MBW’s Weekly Roundup: Twitch, Round Hill, Primary Wave, Spotify, Shutterstock 

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, Amazon-owned live-streaming platform Twitch published a lengthy blog post in which it apologized to its users for the recent music copyright issues on its platform, and explained that it’s still locked in licensing negotiations with the major record companies.

Meanwhile, Round Hill’s new royalty fund (Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd) raised $282m ahead of going public on the London Stock Exchange this morning (November 13).

Elsewhere, speaking on the MBW Podcast, Larry Mestel revealed that Primary Wave is currently “finishing off” the $500m-plus fund that it launched last year, and it’s plotting an additional future raise that’s expected to be “significantly bigger” than those that have come before…

Plus, Spotify is acquiring podcast ad platform Megaphone for $235m, while Shutterstock, Inc has announced the buyout of AI-driven music platform Amper Music for an undisclosed sum.

Credit: Caspar Camille Rubin
1. Twitch apologizes (to its users) for music copyright issues, says it’s still locked in negotiations with major record companies

Amazon-owned live-streaming platform Twitch has made headlines twice this year for taking action against its users for copyright infringement.

The first time came in June, when the platform claimed to have received “a sudden influx of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19″, with the company threatening to terminate the accounts of “repeat infringers”.

It happened again last month, when Twitch was hit with “thousands” of DMCA infringement notifications over copyrighted music used in videos, with the situation described by some as a “bloodbath”.

Now, in a new blog post, the platform has apologized for such issues occurring, while conceding that its users’ “frustration and confusion with recent music-related copyright issues is completely justified”.

2. Round Hill raises $282m ahead of going public today (November 13)

Round Hill’s new royalty fund (Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd) floated on the London Stock Exchange this morning (November 13).

The company this week announced that the fund had successfully raised gross proceeds of $282m ahead of the flotation, following applications for the issue of 282m Ordinary Shares at a price of US $1.00 each.

The $282m figure is $93m smaller than the $375m raise that Round Hill targeted last month in the announcement of the intention to float its new fund.

The $375m target was also based on the prospective issue of shares worth $1.00 each.


Is Larry Mestel about to raise a billion dollars? Don’t bet against it.

Mestel’s Primary Wave has raised over $800m in the past four years via two IP funds: a $300m fund in 2016, backed by Black Rock, and a further $500m-plus fund launched last year.

This money has been used by Primary Wave to acquire premium music assets including substantial interests in the song catalogs of icons such as Ray Charles, Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Smokey Robinson and the Four Seasons.

Now, speaking on the MBW Podcast, Mestel reveals that Primary Wave is currently “finishing off” that $500m-plus second fund, while plotting an additional future raise that’s expected to be “significantly bigger” than those that have come before.

4. Spotify to buy podcast ad platform Megaphone for $235m, bringing its total podcast acquisition spend to over $800m in the past 2 years

Spotify has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire podcast advertising and publishing platform Megaphone.

Megaphone provides hosting and ad-insertion capabilities for publishers and targeted ad sales for brand partners.

Founded in 2015, the company is headquartered in Reston, VA and also has offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Variety reports that Spotify is acquiring the company for $235 million in cash, which is more than Spotify itself generated in total advertising revenues in the whole of Q3 ($185m).

At the close of September, Spotify had $1.18bn in cash/cash equivalents on its balance sheet.

5. Shutterstock acquires AI-driven music platform Amper Music

It’s been 16 months since TikTok acquired an AI music platform in Jukedeck. Now, there’s been another major corporate acquisition of a company that specializes in the creation of music via artificial intelligence.

New York-based stock photography firm Shutterstock, Inc – which generated $650.5m in revenues last year – has today (November 11) announced the buyout of AI-driven music platform Amper Music for an undisclosed sum.

The move adds to a growing trend of stock image sites getting involved in rights-free music: earlier this year, Shutterstock rival Adobe inked a deal to carry rights-free music catalogs from both Epidemic Sound and Jamendo, while Getty Images also hosts a royalty-free music library powered by Epidemic Sound.

Shutterstock, though, is going the AI route: Amper Music enables its users to create and customize original music by using over 1 million individual audio samples recorded by musicians on thousands of instruments.

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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