The latest media company to ramp up its investment in external startups is Bloomberg, which has launched a $75m venture capital fund called Bloomberg Beta. The fund will invest in early-stage startups and technologies related to its business: “big-data technology platforms, content discovery, media distribution, new organizational models, and human-computer interaction technologies,” according to TechCrunch. It’s invested in nine companies already, and is planning to act as an incubator as well as an investor for some startups, developing them in-house. It’s part of a wider trend of media and entertainment companies launching their own incubators and/or investment funds: Conde Nast, Hearst, Turner Broadcasting, the New York Times, BBC Worldwide… As ever, we’re wondering how music companies might follow suit, going beyond what EMI did with its OpenEMI initiative – which was more about inviting startups through its doors for partnerships rather than investment or incubation. Music rightsholders have a long and chequered history of demanding equity in startups as part of licensing deals, but we think there’s more potential in incubator-style initiatives.

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