Influence Media Partners forms partnership with Blackrock Funds and Warner Music Group to create best-in-class music rights platform24 February 2022 - Press release
Initial Acquisitions Include More Than 20 “Modern Evergreens” With A Combined 20 Billion+ Lifetime Streams
Today, Influence Media Partners (“Influence Media”) has announced a new alliance in partnership with funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Alternative Investors (“BlackRock”) and Warner Music Group (“WMG”) to create a music rights platform that will invest in and manage premier compositions from some of music’s most influential creators. This includes a strategic focus on cultivating the “modern evergreen,” contemporary compositions that have strong potential for a multi-decade impact on pop culture, as well as investing in female artists and songwriters, with an emphasis on diversity.
The platform, which Influence Media will manage, brings together expert resources with vast experience across music and entertainment, investment management, and marketing to help increase the value of its music properties through active management. To date, $300 million has been deployed across multiple catalogs, comprised of select copyrights and, in several cases, future compositions of artists, songwriters, and entrepreneurs. The model has opportunities for additional scale in acquisition capital.
Initial acquisitions include more than 20 modern evergreens with 1 billion+ lifetime streams apiece and comprise select copyrights from the catalogs of creators whose work spans multiple genres. These include: Tainy, an award-winning artist, songwriter, producer & entrepreneur who is best known for his work on global hits from superstars Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Rosalía, and Shawn Mendes (represented by manager Lex Borrero of NEON16 and attorney Jason Boyarski of Boyarski Fritz LLP); The Stereotypes, the production & songwriting group that co-wrote hits for Bruno Mars (“24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like”) among many others (represented by Scott Felcher of Felcher & Freifeld, LLP); Jessie Reyez, whose cowrites include “One Kiss” with Dua Lipa and “Promises” with Calvin Harris & Sam Smith (represented by David Jacobs of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, P.C. and managers Byron Wilson of 1851 House and Mauricio Ruiz of 8 Til Faint); and Skyler Stonestreet, a rising songwriter who has co-penned smashes for Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, and Ariana Grande (represented by Eric Greenspan of Myman Greenspan and manager Evan Winiker of Range Music). Influence Media is represented by Howard Schiffman and Stephanie Breslow for corporate and fund counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, and by Lisa Alter and Katie Baron for music counsel at Alter, Kendrick & Baron, LLP.
This partnership with BlackRock and WMG allows Influence Media to scale its investment in female creators, providing them with unprecedented access to capital and licensing opportunities, as well as to expand into new categories like music entrepreneurs. Influence Media’s previously announced acquisitions include select copyrights from Ali Tamposi and Julia Michaels in 2021, in partnership with Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan, as well as select copyrights from Jeff Bhasker, Shane McAnally, and Ben Rector using bridge capital from Morgan Stanley in 2019.
The Influence Media, BlackRock, and WMG partnership represents a first-of-its-kind offering of best-in-class music, marketing, and investment capabilities to manage some of pop culture’s best-known copyrights, and brings together senior leaders from the three companies, including: Lylette Pizarro McLean, Founder/Co-Managing Partner at Influence Media Partners, Lynn Hazan, Co-Managing Partner at Influence Media Partners, and Founding Advisors & Partners Rene McLean and Jon Jashni; Pam Chan, Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of the Alternative Solutions Group at BlackRock, and Paul Braude, Managing Director and Co-Head of Portfolio Management for the Alternative Solutions Group at BlackRock; and Temi Adeniji, Managing Director of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa & Special Projects at Warner Music Group.
“In partnership with the first-rate teams at Influence Media and BlackRock, these catalogs will be cared for by a supergroup of music lovers,” said Temi Adeniji, Managing Director of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa & Special Projects, Warner Music Group. “Together we’ll bring new opportunities to some of the most talented artists and songwriters of this generation.”
“We are excited to be a part of this programmatic venture alongside Influence Media and Warner Music Group,” said Pam Chan of BlackRock. “Building on our experience investing in music since 2015, this investment gives our clients access to an emerging asset class with potential for meaningful income and uncorrelated returns, while aligning with our priority to invest in diverse and female-owned businesses.”
“To paraphrase what my favorite music entrepreneur Beyoncé famously said, not enough women of color have had a seat at the table in the music industry, so we went ahead and chopped down the wood to build our own table,” said Influence Media Founder and Co-Managing Partner Lylette Pizarro McLean. “We’ve built a brilliant, savvy, and diverse team that's also nimble enough to move at the speed of culture, and we couldn’t be prouder to be in business with best-in-class partners like BlackRock and Warner Music Group. Our initial investments in modern evergreens represent a new generation of iconoclasts in music, both commercially and artistically.”
Influence Media and Warner Music will co-manage the copyrights acquired, drawing on both leadership teams’ vast experience on all sides of the music business spectrum.