Independent dance label Armada Music – founded in 2003 by Dutch trance DJ and producer Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and manager and agent David Lewis – has launched Beat (for Best Tracks Ever Acquired), a dance music investment company called.
The fund, backed by US-based Pinnacle Financial Partners, plans to invest $100 million over the first two years with a mission to “acquire and monetize recordings and music publisher catalogues” amid a spate of catalog deals across the music sector in recent years. Beat eventually plans to grow his investment to at least $500 million in the coming years.
The venture capital’s first acquisitions include two big names. They are destined for KMS Records’ catalog of house and techno legend Kevin Saunderson’s master recordings, as well as for the master and publishing catalog of LA-based Russian trance DJ and producer Arty, aka Alpha 9. “Both Masters catalogs will be distributed worldwide by Armada Music (Armada Distribution),” Armada said, without giving further financial details.
Saunderson is one of the US legends credited with inventing Detroit techno. KMS has been a permanent label in the techno scene for more than 30 years. The catalog features iconic tracks by Saunderson and his group Inner City, known for the world hits “Good Life” and “Big Fun”. Arty’s hits include “Sunrise”, “Save Me Tonight”, “Craving” with Audien and Ellee Duke, and “Take Your Time”.
The electronic dance music (EDM) market is expected to grow to nearly $9.7 billion by 2023, according to estimates by research organization Future Market Insights. Armada, which claims to be the largest independent dance music label in the world, is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in New York and London. It already has a history of acquiring catalogs from artists, specific songs and dance labels, such as Dutch labels Midtown Records, United Recordings and Combined Forces.
Armada said its CEO Piron, known as one of the most influential people in the electronic music business, created Beat as “an artist-friendly vehicle to unlock the value of recordings and copyrights in the dance arena, after being pursued by numerous investors as part of the company.” became a rapidly growing appetite for music catalogues.”
The label also said that the investment vehicle not only makes business sense, but also fits with its love of dance music, with the company mentioning hopes of “breathing new life into classic dance hits.” Piron said: “It is a privilege to work with the tracks that sparked my passion for dance music at a young age. That passion is still there, and strengthening the legacy of dance big hits is incredibly rewarding.” He added, “We’re thrilled to bring on more incredible labels, artists and songs to expand our current catalog of 40,000 tracks expand and supplement.”
Armada says it “represents and cultivates the creative exploits of some of the biggest players in electronic music,” including van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Audien, Brando, Cat Dealers, DOD, Jan Blomqvist, Loud Luxury and Tensnake. The list of artists also includes artists such as Cedric Gervais and Chicane. “Through this star-studded dance music army, Armada Music amasses over 1 billion streams per month,” it said.
Pinnacle Financial had $42 billion in assets at the end of 2022. The company operates in 20 primarily metropolitan markets in the Southeastern United States, in addition to operating nationally and internationally in key specialty areas such as music, entertainment and sports. Brett Ross, Pinnacle’s senior vice president of music, sports and entertainment, said, “Partnering with Armada Music during their 20th anniversary is a testament to their leadership, passion and continued support of dance music.” It matched the opportunities , which Beat offered, “perfectly aligns with Pinnacle and our goal of supporting creative communities around the world.”
Investment bank Artisan acted as advisor to Armada Music on Beat’s funding and will continue to work with the company in the future. “Armada Music truly is at the forefront of dance music, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them as they continue to build on their incredible platform,” said Artisan Founder and Managing Partner Brian Richards.