Kobalt Music Group has raised $ 75 million in a Series D funding round led by media giant Hearst Entertainment.
The investment also saw the participation of existing backers from Kobalt, Balderton Capital and MSD Capital.
The news comes just over two years after Kobalt secured $ 60 million in funding, in a round led by Google Ventures.
Kobalt said he would use the new funding to further develop his royalty collection platform.
Hearst Entertainment’s parent company recently reported $ 10.8 billion in revenue for 2016, with record profits. The company owns television channels such as HISTORY and ESPN, in addition to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle.
It also owns nearly 300 magazine brands, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR and Car & Driver, and has previously invested in BuzzFeed, Vice, Complex Networks and Awesomeness TV.
At the same time, Hearst Entertainment produced and / or distributes a film library featuring nearly 200 films and 400 half-hour animated series.
“From the start, my vision for Kobalt has been to transform the music industry and help it enter the digital age,” said Willard Ahdritz, Founder and CEO of Kobalt Music.
“With the strong growth of streaming and the billions of microtransactions that take place per song, the music industry is more complex than ever.
“Guided by the core principles of transparency, technology and creator first, I have never been more confident that our platform, combined with our global creative team, is the right one to serve creators and rights holders. in the rapidly changing digital music environment. “
“We are delighted to welcome Hearst as a new investor in Kobalt. They share our passion for making sure creators are paid and fully informed. “
Willard Ahdritz, Kobalt (photo)
Kobalt Music Group recorded annual revenue of $ 260 million in the 12-month period to the end of June of last year, a 15% jump year-over-year.
Documents filed at Companies House in the UK last month revealed that the company has also seen its operating loss drop significantly, falling 32.4% To $ 16.7 million of $ 24.7 million during the 2015 financial year.
In this case, the company admitted that it was “in advanced negotiations with new and existing investors to ensure that the Group has the necessary resources to support its rapid growth plans”.
Now we know exactly which investors he was referring to.
“The music industry is once again increasing its revenues and this is due to the boom in music streaming on services like Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora,” said Neeraj Khemlani, president of Hearst Entertainment .
“Willard has brilliantly positioned Kobalt to be a significant company at the center of this burgeoning industry by creating an invaluable platform for artists, songwriters and third-party labels and publishers looking to have full and on-time transparency. real impact on how their music is consumed and thus collect royalty income more efficiently and quickly than ever before. ”
Ahdritz added: “We are delighted to welcome Hearst as a new investor in Kobalt. They share our passion for making sure creators are paid and fully informed. Hearst is a leading content owner with exciting investments in new forms of entertainment for the next generation of consumers. We welcome them to the Kobalt Board of Directors.
Kobalt’s Music Publishing, Neighboring Rights and Recordings / AWAL divisions serve over 25,000 songwriters, 600 publishers and 20,000 independent artists, including The Chainsmokers, Kelly Clarkson, Miles Davis, Dave Grohl, Dr Luke, Zayn Malik, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Pitbull, Elvis Presley, Skrillex, Sam Smith and more.Music trade around the world