Subscription-based royalty-free music platform Epidemic Sound has raised $450 million (at a total valuation of $1.4 billion) in a funding round.
The 12-year-old company recently unveiled its nearly half-billion-dollar funding round in a formal release. According to this announcement message, EQT Growth (which, like Epidemic, is based out of Stockholm) and “funds managed by Blackstone Growth,” a two-year-old division of Harry Fox Agency parent The Blackstone Group, fronted the capital.
As part of the “expanded partnership” with EQT and Blackstone, Epidemic Sound intends to build upon its “current growth trajectory,” including by supporting “international expansion in both existing and new markets.” And while the text doesn’t disclose Epidemic’s precise plans for the $450 million tranche, EQT and Blackstone will also assist “with accelerated customer acquisition and investments in the core user experience” moving forward.
Additionally, the release relays that EQT Mid Market Europe, which purchased a 40 percent stake in Epidemic Sound in 2017, has sold off a portion of the interest. EQT will “remain invested,” however, and is still the single largest stakeholder in the company, which notes that its song library now encompasses north of 32,000 tracks.
Much of the remainder of the release highlights the exponential growth that the user-generated content (UGC) space has experienced in recent years, noting that “by 2022, online videos are expected to make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic” – a full 15 times more than their share of consumer internet traffic in 2017.
Of course, a substantial portion of this media will require music, and the aforementioned library of Epidemic Sound – which pushed back against criticism from several European musician organizations last year – currently generates some “1.5 billion daily YouTube views and more than 10 million daily streams across music streaming platforms,” per the document.
Addressing his company’s multimillion-dollar funding round in a statement, Epidemic Sound co-founder and CEO Oscar Höglund said: “We’re in the privileged position where our music is the soundtrack to our generation’s greatest achievement. We know what the internet sounds like and through data, we can see the trends emerging among content creators as they use our tracks to bring their stories to life.
“We’re thrilled to partner with EQT Growth and BXG to continue scaling how we use this data to grow our global network of creators and empower them all to thrive through new products, new music and new insights.”
Earlier this week, YouTube announced plans to automatically deduct taxes from creators’ U.S. earnings. And back in December, after raising $48 million through a funding round earlier in 2020, subscription music licensing platform Artlist acquired Motion Array for $65 million.