Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
The catalog acquisitions market started hotting up again this week with the news that financial giant Brookfield Asset Management has struck a $2 billion deal with Primary Wave Music to invest in music rights.
As part of the deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Brookfield will acquire a significant minority interest in Primary Wave. Brookfield will also commit $1.7 billion to a fund to buy music rights.
As far as financial giants go, Brookfield is a colossus, with over $750 billion worth of assets under management. The firm’s deal with Primary Wave marks its first step into the music business.
Also this week, MBW reported that Universal Music Group’s 10-year ban in Europe on re-acquiring any asset – or re-signing any artist – involved in its EMI-related divestments has expired.
On September 21, 2012, the European Commission officially announced that it had cleared UMG’s acquisition of EMI Music, but with strict conditions.
In addition to the forced divestments, the EC stated, in no uncertain terms: “Universal [has] committed to not re-acquire the assets or re-sign any artists signed with the relevant entities for a period of ten years.”
This ten-year prohibition, said the EC at the time, would make sure that Universal’s EMI-related divestments would be “truly long-lasting”. On September 21, 2022, that 10-year deadline expired.
Elsewhere, MBW reported that approximately 100,000 fresh tracks are now being uploaded to music streaming platforms every day. Also, TikTok’s parent company is hiring for A&R Manager positions in four major North American cities, while Triller has secured $310 million investment ahead of its planned Q4 IPO.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) PRIMARY WAVE STRIKES $2 BILLION DEAL WITH FINANCIAL GIANT BROOKFIELD TO ACQUIRE MUSIC COPYRIGHTS
Primary Wave was already a power player in the music business. It just got a great deal more powerful.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Brookfield Asset Management has struck a $2 billion deal with Primary Wave Music to invest in music rights.
As part of the deal, Brookfield will acquire what the WSJ reports is a significant minority interest in Primary Wave.
Brookfield will also commit $1.7 billion to a fund to buy music rights – a huge pot of money for Primary Wave to manage.
Primary Wave Chief Executive Larry Mestel tells the Journal: “[This deal] means there isn’t any good acquisition that we couldn’t do in the music business. We’re not limited by size or opportunity…”
2) IT’S HAPPENED: 100,000 TRACKS ARE NOW BEING UPLOADED TO STREAMING SERVICES LIKE SPOTIFY EACH DAY
It was inevitable, but it’s no less eye-popping: approximately 100,000 fresh tracks are now being uploaded to music streaming platforms every day.
That’s according to two of the most influential figures in the modern music business: Universal Music Group CEO and Chairman, Sir Lucian Grainge, plus the outgoing CEO of Warner Music Group, Steve Cooper.
Addressing the Music Matters conference in Singapore on September 27, Grainge said that 100,000 tracks were now being “added to music platforms every day”.
Steve Cooper, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia event on September 12, said: “Today, on any given day of the week, roughly 100,000 tracks of music are uploaded to SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple, [and] so on.
“The complexity of being able to separate one’s music from the other 99,999 tracks uploaded that day is incredibly complex [and] incredibly difficult…”
3) AFTER 10 LONG YEARS, THE HANDCUFFS ARE COMING OFF UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP IN EUROPE.
For the past decade, Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music rights company, has been legally prevented from buying certain assets – and signing certain superstars – in Europe and the UK.
That’s a direct result of restrictions put on UMG by the European Commission (EC) back in 2012, when the Sir Lucian Grainge-led firm acquired the world’s then-fourth largest major record company, EMI Music, for approximately USD $1.9 billion from Citibank…
4) STILL CONVINCED THAT TIKTOK ISN’T TURNING INTO A RECORD COMPANY?
MBW asked earlier this summer if TikTok – via parent company Bytedance – was slowly turning into a record label.
If you’re still not convinced, allow us to let you in on something MBW just spotted online.
TikTok’s parent company is currently hiring for new A&R Manager positions in four major North American cities: Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Toronto.
The job description for that role sounds… very label-y to us…
5) TRILLER SECURES $310 MILLION INVESTMENT AHEAD OF PLANNED Q4 IPO
Much of the global economy is in disarray and major entertainment industries are having a tough time of things: Witness the US movie Box Office, where monthly September revenue is set to fall to its lowest point in 25 years (outside the pandemic).
In the music industry, however, the big money keeps on moving.
Last week, Concord confirmed it was buying a catalog from Phil Collins and his fellow Genesis members for a reported $300 million-plus.
Meanwhile, Triller – the oft-controversial TikTok rival– has confirmed that it’s secured a binding USD $310 million investment from GEM (Global Emerging Markets), a Luxembourg based alternative investment group…
MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.
Music Business Worldwide