Kobalt buys Fintage House’s music business to create Neighbouring Rights empire 

Kobalt Music Group has fully acquired the music publishing and Neighbouring Rights businesses of Fintage House – one of the biggest players, and Kobalt’s toughest rivals, in the multi-billion dollar NR space.

The deal brings Fintage’s NR roster of artists – including Katy Perry (pictured), Bruce Springsteen and Britney Spears – into Kobalt, which already looks after Neighbouring Rights for acts such as Paul McCartney, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande and many more.

Source: Kobalt buys Fintage House’s music business to create Neighbouring Rights empire – Music Business Worldwide

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Kobalt strikes ‘revolutionary’ deal with YouTube giant AwesomenessTV

Kobalt has signed a new partnership with multi-platform media company Awesomeness TV which it says will ‘revolutionize’ the music business.

AwesomenessTV, co-owned by Comcast, Hearst and Verizon, counts amongst its properties a multi-channel network (MCN) with over 90,000 YouTube channels. It will now connect its emerging musical talent with Kobalt’s publishing, label services and neighboring rights offerings.

Source: Kobalt strikes ‘revolutionary’ deal with YouTube giant AwesomenessTV – Music Business Worldwide

Another Reason to Court Celebrity 

Harry Styles, a singer in the British boy-band One Direction, has been discussing deals with an upfront fee in excess of $6 million while aiming to retain majority ownership of his songs, according to people familiar with the matter. Ex-bandmate Zayn Malik got several million dollars for a publishing deal with Kobalt Music Group Ltd. in June, according to Sas Metcalfe, who oversees Kobalt’s deals.

The industrywide scramble for marquee talent, said Ms. Metcalfe, “feels a bit desperate sometimes.” She added that Kobalt competes not just by dangling big advances but by offering its own royalty-collection technology and letting songwriters retain 100% of their copyrights for an administration fee—an arrangement that major music publishers tend to avoid.

Source: Another Reason to Court Celebrity – WSJ

Kobalt rethinks the ‘greatest hits’ album with dynamic David Gray ‘Best Of’ 

David Emery, VP Global Marketing Strategy, Kobalt Label Services, told MBW that the format would give Kobalt and Gray the opportunity to keep the artist’s 850,000-plus monthly listeners on Spotify engaged.

“We didn’t just want to make a static playlist – Kobalt has the technology to create something special that changes and adapts with David Gray as an artist,” he said. “We have noticed that the tracks that are most popular for [David Gray] change over time on Spotify, and a lot of that is driven by playlists.

Source: Kobalt rethinks the ‘greatest hits’ album with dynamic David Gray ‘Best Of’ – Music Business Worldwide

This Kobalt-managed fund has spent $200m on music rights in 5 years

Kobalt Music Group, the company that’s relentlessly disrupted the music industry since launching at the turn of the Millennium, is still very much based on the principle that its clients – across publishing, label services and neighbouring rights – get to retain their own copyrights.

“Kobalt’s mission has always been to take the music industry into the digital age as a service provider to rights-owners,” Kobalt CEO Ahdritz (pictured) tells MBW. “That’s what we are and what we always have been.”

Source: This Kobalt-managed fund has spent $200m on music rights in 5 years – Music Business Worldwide

Nettwerk sells 30-year-old publishing catalogue to Kobalt investment fund 

More than 18,000 songs developed and acquired by Nettwerk’s publishing division over the past 30 years have been bought by Kobalt Music Copyrights (KMC), MBW can reveal.

KMC is an independent investment fund established in 2011. It is advised and managed by Kobalt Capital Ltd – but operates as a separate entity to Kobalt Music Group. The vast majority of copyrights owned by Nettwerk’s publishing company will now switch to KMC, and be administered by Kobalt.

Source: Nettwerk sells 30-year-old publishing catalogue to Kobalt investment fund – Music Business Worldwide

So… do new artists really need to sign to a record label? 

Kobalt boss Willard Ahdritz has never been shy about proclaiming his company’s model – that of artists and writers holding onto their own copyrights – as the future of the music business.

Now a new film from The Economist delves into the pros and cons of musicians disregarding the traditional label deal – ie. receiving advance money in exchange for a lifelong portion of their royalties.

Source: So… do new artists really need to sign to a record label? – Music Business Worldwide