MusicBird Scores $100 Million Loan to Acquire Additional Catalogs, Outlines Plans for ‘Next Phase of Growth’

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Stockholm-based NoNoNo, which inked a catalog deal with MusicBird in 2021. Photo Credit: Akam1k3

Swiss catalog-investment company MusicBird has announced that it’s secured a $100 million loan to bankroll additional song-rights acquisitions.

MusicBird unveiled the “up to $100 million” term loan facility (provided by Tokyo’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) via a formal release today. Founded in 2020, the Wollerau, Schwyz-headquartered business named Paul Brown (formerly with Pandora, Spotify, and Sony Music) CEO towards 2021’s end.

And predictably, given this newly detailed financing, MusicBird – which says that it employs “a data-driven, agile approach to investing” – intends “to scale its music rights portfolio in the coming months.”

At present, the “highly selective” entity’s holdings include the publishing catalog of Rihanna and Weezer songwriter J.R. Rotem as well as both the master income and publishing rights of “It Wasn’t Me” artist Shaggy. Additionally, June of 2021 saw MusicBird wrap a deal for the catalog of NoNoNo, the act behind the much-streamed “Pumpin Blood.”

While MusicBird higher-ups (including CFO Roger Howl, formerly an exec with Sony Music and Hipgnosis) haven’t shed light upon the precise catalogs that they intend to pursue next, Brown indicated that his company will zero in on “iconic songs which have stood the test of time.”

“We are delighted to be working closely with the MUFG team as we grow our business and continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring diverse music rights in collaboration with incredibly talented songwriters, artists and partners across the industry,” communicated the former Walt Disney Company and HTC exec Brown. “Our team is passionate about building a collection of iconic songs which have stood the test of time and continue to delight fans.”

MusicBird’s $100 million funding announcement arrives as a number of high-profile catalog sales are closing – with evidence suggesting that negotiations are underway for what could be the largest song-rights transaction to date.

Plus, on top of the many catalog deals that have come to fruition across 2023’s first five or so weeks, players including Shamrock Capital, Concord, Domain Capital, Primary Wave (which scored a $2 billion Brookfield investment last October), and Litmus Music have publicly touched upon plans to inject more capital yet into the space. Meanwhile, JKBX disclosed three days back that it had obtained $1.7 billion worth of music rights – a figure that’s expected to grow to $4 billion by 2023’s end.

Yesterday, Hipgnosis Song Management revealed a deal for the rights to “around 40 songs” written by Tobias Jesso Jr., whereas Reservoir, Exceleration, and Seeker Music are among the companies that bought music IP in January.