Stockholm-based Epidemic Sound, a music company that produces music for online creators, has raised $450M (approx €377M) from EQT Growth and Blackstone Growth in a deal that values the company at $1.4B (approx €1.17B).
Epidemic Sound is working towards solving one of the biggest pain points in global content creation by allowing anyone to soundtrack anything, anywhere. And, the company, in a statement, mentions that the investment follows a year in which more content than ever before was created and consumed.
Everything about Epidemic Sound
The company was founded in 2009 by David Stenmarck, Hjalmar Winbladh, Jan Zachrisson, Oscar Höglund, and Peer Åström.
Jan Zachrisson, Epidemic Sound co-founder, says, “The idea back in 2009 and the idea today are one and the same; we want to allow for anyone, anywhere in the world to get the music they need to soundtrack their story. We’re delighted to welcome our new partners on board as we take this to the next level and enter the next stage of our growth journey with our community of music creators and storytellers.”
Epidemic Sound is a platform for restriction-free music. Its digital rights model allows for content creators to use “restriction-free music” to boost their content, while simultaneously supporting the musicians it works with both financially and creatively.
Victor Englesson, Partner and Investment Advisor at EQT Partners, says, “Epidemic Sound taps into numerous thematic macro trends, such as the democratisation of how user-generated content is produced and consumed digitally, largely driven by the increased prevalence of video communication in our society and the growing online creator economy.”
The company has offices in six major cities across the globe including Stockholm, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Hamburg.
Royalty-free music means that you pay once for a license to use a piece of music, not repeatedly on a per-use basis.
Epidemic Sound provides music that is not only royalty-free but also free from public performance costs. Instead, the company pays its music creators a fee for the track and splits all streaming revenue 50/50 with the music creators. By doing this, it makes itself the owners of all financial rights to the music, as well as provides its customers with a direct license covering all rights, including public performance.
In other words, “as long as you have an active subscription when you upload content with our music on the channels and accounts connected to your subscription, you won’t face any further costs, copyright strikes, or other legal negotiations,” says the company on its website.
Use of the capital
With the recent growth across all content verticals as well as an accelerated shift to digital and a specific shift to video, Epidemic Sound will use the funds to continue investing in the core user experience it offers to its growing network of customers.
“We’re in the privileged position where our music is the soundtrack to our generation’s greatest achievement. We know what the internet sounds like and through data, we can see the trends emerging among content creators as they use our tracks to bring their stories to life,” says Epidemic Sound co-founder & CEO, Oscar Höglund.
The raised capital will also help in international expansion to reach new creators in both existing territories like North America, while also expanding and localising its digital offering and investing in music for new markets globally.
SEB Corporate Finance and Goldman Sachs have acted as financial advisers, and White & Case has acted as legal advisers.