Music Monetization Platform Orfium Acquires Cue Sheet Management Company Soundmouse

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Orfium CEO Rob Wells, who previously served as Universal Music Group’s president of global digital business. Photo Credit: Orfium

Music-tech platform Orfium has officially announced the acquisition of 23-year-old Soundmouse, which claims to have established “the global standard for cue sheet and music reporting.”

Malibu-headquartered Orfium revealed its buyout of London-based Soundmouse today, via a formal release that was emailed to DMN. Led by former Universal Music Group president of global digital business Rob Wells, who joined as CEO in 2017, Orfium arrived on the scene eight years back.

Since then, the monetization-focused company’s offerings have “generated hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for its partners,” per Orfium, which is said to count as clients Warner Music, Sony Music, Hipgnosis, and Kobalt. Moreover, higher-ups say that Orfium’s tracking tools are designed to identify song usages across “new channels,” emerging platforms, and the metaverse alike.

Meanwhile, Soundmouse says that it specializes in cue sheet reporting and audio recognition, with clients including Paramount, SoundCloud, Walt Disney Studios, and an array of television networks, to name some. Also worth highlighting is that Soundmouse co-founders Kirk Zavieh and Charles Hodgkinson established Adelphoi (which provides music and related services to brands) about three decades back.

Orfium doesn’t appear to have publicly identified the financial specifics of today’s purchase, and the entity’s announcement message doesn’t elaborate upon the post-sale operation’s organizational structure and personnel details. With offices in England, Bulgaria, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Japan, Soundmouse is said to employ “almost 400” individuals.

However, the involved professionals did emphasize the deal’s perceived importance for rightsholders, besides making clear their ambitious vision for Orfium’s role within the wider entertainment ecosystem moving forward.

“Our software, built on advances in machine learning and AI, empowers rights owners, creators and key stakeholders to realise more value as new platforms for media consumption emerge and scale,” Rob Wells said in part. “There is no other company in this space building and investing in technology like Orfium.

“Acquiring Soundmouse enables us to scale our product offering and expand deeper into the complex infrastructure of the entertainment industry, streamlining content creation and management for programme makers, broadcasters and music rights holders,” concluded the former No Name Needed and Music Media CEO Wells.

And in a statement of his own, Soundmouse co-CEO Charles Hodgkinson said in part: “Over the past 20 years, Soundmouse has been building and setting the standard in cue sheet management and monitoring for the broadcast and entertainment production space. Combine that with Orfium’s expertise in UGC tracking and claiming for publishers, labels and production music companies and we bring the worlds of digital and broadcast together in an integrated way.”

Regarding the significance of the mentioned UGC tracking, music remains popular in community-driven gaming experiences – as well as their gameplay footage and customized clips – like Roblox and Fortnite; Mariah Carey performed on the former platform last month. Meanwhile, user-generated content drove a substantial portion of YouTube’s music industry payments between July of 2021 and June of 2022.