Warner Music and BlackRock launch $750 million fund for various artists

Lately, white male arena rock artists have really taken advantage of their back catalogs as they approach retirement age. But in a surprising pivot, Warner Music Group, the third-largest record label, has teamed up with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, on a new $750 million fund that will promote specifically female musicians. and diversified.

Rather than buying the rights to whoever comes next – after Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Sting, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Motley Crue and the Beach Boys – the two companies say they will focus on the pursuit of “modern” youth. evergreen” by partnering with Influence Media, a music management and investment firm, led by industry heavyweights Lylette Pizarro and Lynn Hazan.

The fund has already spent $300 million on some 20 different catalogs that have over 20 billion lifetime streams. Among them is the work of songwriter Tainy (who has worked with Bad Bunny, reggaeton artist J Balvin and Cardi B), the Stereotypes (who co-wrote several Bruno Mars hits), Jessie Reyez ( who wrote songs for Dua Lipa and Sam Smith), and Skyler Stonestreet (who helped Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande). These artists would also retain stakes in their catalogs and participate in the promotion and marketing of their music alongside their new investors.

Influence founder Pizarro said the data shows audiences are changing to the point where it’s not just old white dude songs that now have broad appeal. “What we’re seeing now are newer titles behaving differently than they have historically,” she told the the wall street journal, who broke the news first. As an example of what’s happening, she cites video games — an industry that’s grown more than movies and sporting events combined during the pandemic — and other non-traditional avenues, like fitness apps that fit. best to “modern evergreens”. There is a real opportunity, she thinks, if these industries are attracted to this genre, they own the rights to the work of emerging artists and they can offer hundreds of songs from dozens of catalogs.

Although BlackRock has invested in music before, that’s traditionally what you’d expect from a fund manager who manages pension funds: established catalogs of legacy artists. However, as Pam Chan, Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Alternatives Group at BlackRock, puts it, Newspaper today: “The notion of modern evergreen seems like a natural evolution from how we’ve invested in older music before.”

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