London based music publishing company One Media IP Group announced this week that it had successfully raised a surplus of 6 million pounds in investment, and plans to invest these funds into the acquisition of writers and performance rights in music.
The acquisition programme, known as Harmony IP, has invested 12 million as of June 30 but sparked by interest in further investment using a discounted share price scheme, plans to double or triple that figure in the near future. with appreciating assets and comments of underpriced value, one media turned the interest in to a bigger dive into the field.
What makes this interesting is that it speaks to the a number of trends in the music industry.
A recent from Goldman Sachs report, forecasts that net revenues for the industry will double over the next decade to almost $47billion.
it also speaks to the latest trend seen in music rights of artists, particularly producers, selling their rights in their music as a means of raising capital.
This was a business move I first saw in DJ Mustard, the platinum selling LA based producer (YG, Polo G, Roddy Ricch, Ella Mai, 2 Chainz), who made the bold move a few years back to sell the rights in classic singles like “Who Do You Love” and “Rack City”, and going on to invest that money in his own label and independent music career. Deadweights in his catalogue in a publishing sense, he sought to recoup the funds and invest in his own brand.
Esteemed hip-hop producer No I.D., famous for producing for Jay Z, Common, and mentoring none other than Kanye West, made a similar move earlier this month.
This is in stark contrast to the “own your own masters” movement, spearheaded by artists like the late Prince and Jay Z, who have criticised labels for their discriminatory practices, instead pushing for artists to take the power in their own hands and operate as independents.
In the UK, this model has seen a lot of success - Stormzy, AJ Tracey and D Block Europe have all seen incredible chart success from independent business.
However, selling your rights is a bold move that mirrors an equity investment; but instead of selling shareholdings, artists can sell equity in their music and while relinquishing their prized rights, can raise funds to push themselves even harder.
The aim of One Media’s Harmony IP is to exchange a portion of music rights income in return for a lump sum payment. The group adds value to the content by maximising its availability in over 600 digital stores globally, including Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon and Spotify.
The opportunity here for UK music, as many long time fans can speak to, is immense. Several classic UK mixtapes and albums remain commercially untapped. Everything from Skeptas Community Payback mixtape to the timeless Giggs and Dubz’ Ard Bodied remain absent from streaming services, radio play or any means of commercial exploitation. Instead they are confined to the dusty corners of old iTunes folders and under appreciated YouTube playlists.
It is yet to be seen whether these untapped resources will be the focus of Harmony IP’s shopping list. So far they have only spoken on their success in less popular genres, noting that they had seen “an uplift in streaming of children’s, classical and ambient music”.
But this new capital could provide an opportunity for expansion and for deals to be made on this side of the Atlantic too.