×

Kobalt Invests $150 Million in its AWAL Recorded-Music Operation

Kobalt announced today a significant expansion of AWAL, its recorded-music division, by investing $150 million into the business, hiring 100 additional employees and introducing new technology products at this year’s SXSW conference. The company also announced it is combining all of its recording businesses under the AWAL name. The company’s services include digital distribution, music data, marketing, A&R and promotion.

“We’re leveling the playing field,” said Kobalt Music Founder & CEO, Willard Ahdritz. “For too long, artists have had to go through the gatekeepers to make a living out of music. Today, artists can build a career without the hangover of a traditional label deal. Hundreds of artists on AWAL are making over $50,000 a year and many earn in the millions without signing away their rights. We are also helping dozens of other independent labels do the same for their artists.”

According to a press release, the company’s goal is to help enable artists to attain “career-defining success as independent artists while retaining their music rights,” citing AWAL artists like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lauv, Bruno Major, Tom Misch, R3HAB,The Wombats, VÉRITÉ, and many more have all had.

“There are thousands of artists with real potential today who are lacking a true global partner with the capacity for funding, A&R, music data insights, promotion, distribution, and marketing support,” said AWAL CEO, Lonny Olinick. “To be able to help all of these artists, you need to understand what level of support and capital artists need at what stage in their career — so they can continue to rise. Through our tech platform and global team with deep industry experience across the globe, AWAL is in a unique position to support both the rising stars and global superstars.”

The company also announced that more data and analytics will be available via the AWAL app, and it is also organizing an “AWAL House” at SXSW with workshops, demonstrations, speakers and showcases.

Kobalt has been on a growth spurt in recent months, acquiring the publishing catalogs of The Weeknd, Lorde, Major Lazer and others with its acquisition of Songs Music Publishing (via the Kobalt Capital Fund) for an estimated $150 million in December.  Kobalt recently secured another $14 million to its recent Series D round of growth capital, bringing the total to $89 million.

More Music

  • Joe Osborn Dead: Bassist Who Played

    Joe Osborn, Wrecking Crew Bassist, Dies at 81

    Bassist Joe Osborn died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 14 at 81. Osborn was no ordinary studio musician. From the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, Osborn was ubiquitous, playing on tunes as silly as The Monkees theme and as sublime as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” You can see Osborn backing Ricky Nelson [...]

  • Kanye West Is Looking For ‘Metal

    Kanye West Is Looking For ‘Metal Gear Solid’ Creator Hideo Kojima in NY

    American rapper and fashion designer Kanye West took to Twitter on Friday in an attempt to reach out to creator of “Metal Gear Solid” Hideo Kojima, and seemingly set up a meeting while both are in New York. “Heard Hideo Kojima is in NY We need to meet Does anyone know where he is or [...]

  • Cardi B

    Offset Crashes Cardi B's Set at Rolling Loud Festival (Watch)

    Migos rapper Offset is continuing a public display of contrition to win back wife and fellow rapper Cardi B. Appearing onstage at the Rolling Loud Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday night, Offset surprised the crowd at the Banc of California Stadium by appearing during Cardi’s set with flowers and a cake and displaying the [...]

  • Peter Bjorn and John -Björn Yttling

    As Peter Bjorn & John Celebrates 20 Years, the Band Returns to its 'Darker' Roots

    A trifecta of pure energy hit the stage at the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday night as Peter Bjorn & John performed the second-to-last stop of a 2018 tour. Promoting their new album “Darker Days,” which dropped October 19, the band went back to basics as a three-piece for this outing (drummer John [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • Mary Poppins 1964

    P.L. Travers' Efforts to Adapt 'Mary Poppins' for Film, TV Were Often Less Than Jolly

    Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel decades in the making, opens Dec. 19. Even before the 1964 original, Hollywood made several attempts to adapt P.L. Travers’ books, with Samuel Goldwyn and Katharine Hepburn among those involved in the chase. But aside from a one-hour 1949 CBS television version, they all hit a dead-end. The first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content