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From Sony Music suing Triller to Utopia elevating €300m… it’s MBW’s Weekly Spherical-Up


Welcome to Music Enterprise Worldwide’s weekly round-up – the place we ensure you caught the 5 greatest tales to hit our headlines over the previous seven days. MBW’s round-up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their revenue and cut back their touring prices.


Triller has not had a very good week.

On Monday, the TikTok rival introduced that it “expects to grow to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq below the ticker ILLR in the course of the 4th quarter of this 12 months”, representing one more delay in Triller’s deliberate IPO.

Triller introduced in June that it had filed an S-1 type with the SEC for an IPO on the Nasdaq, stating on the time that its itemizing was “anticipated to be authorized by Q3”.

That June announcement itself got here shortly after Triller introduced it was scrapping one other deliberate IPO – this time through a merger with Seachange – which was initially anticipated to “shut in Q1 2022”.

Monday additionally introduced information that Triller has been hit with a lawsuit from Sony Music Leisure (SME), claiming that Triller at present has no licensing settlement in place with SME, the world’s second-largest document firm.

And to prime off the week, Billboard experiences right this moment that Triller has been sued again, by an app consulting agency referred to as Phiture, over unpaid payments.

Additionally this week, MBW reported that Switzerland-headquartered music fintech firm Utopia is elevating €300 million in a Sequence C spherical that might worth its firm at €2.5 billion.

That’s in accordance with MBW sources, who’ve seen proof that no less than one funding agent is at present providing would-be backers of Utopia a “pre-Sequence C funding alternative” at a €1.5 billion pre-money firm valuation.

MBW’s sources additionally inform us that UBS has been appointed to ship Utopia’s Sequence C spherical, deliberate for later this 12 months, at an estimated €2.5 billion to €2.7 billion valuation for Utopia.

MBW’s sources verify to us that Utopia has already efficiently raised over €100 million previously 5 and a half years.

Elsewhere, Wednesday (August 31) introduced triumphant information for songwriters and publishers within the US, after Spotify and different music streaming platforms struck an settlement with music publishers for a 15.35% go-forward royalty charge within the US for the years 2023-2027.

Additionally, a brand new Raine Group-backed firm referred to as Firebird Music Holdings, based by Nat Zilkha, has acquired a stake in Pink Mild Administration, whereas YouTube‘s Chief Enterprise Officer Robert Kyncl confirmed that he’s exiting his position on the platform. Is there an opportunity he’s going to Warner Music?

Right here’s what occurred this week…


1) TRILLER, WHICH HAS RAISED $300M TO DATE, IS BEING SUED BY SONY MUSIC FOR NON-PAYMENT OF ‘MILLIONS OF DOLLARS’

Monday (August 29) was alleged to be a celebratory day for short-form video platform Triller. Then Sony Music spoiled the social gathering.

US-based TikTok rival Triller introduced this week that it had accomplished a “substantial” pre-public financing spherical within the type of debt and fairness.

Triller didn’t put a quantity on mentioned financing, however the firm’s CEO and Chairman, Mahi de Silva, did verify that Triller had raised over USD $300 million thus far.

There was, nevertheless, a wrinkle in Triller’s press launch confirming its new elevate. The corporate said that it now “expects to grow to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq below the ticker ILLR in the course of the 4th quarter of this 12 months”.

This seems to symbolize one more delay in Triller’s deliberate IPO within the States. In June, Triller introduced that it had filed an S-1 type with the SEC for an IPO on the Nasdaq. On the time, it said that its itemizing was “anticipated to be authorized by Q3”.

That June announcement itself got here shortly after Triller introduced it was scrapping one other deliberate IPO – this time through a merger with Seachange – which was initially anticipated to “shut in Q1 2022”.

The larger headache for Triller, although, is a brand new lawsuit from Sony Music Leisure (SME), filed within the US on Monday (August 29).

It claims that Triller at present has no licensing settlement in place with Sony Music, the world’s second-largest document firm…


2) UTOPIA IS RAISING €300 MILLION IN A SERIES C ROUND THAT WOULD VALUE ITS COMPANY AT €2.5BN. BUT WHAT’S IT BUILDING?

MBW’s sources have seen proof that no less than one funding agent is at present providing would-be backers of Utopia a “pre-Sequence C funding alternative” at a €1.5 billion pre-money firm valuation.

Utopia is outwardly in search of a “sturdy institutional investor” to guide this pre-Sequence C spherical.

This, although, is simply the appetizer. The entrée is Utopia’s deliberate Sequence C spherical later this 12 months, through which it’s seeking to elevate €300 million.

MBW’s sources inform us that UBS has been appointed to ship this Sequence C spherical at an estimated €2.5 billion to €2.7 billion valuation for Utopia.

Utopia has apparently accomplished authorized/monetary due diligence with quite a few monetary establishments – together with BearingPoint, PWC, UBS and others – forward of this Sequence C elevate…


3) CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT? SPOTIFY AND FELLOW MUSIC STREAMERS STRIKE AGREEMENT WITH PUBLISHERS FOR 15.35% GO-FORWARD ROYALTY RATE IN THE US.

‘Phonorecords IV’ – which units the on-demand streaming mechanical charges within the US for the 5 years between 2023 and 2027 – was set to get underway later this 12 months.

In the course of the ‘pre-battle’ interval of ‘Phonorecords IV’ final 12 months, the NMPA set out its stall for the publishers, suggesting to the CRB that the headline US streaming mechanical charge for 2023-2027 ought to be as excessive as 20%.

Main streamers, unsurprisingly, lowballed as compared: Spotify, Amazon, and Pandora all steered that the speed ought to be knocked again all the way down to 10.5%.

The stage was set for one more (expensive) authorized battle royale! However… we’re not getting one.

As a result of on Wednesday (August 31), the NMPA and the commerce org for digital music companies within the US (DiMA), plus the Nashville Songwriters Affiliation Worldwide (NSAI), introduced that they’re submitting a joint proposal to the CRB which means that the brand new 2023-2027 on-demand streaming mechanical charge within the US ought to be set at 15.35%…


4) FIREBIRD TAKES FLIGHT, ACQUIRING A STAKE IN RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT – WITH MORE DEALS ON THE WAY

On the prime of this 12 months, Music Enterprise Worldwide informed you we’d be preserving an in depth eye on the strikes of Nat Zilkha – a revered deal-maker with confirmed pedigree within the music trade.

US-based Zilkha left his position as a Accomplice at KKR in December 2021. He’d spent the earlier 15 years on the funding home, the place he was instrumental in numerous main music-related offers involving the likes of Ryan Tedder, BMG, and others.

Saying his departure from KKR final 12 months, Zilkha teased that he would quickly be launching “a brand new, entrepreneurial endeavor targeted on the music trade”, whereas sustaining his position as Chairman of Gibson Manufacturers (and in addition persevering with to behave as a senior advisor to KKR).

In case you checked Zilkha’s LinkedIn right this moment, you’d study that following his departure from KKR, he grew to become co-founder and Govt Chairman of a brand new enterprise referred to as Firebird Music Holdings. He describes this Aspen, Colorado-headquartered agency as an “artist-centered, music-focused media firm”.

Over the previous few weeks, MBW has been studying extra about Firebird, and its technique to purchase its approach into fast-growing music corporations – significantly artist administration corporations – of varied sizes and shapes.

We’ve realized through our sources, for instance, that Zilkha’s co-founder in Firebird is Los Angeles-based Nathan Hubbard, a former CEO of Ticketmaster and a former world head of Media & Commerce at Twitter.

We’ve moreover realized that Firebird’s major backer is Raine Group, an current investor in music corporations comparable to SoundCloud, C3 Presents, and Amuse.

The largest transfer that Firebird has made to date?

Based on a number of sources with data of the matter, it’s acquired a significantly-sized minority stake in one of many world’s most established artist administration corporations: Pink Mild Administration…


5) ROBERT KYNCL IS LEAVING YOUTUBE. EXPECT THE ‘IS THIS THE NEW CEO OF WARNER MUSIC GROUP?’ RUMOR MILL TO GATHER PACE.

There was a time in latest historical past when Robert Kyncl was the only real senior determine at YouTube tasked with most incessantly interacting with the music trade.

That largely modified in 2016 when Kyncl welcomed music biz vet Lyor Cohen to YouTube because the service’s International Head of Music.

Since then, Kyncl’s direct dealings with highly effective music rightsholders have lessened considerably, however – as Chief Enterprise Officer at YouTube – his world affect on the Alphabet/Google-owned firm has continued to develop.

Till now, that’s – as we study that Kyncl is formally stepping down from his position at YouTube after 12 years with the platform…


MBW’s Weekly Round-Up is supported by Centtrip, which helps over 500 of the world’s best-selling artists maximise their income and reduce their touring costs.

 Music Enterprise Worldwide

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