner Music Group acquired a stake in Instrumental in 2015 shortly before the latter company’s public launch.
In March 2018, Instrumental confirmed that London-based digital venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, had led a £3 million ($4 million) investment round into Instrumental.
In addition to Blenheim Chalcot, the $4 million round included investment from music industry veteran Bill Roedy (ex-CEO of MTV International).
In October 2020, Instrumental confirmed that Tencent Holdings and Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) had jointly acquired a minority stake in the company.
At the time, Conrad Withey said: “Like us, Tencent have identified the power and potential of data science in the discovery and development of high potential new artists.
“I am looking forward greatly to collaborating with Tencent and TME, including the opportunity to expand our business into China. This deal will allow Instrumental to accelerate our commitment to becoming an ‘artist first’ business, delivering insights and partnerships directly to the great talent discovered by our app.”Music Business Worldwide