Seoul-based Beyond Music, which claims to be Asia’s largest single music IP asset management company, has acquired the music catalog of Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Greg Wells.
Wells has produced and written songs with the likes of Adele, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Dua Lipa, Quincy Jones and Katy Perry, among many others.
According to a press release issued on Wednesday (December 14), the acquisition, which was carried out by Beyond Music’s US arm, is claimed by the company to be the first time that a Korean company has directly acquired a North American music catalog since BTS’ label HYBE bought Ithaca Holdings from Scooter Braun in 2021.
Beyond Music says that the acquisition of Wells’ catalog forms part of its strategy to “accelerate its growth” to become a global music rights management company.
Beyond notes in its press release that Wells’ catalog includes songs from albums that have sold more than 130 million copies, earning him five Grammy nominations and one award.
The catalog includes such works as Adele’s One and Only (from the multi-platinum 21 album), John Legend’s Never Break (which Wells mixed, played piano, co-wrote and co-produced for Legend’s Grammy-winning Best R&B Album Bigger Love), Dua Lipa’s Garden, OneRepublic’s Apologize (producing both the original and the Timbaland remix), Katy Perry’s Cozy Little Christmas, and Twenty One Pilots Car Radio as well as hits for Celine Dion (her chart-topping European single The Reason) and Taylor Swift (the Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated Golden Ghosts from “Cats”).
The Ontario-born producer, now based in Los Angeles, won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for his production and mixing work on the chart-topping The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
He also earned a nomination for in the same category for In the Heights with Lin Manual-Miranda, Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman.
His other nominations include Album of the Year for his work on Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and one for Best Musical Theater Album for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella.
In June, Beyond Music, which has 300 billion South Korean won ($230 million) of assets under management, said that it wants “to conquer the global music IP market”.
Beyond Music had earlier targeted 1 trillion won of assets under management by the end of the year. To reach that goal, it has gone on an acquisition spree, but mostly in Asia.
The company’s other recent acquisitions include Korea-based KNC Music, which it bought for 46.6 billion South Korea Won in May 2021; FNC Investment, a unit of Korea’s FNC Entertainment, for 47 billion South Korea Won; and the “entire volume of music neighboring copyrights” owned by South Korean record label and management firm Interpark Music for over 50 billion South Kora Won.
September saw CT Investments, a division of Beyond Music’s parent company Contents Technology, launch an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the US to let investors back K-pop entertainment companies.
CT Investments launched the KPOP and Korean Entertainment ETF on the NYSE Arca exchange, which started trading on Thursday, September 1 under the ticker KPOP.
Commenting on the Wells acquisition, Beyond Music CEO Jangwon Lee said: “Now is the time to become a global music rights management company by securing not only Asian, but also international music rights.
“We will continue to become the game changer in the market and create positive synergy through close cooperation with media and entertainment companies for the industry’s growth.”
Wells added: “It is indeed an honor to be the first major music catalog acquisition for Beyond outside the Korean market.
“I am impressed with their commitment to creative freedom as well as maximizing the impact of my songs. I feel my work is in good hands with them.”
Music Business Worldwide