Sony Music has entered into an agreement to purchase the recorded music services firm AWAL and the performance rights collection agency Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, according to Music Business Worldwide. Both companies were owned by Kobalt Music Group, who retain the rights to Kobalt Music Publishing and AMRA.
Kobalt Neighbouring Rights has distributed over $250 million to over 2,000 artist and label clients since 2013, with its clientele including the likes of Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Concord and Secretly Canadian.
AWAL offers services such as distribution, marketing, radio promotion, analytics, and synch for independent artists. Some of its past clients included Lil Peep, Tom Misch, R3hab and Rex Orange County, while its current artists include Lauv, Finneas, AG Club, girl in red, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Little Simz. Under this new deal, AWAL will become a new division of Sony Music, but it will continue to be run by its CEO Lonny Olinick. AWAL will be separate from Sony Music’s own distribution/services company, The Orchard, however “AWAL artists will be able to capitalize on SME’s and The Orchard’s global distribution footprint”.
“Our investment in AWAL’s continued growth gives us another level of service to offer the independent music community. With their flexible solutions to building artist careers, together we will offer creators more exciting choices to connect with their audience worldwide,” Sony Music Group Chairman Rob Stringer explained.
Sony has been staying strong despite the pandemic, with the company reporting a five percent revenue gain during the second quarter or 2020. The company did see a drop in revenue during the first quarter of 2020, but still made over $2 billion from streaming.