×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kobalt Music Scores $75 Million Funding Round Led by Hearst Entertainment

Kobalt, the Sweden-based music-rights and publishing company, announced Monday that it has raised $75 million in growth capital. The Series D round was led by Hearst Entertainment, a unit of the Hearst media company, with participation from Balderton Capital and MSD Capital.

Kobalt, which represents Paul McCartney, Kelly Clarkson (pictured), Dave Grohl, Dr. Luke, The Chainsmokers, the Miles Davis estate and many others, said in a statement that it would “use the new funding to further scale its unique royalty collections platform to meet the demands of the global surge in music streaming.” The company prides itself on efficiency and transparency in collection of royalties and sharing of fan-engagement data.

Hearst has also invested previously in Pandora and XM Satellite Radio through its ventures arm, Hearst Ventures. However, this is its first investment in a music company.

“From the start, my vision for Kobalt has been to transform the music industry and help take it into the digital age,” said Willard Ahdritz, CEO of Kobalt Music, who founded the company in 2000. “Guided by core principles of transparency, technology, and putting creators first, I have never been more sure that our platform, combined with our global creative team, is the right one to serve creators and rights owners in the rapidly evolving digital music environment.”

“The music industry is growing revenue again, and it’s due to the meteoric rise of music streaming on services like Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora,” said Neeraj Khemlani, president of Hearst Entertainment. “Kobalt has built a global collections platform that plugs into the global usage files of music streaming companies to collect royalties faster and more efficiently for the artists and songwriters it represents.

“The deal continues Hearst’s foray into ‘entertainment for the next generation,’” Khemlani added, “and furthers the company’s B2B investment philosophy. Whereas Hearst’s recent investments in Complex and ATV are digital video plays, Kobalt is music, and we envision more areas of investment to come.”

More Biz

  • Leslie Moonves

    Leslie Moonves Quietly Exits AFI and Paley Center Boards

    Leslie Moonves, the ousted CEO of CBS Corp. who has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, is no longer serving on the boards of trustees of the American Film Institute and the Paley Center for Media. For now, Moonves retains his seat on the board of gaming company ZeniMax Media. The appointments on [...]

  • DOJ Indicts Five in Piracy Ring

    Department of Justice Indicts Five in International Piracy Ring

    Five men were indicted Wednesday on charges that they hacked into the servers of production companies, and stole hundreds of films and TV shows, including “50 Shades of Grey” and “The Walking Dead.” The men are based in four countries — the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and India. Only one has been [...]

  • Endeavor Sued Over Idaho Country Music

    Endeavor Sued Over Idaho Country Music Festival

    A former county official in rural Idaho sued Endeavor on Wednesday, alleging she is owed more than $190,000 in unpaid loans arising from a troubled country music festival. According to her complaint, Bonnie Layton was the economic development director for Elmore County, Idaho, when she came in contact with the organizers of the Mountain Home [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Weinstein Attorney: 'Many of These Women Have Lied'

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorney blasted the Manhattan D.A.’s office on Wednesday, arguing that prosecutors brought a flawed case in haste due to public pressure. Ben Brafman sent a letter to Judge James Burke, who is scheduled to hear a motion to dismiss the case next week. In it, he responded to Assistant D.A. Kevin Wilson, who [...]

  • 2019 Variety Predictions

    2019 Predictions: What's in Store for Film, TV and Music Next Year?

    It would be hard to top the drama of 2018. From media mega-mergers to the rise of Time’s Up, it was a year that had more than its fair share of twists and turns. Leslie Moonves resigned in disgrace, AT&T snapped up Time Warner, Disney inched closer to subsuming Fox and “Black Panther” shattered box [...]

  • Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for

    Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for IPO, Much Less Than Expected

    China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group said it raised nearly $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was expected to be valued at as much as $30 billion and raise $4 billion for its IPO, but those estimates were slashed in September. The IPO [...]

  • Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten Partner

    Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten Partner With Warner Bros. for New Label

    As previously reported, hit songwriter Justin Tranter and Warner/Chappell Publishing’s Katie Vinten are launching a new label in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, the company announced officially today. In her new role, Vinten, most recently the company’s co-head of A&R, will also serve as an A&R Consultant to Warner Bros. Records and will continue with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content