Here. Come. The. Giants.

Yesterday (October 6), on our Talking Trends podcast, MBW told you that investment heavyweight KKR is backing an all-new, massive-money entity launching in the music industry.

Today (October 7), having spoken to multiple other sources, we’re telling you that’s a fact.

But we’re also telling you it’s just part of a game-changing trend: the giants of the financial world are now really waking up to the modern music business’s true value – and they’re throwing billions at it.

For starters, New York-based Apollo Global Management is in.

Investment management titan Apollo is investing up to $1 billion in HarbourView – a new music rights and media content-focused firm run by Sherrese Clarke Soares, the former head of Tempo Music Investments.

The real Big Kahuna of this story, though, is Blackstone… and the fact it’s about to get into bed with Hipgnosis.

After it invested in music business companies such as SESAC and MNRK (formerly eOne Music), MBW understands that Blackstone is about to launch a new joint entity with Hipgnosis, that insiders tell us that will have “a billion dollars… or significantly more” to spend on music copyrights.

That new entity will be Hipgnosis-affiliated, we hear, but will not be Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the song-investment fund that trades on the London Stock Exchange.

We’ve heard a couple of industry whisperers of late asking, “Where’s Merck Mercuriadis going to get the money he needs to keep growing Hipgnosis through the rest of 2021?”

The answer, it seems, is coming. And it’s huge.

Mercuriadis wasn’t available for comment when we contacted him just now.

But our sources tell us more details of the Blackstone x Hipgnosis alliance will be here – and on MBW – early next week.

Make no mistake, this trio of massive new investments in the catalog acquisition space – from KKR, Apollo, and Blackstone – is about to change everything.

It seems that following Universal Music Group‘s hugely successful flotation on the Amsterdam stock exchange (current market cap: €45.28 billion / $52.3 billion), everyone wants in to music rights.

To put all of this into context:

  • KKR (& Co Inc) – which already has an existing billion-dollar investment vehicle in music running with BMG – has a portfolio of assets under its management worth $234 billion;
  • Apollo Global Management already has a portfolio of assets under its management worth $455 billion;
  • Blackstone has a portfolio of assets under its management worth $649 billion

The music industry just transformed forever.

Can you feel them ol’ power dynamics shifting underground?Music Business Worldwide