You can tell that the music industry is back in the money when the major record labels decide to spread some of their cash around. To that end, Warner Music announced that it has launched WMG Boost in order to invest in music-related tech startups. Although no exact figure on exactly how much money is available, the company states that it’s a “multi-million dollar fund.”
The idea of WMG Boost is to invest in early-stage businesses ‘within and adjacent to the recorded music business’, in areas that include hot topics like AI, blockchain, virtual reality, mobile gaming, and voice recognition, among others. WMG has previously invested in companies like Songkick, Landr and Pexeso.
The company states that the size of the investment will be up to $1 million in companies that are pre-revenue to Series A round-ready. Interested companies can apply directly on the WMG Boost site.
Warner Music isn’t the only major label investing money in music tech. Universal Music Investments has made 31 investments to date in companies like Pex, Roli, Verve and Doppler Labs, its Abbey Road Red serves as an incubator for a number of companies in its 6 month program, and Capitol Records has also launched a new Innovation Center incubator program as well.
The point is that it’s a good time to be part of a music-oriented tech startup as there’s money available from within the industry as well as the traditional angel, private equity and venture sources as well. Many music entrepreneurs feel more comfortable with people that know the business already as opposed to an investor that needs to learn it, and may never understand it, which could lead to detrimental business decisions down the road as a result.
The major labels get criticized for many things, but investing in new technology should not be one of them, as it may prove to be one of the more noble and fruitful ones in the end.