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Kobalt buys some songs

By | Published on Monday 11 December 2017


Kobalt has bought some songs. Actually, it’s bought Songs. Not all songs. Not every song. But all the songs of Songs. Confused? Good. I like to think that Matt Pincus named his independent music publishing firm Songs fourteen years ago just to enable me to write a satisfyingly confusing introduction to this story.

So, yes, Kobalt’s investment fund has bought notable US indie music publisher Songs Music Publishing. And after quite the competitive bidding process, by all accounts. In addition, the core Kobalt Music business has won the rights to manage and administrate the Songs repertoire, on behalf of Kobalt Capital. I’m guessing that bidding process was somewhat less competitive.

“I was first introduced to Matt in 2004 when Songs was just starting”, Kobalt boss Willard Ahdritz declared on Friday, as the Songs deal was confirmed. “Since then, first as a client and then as a friend, Matt has built a remarkable company with a combination of great creative vision and a deep business understanding”.

He added: “The results are an extraordinary music publishing company. I am honoured that Matt has trusted Kobalt to take care of his songwriters and songs. We are looking forward to delivering an outstanding service in their new home”.

Pincus subsequently stepped up to confirm the chronology of all this, in case there was any doubt. “I met Willard when I first started Songs in 2004”, said he. “He was one of the first people to believe in our vision of a music publishing company providing revolutionary creative service to contemporary songwriters”.

Noting that he and his co-founders had, to date, run Songs as a “truly independent company” owned and operated by its founding team, Pincus added of his decision to sell: “After many years of hard work and personal investment in the company, we decided that it was time for us to look for new horizons”.

Adding that Songs had always had “a fierce commitment to songwriters and their compensation”, he said of the company he had sold the business to: “[They] have demonstrated a time-tested commitment to songwriters through their dedication to transparency, honesty and independence”.

Pincus concluded: “It’s because of these characteristics and our longstanding relationship that we are confident there is no better partner than Kobalt with which to continue our legacy”.