Music-industry “financial rights organization” HIFI has acquired The Music Fund, which offers artists upfront payments in exchange for a portion of their streaming earnings.
Members-only HIFI just recently unveiled its buyout of The Music Fund (TMF) – as well as the transaction’s specifics, excepting the sale price. For reference, TMF was founded in 2017 and experienced a usership boost last year, as COVID-19 lockdown measures prevented musicians from performing live and making a living.
In brief, The Music Fund enables artists who earn $5,000 or more from streaming annually to sell a percentage (which artists select) of their master-royalty income for a two-year period. TMF then fronts a lump-sum payment – not a loan or an advance, with no obligation on the recipient’s end – and the song rights revert to the creator at the end of the agreed-upon window.
New York City-headquartered HIFI, on the other hand, affords its members – “anyone who earns income from music royalties is a good candidate to join” – “the support and solutions they need to achieve financial transparency and independence,” according to the platform’s website. Said support and solutions include events, workshops, and “personalized financial products and services.”
Back to HIFI’s purchase of The Music Fund, higher-ups at the former entity are specifically looking to integrate and build upon the AI that allows artists to apply for and receive funding in about 24 hours via TMF, simply by entering their royalty details and preferred terms on the service’s website, per PYMNTS.
The Music Fund co-founder and CEO John Funge – formerly director of data science for Winton – is set to join the HIFI team as chief technology officer, with TMF co-founder and CTO Thomas Jerde (previously a senior data scientist and R&D manager for Knack.it) signing on as HIFI’s VP of data science.
Notably, TMF’s sale to HIFI marks the third high-profile music-industry deal involving AI-focused companies in the last week or so. Yesterday, song-play monitor Utopia Music acquired Musimap, an AI-powered music-analysis and -classification entity backed by Quincy Jones, for instance. Plus, AI record label Snafu Records recently raised $6 million from investors including ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog, following a $3 million funding round in February of 2020.
In other acquisition and fundraising news, Bandzoogle bought DJ website-creation service SoundJam this week, while music-licensing startup Lickd garnered $7 million in support from Warner Music and others. Lastly, ticketing and music-discovery platform DICE announced the completion of an “up to $122 million” Series C.