From Deezer’s AI music strategy, to who HYBE might try to buy in Latin Music… it’s MBW’s Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to Music Business Worldwide’s weekly round-up – where we make sure you caught the five biggest stories to hit our headlines over the past seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximize their income and reduce their touring costs.
This week, France-born music streaming service Deezer set out a strategy to address fraudulent streaming activity and the rise of AI music on its platform.
Deezer says that it’s building a set of tools to detect AI-generated content, and aims to develop a system for tagging music created by generative AI, starting with songs using synthetic voices of existing artists.
Elsewhere, after Bloomberg broke the news last week that HYBE was raising around USD $380 million “to fund acquisitions in the US and expand its business beyond K-pop”, industry sources subsequently suggested to MBW that the final number in HYBE’s raise could be even bigger.
Many suspect that HYBE will particularly target M&A opportunities in Latin Music with the money, as that category continues to explode. This week, MBW picked out ten on-the-rise Latin Music companies that may or may not be on HYBE’s mind..
Also this week, Firebird – co-founded by ex-KKR Partner Nat Zilkha and ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, with Raine Group as its lead investor – revealed the names of a number of music and music-adjacent companies in which it has acquired stakes.
Plus, Anthem Entertainment expanded its long-standing partnership with Timbaland, while DistroKid faces a potential class-action lawsuit over how it handles takedown requests.
Here’s what happened this week…
1) HYBE IS RAISING A STACK OF CAPITAL TO BUY LATIN MUSIC COMPANIES. WHO MIGHT IT TARGET?
Last week, Bloomberg broke the news that HYBE was raising around USD $380 million “to fund acquisitions in the US and expand its business beyond K-pop”.
Industry sources have subsequently suggested to MBW that the final number in HYBE’s raise could be even bigger.
“I’m told they already have USD $1 billion committed to this raise,” said one well-placed source with knowledge of HYBE’s process. “It could stay there, or move up even higher.”
What is HYBE going to spend – or at least try to spend – this money on acquiring?
2) FIREBIRD CONFIRMS INVESTMENTS IN MICK MANAGEMENT, LEX BORRERO’S NTERTAIN, DEFECTED, MORE
Firebird Music Holdings has appeared a few times in MBW headlines over the past year.
In September last year, we exclusively revealed that the US company had acquired a minority stake in Coran Capshaw’s Red Light Management.
Two months later, we discovered that Firebird had bought a substantial stake in UK-headquartered Transgressive Records.
On Tuesday (June 6), Firebird – co-founded by ex-KKR Partner Nat Zilkha and ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, with Raine Group as its lead investor – has revealed the names of a number of other music and music-adjacent companies in which it has acquired stakes…”
3) ANTHEM INVESTS IN TIMBALAND’S MUSIC MARKETPLACE BEATCLUB, ACQUIRES ADDITIONAL PUBLISHING INTERESTS IN HIS CATALOG
Canada-headquartered Anthem Entertainment is expanding its long-standing partnership with music producer and songwriter Timbaland.
Firstly, as part of the announcement, the company has made an investment in Timbaland and Gary Marella-founded beat marketplace Beatclub.
Financial terms of the investment, part of Beatclub’s series A-2 funding round, were not disclosed…
4) AS AI-MADE MUSIC EXPLODES, DEEZER LAYS OUT STRATEGY TO IDENTIFY AI TRACKS AND ‘WEED OUT ILLEGAL AND FRAUDULENT CONTENT’ ON ITS PLATFORM
Deezer says it is building a set of tools to detect AI-generated content on its platform, and aims to develop a system for tagging music that has been created by generative AI, starting with songs using synthetic voices of existing artists.
The tags will be used to keep artists, labels, and users informed about what’s “real” or AI–generated on the platform.
Deezer claims that its plan will reduce fraudulent activity, and that it also plans to “develop a remuneration model that distinguishes between different types of music creation…”
5) DISTROKID FACES POTENTIAL CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT OVER HOW IT HANDLES TAKEDOWN REQUESTS
A US indie music label is seeking to launch a class-action lawsuit against music distributor DistroKid.
The claim argues that DistroKid’s policies make it impossible for indie labels and artists to defend themselves against allegations of copyright infringement that result in their music being taken down from platforms.
In a complaint filed Wednesday (June 7) with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, indie label Doeman Music Group Media argued DistroKid breached its fiduciary duty to the label by failing to provide information that would help the label defend against a copyright infringement claim.
Along with DistroKid, it named indie hip-hop artist Raquella George (aka Rocky Snyda) as a defendant. The complaint seeks class-action status for the lawsuit…