Uk Music

The private equity firm that has sparked the trend for music investment

When did Round Hill start? 

The New York-based company was founded in 2012 by Josh Gruss, who had previously been at Sony Music and Atlantic Records, to manage the acquisition and exploitation of music copyrights. Today it owns the rights to more than 100,000 songs by a range of artists including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bruno Mars. Round Hill’s investors include traditional private equity investors such as insurance companies and endowments.

What is the strategy?

The London-listed firm aims to acquire the publishing or recording rights to music and then pick up royalties when songs are played publicly, streamed online or covered by others. One example is Chris Kenner’s song “Land of 1000 Dances”, which has featured in films including Forrest Gump.  “We only own half of it and it earns about $200,000 (£144,000) a year… That is a medium-sized song (revenue-wise),” Gruss said in 2018.

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What’s the latest acquisition?

Round Hill, which has offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and London, has acquired an interest in a music publishing catalogue from Yes guitarist and film score composer Trevor Rabin for an undisclosed sum. The catalogue includes 3,528 film cues and songs such as “Owner of a Lonely Heart”.

Is music investment growing?

Marzio Schena, CEO and co-founder of ANote Music, a music royalties investment platform, said: “The universal appeal, predictable revenue streams and the wide-scale global reach of the music industry is increasingly attracting investor interest.”


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