Songs Music Publishing founder Matt Pincus has raised $200 million (including capital that he contributed) for a new venture that will solely invest in music industry companies and assets.
49-year-old Matt Pincus, whose Songs Music Publishing sold to Kobalt for a reported $160 million back in December of 2017, unveiled the $200 million in funding – and his plans for the tranche – today. JS Capital Management (founded by George Soros’ son Jonathan), LionTree (which had previously partnered with Pincus), and the Schusterman Family’s investment operation led the raise.
Regarding LionTree’s prior arrangement with Pincus, Music arrived on the scene in 2019 as a joint operation with the investment and merchant bank. Since then, Music has taken stakes in businesses like cloud-based music-creation platform Splice and “financial rights organization” HIFI, though these interests will remain separate from today’s $200 million venture of the identical name, according to Bloomberg.
Per the same source, the just-announced iteration of Music will chiefly look to make plays in the $25 million range, zeroing in (and working to obtain board seats) on “music technology, artist management and infrastructure” targets. (Pincus’ past board appointments include Splice, the Public Theater, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.)
However, Pincus (who will reportedly have free reign to choose investments) also signaled an openness to pursuing catalog buyouts, label purchases, and even startup deals. Notwithstanding a (relative) slowdown in the song-rights space amid broader economic woes, capital is still reaching the catalog segment, including in the form of comparatively modest moves from obscure players.
And needless to say, startups – especially those that operate at the intersection of music and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – are plentiful at the moment, while multiple options exist for label purchases, particularly in emerging markets.
Building upon the point, the past two months’ headlines attest to the funding that’s continuing to pour into (and around) the music industry despite the aforementioned state of the wider economy.
Since the start of April, SiriusXM has shelled out $150 million for Conan O’Brien’s podcast company, GoDigital Media Group has put up $100 million more for catalogs, Pollen has announced a $150 million Series C, and BandLab has closed a $65 million Series B, to name some.
Meanwhile, BMG, Warner Music, and One Media iP are reportedly competing to buy Pink Floyd’s catalog, which could fetch a staggering $500 million. Presumably, this rumored deal won’t factor into the reported $750 million that Warner Music and BlackRock in February committed to dropping on “modern evergreens.”