Supporting Epidemic Sound’s Mission to Soundtrack the Internet
At Blackstone, we actively look for opportunities in “good neighborhoods” – sectors of the global economy benefiting from secular tailwinds. Content creation is one of these neighborhoods, and the Blackstone Growth (BXG) team is thrilled to be partnering with an emerging leader in this space.
In recent years, the proliferation of smartphones, affordable editing software and popular social platforms has made it easier than ever to produce high-quality content and share it instantly with a global audience. There are currently over 37 million channels on YouTube alone, and global content spend has grown from $38 billion in 2016 to over $100 billion in 2020. Yet, putting music behind this content is incredibly complicated, with rights varying by geography, format, and means of distribution. Creators run the risk of copyright infringement and removal of their content.
That’s why we see tremendous potential in Epidemic Sound, a company that commissions music directly from artists and offers it to users on a subscription basis – all while sharing the music streaming revenue with its artists. Epidemic co-founder and CEO Oscar Höglund envisions a world in which high-quality music flows freely, allowing content creators to incorporate it into their projects while helping artists to get heard, paid and grow. His mission is for Epidemic Sound to help soundtrack the internet for a new generation of creators.
Epidemic Sound has already distinguished itself as a power player in this sector. Music tracks and sound effects from its library of 125,000+ recordings appear in videos that receive over two billion views per day on YouTube. Seventy of the top 100 channels on YouTube feature Epidemic Sound’s music.
We believe Epidemic Sound can become a global leader and redefine how the music industry operates. Blackstone is partnering with the company to help accelerate its growth and execute its mission:
- As Epidemic continues to scale its operations globally, we’re working with Oscar to help build out his management team and a diverse board.
- We’re also helping Oscar and his team to source, evaluate and execute new strategic opportunities. For example, we see room for Epidemic Sound to expand from serving individuals to supporting businesses of all sizes, including established streaming giants that are consistently producing new content and need quick access to high-quality music.
- Our team has worked with the company on pricing and packaging, helping create products that appeal to different customer segments.
- We’re leveraging relationships across Blackstone’s networks to help Epidemic Sound build partnerships with key social platforms and reach a wider audience of content creators.
Helping fast-growing companies like Epidemic Sound become global champions is core to the work we do at Blackstone. We are proud to invest in phenomenal entrepreneurs like Oscar and his team as they create new opportunities for content creators and artists around the world.
Vincent E. Letteri is a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone’s Growth Equity Business, which is focused on providing capital to companies seeking to manage the execution risks associated with high growth environments. Mr. Letteri is focused on Blackstone’s Growth efforts in the San Francisco office, and is Chairman of the Blackstone Growth Portfolio Management Committee. He is also a Member of the Blackstone Growth Investment Committee, and the Head of Financial Services for Blackstone Growth.