Spotify refuseniks Placebo hand keys to their digital catalogue to Kobalt

Kobalt Label Services (KLS) is getting into the digital catalogue game: it’s signed what it’s calling “a new kind of deal” with Placebo to distribute and monetise the band’s first six albums.

The deal covers the British band’s platinum-selling early LPs – their eponymous debut (1996) and follow-up Without You I’m Nothing (1998).

Interestingly, Placebo have been career-long Spotify holdouts, with the exception of their latest album, 2013’s Loud Like Love.

It appears that the digital rights to Placebo’s material have reverted to the group, alongside their management company Riverman. With the exception of 2009’s Battle For The Sun on [PIAS]/Vagrant, all of their albums have initially been released on major labels.

KLS will provide Placebo with digital services, such as global digital marketing, hands-on project management and maximisation of their YouTube reach and income.

Time will tell if Kobalt, broadly a big supporter of Spotify and its growth, can coax the band onto audio streaming services.

As part of the deal, Placebo will gain access to Kobalt’s much-vaunted Client Portal for their accounting, while KLS will also offer Placebo the opportunity to develop bespoke band-related digital products and apps.

In addition to working the albums, Kobalt will apparently also get access to “a plethora of associated audio and visual archive material spanning Placebo’s 20 year career”.

KLS UK Managing Director Vincent Clery-Melin said “We’re incredibly excited to be working with such an iconic band as Placebo, and thrilled to be a part of the team – steered by Riverman Management – in what I’m sure is going to be a landmark campaign for the band’s catalogue.

“I believe this new digitally-focused services approach will help showcase Kobalt’s leadership in the fields of digital monetisation, transparent reporting, digital marketing and access to technology and innovation”.

Alex Weston, Riverman Management added: “Kobalt offers Placebo the worldwide label service expertise we were looking for, to realise the potential of the band’s rich digital catalogue. We were hugely impressed by their proactive and knowledgeable team who understood the band’s objectives and how to create innovative and captivating platforms in areas of their catalogue which previously were not available to exploit”.

Kobalt Label Services is currently works with other artists including Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Pet Shop Boys, David Gray, Lenny Kravitz, Big & Rich, Julian Casablancas, Karen O and Todd Terje.Music Business Worldwide

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