Primary Wave raises $375m and signs deal with Virgin Music


Primary Wave Music is well and truly in the game for buying music rights. This year alone it has acquired (in full or in part) catalogues from artists and/or songwriters including Dan Wilson, KT Tunstall, Jon Lind, Wilson Phillips, Mark Morrison, Patrick Leonard, and Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers. Oh, and it bought storied label Sun Records, including its master recordings and publishing copyrights.

Now the company is preparing for its next stage. First, the company has drummed up some new funding: up to $375m courtesy of a ‘strategic relationship’ with investment company Oaktree Capital Management. Bloomberg reported that the deal will see Oaktree taking a minority stake in Primary Wave, and that it coincides with the closing of Primary Wave’s third fund, following $800m raised from its first two.

Second, Primary Wave has forged a new partnership for its master recordings, with Virgin Music Label & Artist Services. The deal “spans all physical and digital distribution channels” and will include the Sun Records catalogue as well as releases from another partner, The Gaither Group.

A reminder, if you needed it, that a.) the catalogue-buying boom is about recordings as well as publishing, and b.) that the question of what you *do* with your acquired catalogues – how you give them the best opportunity to make money on streaming services in 2021 – often leads to new partnerships.

Stuart Dredge

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