Warner Music gets IMGN, a social networks publishing platform, for under $100M

It’s an entire brand-new playing field these days for music labels and publishers, and today among the big deals made an acquisition to help it hone up its technique to much better comprehend what people wish to see and hear online today.

Warner Music– with a market cap of $154 billion, among the big 3 tape-recording giants (along with Universal and Sony) and which owns labels like Atlantic, Elektra and others and has a big lineup of artists that consists of the likes of Madonna, Ed Sheeran and Linkin Park– is getting IMGN Media, a Tel Aviv and New York-based startup that builds and tracks viral social media material in classifications like esports and gaming, ASMR and entertainment.

IMGN used to be called Comedy.com. It expanded its remit from merely amusing stuff and rebranded in 2017, and according to its website has about 3 billion views each month and has some 40 million customers to its material, with some 85%of that categorized as “Gen Z and millennials.”

The news caps off numerous weeks of speculation about the start-up.

IMGN was established in 2015 and had raised about $6 million from a long list of angels and companies, including Rhodium, Dot Capital and Prism Venture Management.

The strategy will be to keep IMGN independent of Warner, continuing to establish and analyse viral material throughout a variety of platforms, with founder Barak Shragai remaining on to lead the team.

Warner, on the other hand, does not prepare to utilize the platform to just market Warner artists, however to tap it for more insights into where people are going on the internet these days, and what they want to see, so that it can much better target its own marketing efforts accordingly.

That’s not to state that the 2 will not work together at all. Warner ended up being familiarized with the startup because it had been a customer of IMGN’s.

Warner has a history both of investing and obtaining startups, depending on its strategic interests.

IMGN will continue working with other third-party brand names under its new owner.

As for Warner– which is traded publicly these days but still bulk owned by Access Industries, the holding company controlled by Len Blavatnik– the fact that Mixer is tracking and constructing material for a variety of platforms gives it more of a bird’s- eye view on that bigger picture, rather than simply relying on information from the platforms themselves, or its own research, to figure out what the world wants to see and hear.

” WMG not just uses us higher financial investment and support, however an entrepreneurial environment to continue growing our company, with the people running our accounts having editorial independence,” stated Shragai. “We’re delighted to partner with them as we take our business into the future.”

The larger image here is that the music market has developed well beyond the traditional, analogue world of publishing and offering physical media, where customers found out about and listened to brand-new artists and tunes over the radio and TELEVISION (and read about their favorite artists or categories in publications).

With the shift to mobile and digital platforms, there’s now a much broader, and quickly shifting, plethora of locations where individuals discover and listen to music.

And digital platforms themselves– from those focused particularly on audio and music, like Spotify, through to those where music is a side-hustle to continue to record audience, like Facebook, through to those that are neither however are still substantial music destinations, like TikTok– are likewise getting deeply involved in tracking how tastes are progressing, and where individuals are going to get their music repair.

So it’s only natural to see labels looking for ways to have more direct access to those insights themselves, bypassing all those platforms– even as they likewise deal with them (and undoubtedly, to help them work out much better with those platforms, at the end of the day).


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