Hipgnosis Catalog Gets the Sliced-and-Diced Sample Treatment — Beatclub Deal Officially Announced

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Photo Credit: Stephen McCarthy / Collision / CC by 2.0

Hipgnosis Song Management (HSM) has inked a partnership deal with Beatclub and invested in the Timbaland-founded platform.

London-based Hipgnosis Song Management (the “investment adviser” of the publicly traded Hipgnosis Songs Fund, that is) and four-year-old Beatclub announced their tie-up today, via a formal release that was emailed to DMN.

On the partnership front, those who utilize the creator marketplace Beatclub – most notably Timbaland (who sold his catalog to HSF in 2019) and Justin Timberlake (who finalized a reportedly $100 million catalog deal with HSM last May) – “will have the ability to sample some of the most iconic songs in the world within the Hipgnosis catalog” moving forward.

Of course, it’s unclear whether this sliced-and-diced licensing arrangement is what music professionals had in mind when selling their IP to Hipgnosis. But as sync licensing is a major focus under the union (“Beatclub will help Hipgnosis in securing additional sync opportunities”) and certain Hipgnosis works’ placements have elicited criticism in the past, logic suggests that tracks will be carefully selected for inclusion on Beatclub.

In any event, the revenue and exposure resulting from these placements could prove substantial, and HSM head Merck Mercuriadis in a statement emphasized the perceived commercial potential associated with featuring pieces of classic tracks in the hits of tomorrow.

“Timbaland has been an important part of Hipgnosis Songs for many years. His iconic songs and productions define not only Hip Hop and R&B but Pop music too. I love what he, Gary [Marella, co-founder and CEO of Beatclub] and the Beatclub team are building and at a time when interpolation and sampling has never been a more important part of creation and success I want the greatest creators in the world to have access to our incomparable songs to make them the hits not only of the past but the future as well!”

Shifting to the investment side, the involved parties’ official announcement message doesn’t identify the precise sum that Hipgnosis injected into Beatclub or disclose the terms of the overarching pact. However, HSM participated specifically in the platform’s Series A-2 round.

“To have Hipgnosis as an investor and partner in Beatclub is incredible,” communicated Mono Music Group founder and CEO Gary Marella. “Beatclub unlike any other platform in this space was built for creators by creators. I love that Merck is always fighting for song writers and producer’s rights. Our mission has always been to empower artists, song writers and producers however we can.”

In late January, Rick Astley sued Yung Gravy for allegedly tricking listeners into thinking that he (Astley) had been sampled on “Betty (Get Money).” Separately, SoundWare and Soundtrack Loops at February’s start partnered to create a royalty-free sample marketplace.