From Sony’s $ 1bn Epic Games deal to Deezer’s IPO talks: 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, Fortnite maker Epic Games raised $ 2 billion from Sony Group Corporation (Sony Music‘s parent) and KIRKBI, the holding company behind The LEGO Group.

Epic Games says this latest agreement gives it a $ 31.5 billion post-investment equity valuation.

Sony’s contribution to the funding round was $ 1 billionmeaning that its investment has bought it an additional stake worth approximately 3.2% of Epic.

Across Sony’s three investments in Epic over the past three years ($ 250m in 2020; $ 200m in 2021; $ 1bn in 2022), the company has spent a grand total of $ 1.45 billion.

As a result, today Sony owns approximately 5.4% in the interactive entertainment firm.

Also this week, new data released in a report from the RIAA shows that Latin music generated $ 886.1 million on a retail basis in the US in 2021.

That $ 886.1 million haul was up by more than a third (+ 35.4%) on Latin music’s revenues in the US in the prior year.

MBW forecasts that revenues generated by the record music market for Latin artists in the US will top a billion dollars across the 12 months of 2022.

Elsewhere, music streaming service Deezer is reportedly nearing a deal to go public via a merger with a Paris-based SPAC called I2PO – which has around $ 325 million in capital at its disposal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Deezer and I2PO are getting close to agreeing a deal to take Deezer public.

Plus, Universal Music Publishing Group struck an exclusive global deal to represent Elvis Presley’s song catalog, while MBW walked our readers through a mechanical royalty rate battle now raging in the US.

Here’s what happened this week:


1) Sony is spending $ 1bn to buy another 3% stake in Epic Games to help ‘build the metaverse’

Sony’s relationship with Epic Games is getting even closer.

Last year Sony Group Corporation – parent company of Sony Music Group – spent USD $ 200 million to acquire a 0.7% stake in the Fortnite-making (now BandCamp-owning) games company.

That investment followed a heftier stake acquisition in 2020, when Sony spent $ 250 million to acquire equity in Epic worth around 1.5% of its business.

Now some more big news: Today (April 11), Epic Games has confirmed that Sony has agreed to spend $ 1 billion to acquire an additional stake in its company….


2) JUDGES IN THE US HAVE HINTED THAT THE MECHANICAL ROYALTY RATE PAID TO PUBLISHERS AND SONGWRITERS FOR VINYL SALES SHOULD RISE. THE MAJOR LABELS ‘LAWYERS HAVE COME OUT SWINGING.

It’s a process awash with legalese – to the point of tedium.

But there’s a very important debate going on in the US over certain types of mechanical royalty rates paid to songwriters right now, and you need to know about it.

That’s partly because it’s pretty fascinating stuff, and partly because it prods at some tender areas of the power balance dominating the modern music industry.

Fear not: You will not have to wade through all the paperwork; MBW has done that for you. (So. Much. Paperwork.)

But trust us, there are some startling nuggets in this story….


3) Latin music is on course to generate over $ 1 billion in the US in 2022

We’re gonna call this one early: MBW today predicts that the record music market for Latin artists in the United States will generate more than a billion dollars in revenue across the 12 months of 2022.

We’re feeling confident in this forecast because of new data released today (April 12) in a report from the RIAA, which shows that Latin music generated $ 886.1 million on a retail basis in the US in 2021.

That $ 886.1 million haul was up by more than a third (+ 35.4%) on Latin music’s revenues in the US in the prior year.


4) SEVEN YEARS AFTER ITS IPO COLLAPSED, DEEZER IS A TALKS TO TO GO PUBLIC AGAIN – VIA A SPAC

According to Wall Street Journal sources, Deezer is currently nearing a deal to go public via a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

Who is that SPAC? They will certainly be familiar to MBW readers.

Last summer, we told you about a new Paris-based SPAC – I2PO – which had around $ 325 million in capital at its disposal, and was backed by the billionaire Pinault family’s holding company ..


5) Universal to represent Elvis Presley publishing catalog, via global deal with Authentic Brands Group

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has struck an exclusive global deal with Authentic Brands Group, owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, to represent Elvis Presley’s historic song catalog.

The agreement builds upon Universal Music’s existing relationship with ABG.

In November 2021, Universal Music Group, and ABG inked a strategic initiative to acquire and actively manage artist brands…


MBW’s Weekly 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.Music Business Worldwide

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, Fortnite maker Epic…

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