MBW’s Weekly Roundup: Mike Caren, The Killers, Epidemic Sound, Round Hill, Snap

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.


This week, we learned that Mike Caren’s Artist Partner Group (APG) is now a fully independent enterprise, via a new deal brokered between Caren and Warner Music Group which sees APG’s existing recordings catalog and artist roster move inside Atlantic Records (and away from APG) going forward.

Meanwhile, rock band The Killers have sold their pre-2020 music publishing catalog, including hits like Human and Mr. Brightside to Eldridge, a US-based holding company with a network of businesses across entertainment, finance, technology, and real estate.

Elsewhere, controversial Stockholm-headquartered production music house Epidemic Sound is “considering a sale or initial public offering that could value the Swedish music licensing business at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion)” according to Bloomberg.

Plus, Round Hill Music has closed its third private fund, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund III, with total equity commitments of $291m, while mobile music app (and Tiktok rival) Voisey has been bought by Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. for an undisclosed sum.


1. MIKE CAREN’S APG GOES FULLY INDEPENDENT, AS LABEL’S ARTIST ROSTER MOVES INSIDE ATLANTIC RECORDS

Mike Caren’s Artist Partner Group (APG) is now a fully independent enterprise.

The Los Angeles-based company was previously in a joint-venture partnership with Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records.

This JV saw the emergence of APG-signed artists such as Alec Benjamin, Ava Max, Bazzi, Charlie Puth, Don Toliver, Kehlani, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and others.

APG’s newly independent status has been brokered via a new deal between Caren and WMG which sees APG’s existing recordings catalog and artist roster move inside Atlantic Records (and away from APG) going forward.

This is in itself a significant acquisition for Atlantic, promising to boost the Warner label’s market share not only via APG’s catalog but also through new recordings from the label’s established stars.


2. The Killers sell music publishing catalog to Eldridge, including hits like Mr. Brightside and Human

Las Vegas rock band The Killers have sold their pre-2020 music publishing catalog, including hits like Human and Mr. Brightside to Eldridge, a holding company with a network of businesses across entertainment, finance, technology, and real estate.

The deal marks the first music catalog transaction for Eldridge, which has reportedly acquired the publishers and the writers’ share of the catalog, covering the band’s first five albums.

The Killers will continue to own their share of master recording income, including from syncs secured by Eldridge and the band.

Universal Music Publishing Group will continue to administer the band’s catalog, reports Billboard.


3. Could Epidemic Sound really be worth more than $1bn?

Epidemic Sound, the controversial Stockholm-headquartered production music house, is reportedly considering an IPO or sale at a company valuation of more than a billion dollars.

Bloomberg reports, citing sources, that Epidemic Sound is “considering a sale or initial public offering that could value the Swedish music licensing business at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion)”.

It says the company, led by CEO Oscar Hoglund, is working with an unnamed “adviser” to weigh its current options.

This is the second media report in the past few days of a music company potentially headed for a big-money IPO.

Last week, headlines suggested that Paris-headquartered distribution and services firm, Believe, is eyeing a $2bn-plus valuation via a flotation that could happen in 2021.

But how realistic is a billion dollar-plus valuation for Epidemic Sound?

Especially when, as recently as July last year, the company raised money at a valuation of $370m… less than a third of the size of the $1.2bn valuation that Bloomberg is now speculating?


4. Round Hill raises another $291m in third royalty fund (and has already spent most of it)

Round Hill Music has announced that it has closed its third private fund, Round Hill Music Royalty Fund III, with total equity commitments of $291m.

Of that $291m, says Round Hill, it’s already spent more than $200m on catalogs including hit songs performed by The Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Black Sabbath, Dropkick Murphys, Daughtry, Craig David, Kiss, Limp Bizkit, Blues Traveler, Bruno Mars, Skid Row, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Night Ranger and more.

The Royalty Fund III is separate to a new royalty fund (Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd) that Round Hill floated on the London Stock Exchange last week, which raised $282m ahead of its IPO.

That $282m was $93m lower than the $375m Round Hill was hoping to raise.

Round Hill’s initial intention was to spend the majority of this $375m IPO target to acquire a portfolio of copyrights owned by its Round Hill Music Royalty Fund I, which originally launched in the US in 2012.


5. Snapchat acquires mobile music app Voisey

Mobile music app Voisey has been bought by Snapchat parent company Snap Inc.

Business Insider was first to report on the acquisition, with the terms of the deal not disclosed.

Voisey allows users to record short videos using professional vocal effects and backing tracks provided by producers.

Videos are a maximum of 1 minute in length and centred around hooks rather than full songs and can be shared to social media platforms, into messaging apps or downloaded as video files.


MBW’s weekly round-up is exclusively supported by Centtrip, leading provider of smart treasury, foreign exchange and payment solutions for the music industry. Find out more here. Music Business Worldwide

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