Hearst Leads $75 Million in Funding in Kobalt Music

NEW YORK —┬áKobalt, a global music rights company based in NY, has raised $75 million in growth capital. The Series D round was led by Hearst Entertainment with participation from Balderton Capital and MSD Capital.

Kobalt, which represents many of the world’s top artists, publishers and songwriters, will use the new funding to expand its unique royalty collections platform to meet the demands of the global surge in music streaming. The company’s platform is optimized to collect royalties faster and more efficiently, and also allows its clients to see when, where and how fans engage with their music.

“From the start, my vision for Kobalt has been to transform the music industry and help take it into the digital age,” said Willard Ahdritz, founder and CEO of Kobalt Music. “With the high growth of streaming and the billions of microtransactions that take place per song, the music industry is more complex than ever. Guided by core principles of transparency, technology, and putting creators first, I have never been more sure that our platform, combined with our global creative team, is the right one to serve creators and rights owners in the rapidly evolving digital music environment.”

“The music industry is growing revenue again and it’s due to the meteoric rise of music streaming on services like Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora,” said Neeraj Khemlani, president of Hearst Entertainment. “Willard has brilliantly positioned Kobalt to be an important company at the center of this booming industry by building an invaluable platform for artists, songwriters and third party labels and publishers looking to have complete, real time transparency into how their music is being consumed and thereby collect royalty revenue more efficiently and faster than ever before.”

Ahdritz added, “We are excited to welcome Hearst as a new investor in Kobalt. They share our passion for making sure creators are paid and fully informed. Hearst is a prominent content owner with exciting investments in new forms of entertainment for the next generation of consumers. We welcome them on the board of Kobalt.”

Kobalt’s Music Publishing, Neighbouring Rights, and Recordings/AWAL divisions serve over 25,000 songwriters, 600 publishers, and 20,000 independent artists, including The Chainsmokers, Kelly Clarkson, Miles Davis, Dave Grohl, Dr Luke, Zayn Malik, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Pitbull, Elvis Presley, Skrillex,┬áSam Smith, and many more. Kobalt represents on average over 40% of the top 100 songs and albums in both the US and UK.