A well-funded new player has made itself known in the US music business.
AMR Songs (AMR), described as a new “music publishing, rights management, and catalog marketing company”, has launched this week with backing from private capital.
The Los Angeles and New York-based firm says it will use this capital for catalog acquisitions and frontline operations, including artist and songwriter development, label distribution, film and TV licensing, digital marketing, and more.
Sources tell MBW that AMR Songs has raised USD $100 million in backing from institutional investors.
MBW has also learned from sources that AMR Songs is already working on its second round of funding.
Founded by music industry veteran Tamara Conniff (AMR CEO), and private equity professional Steve Reinstadlter (AMR CFO), the company says it has been “strategically building its diversified portfolio, acquiring rights in a vast array of music catalogs across multiple genres”.
The most recent of these acquisitions were the catalogs of folk-rock legend John Sebastian and his interest in The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Grammy-winning reggae group SOJA.
AMR says it has acquired interest in Sebastian’s entire catalog, including his publishing and artist royalties from hits by The Lovin’ Spoonful, including: Daydream, Summer in the City, Do You Believe in Magic, Younger Girl, You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice, and Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?, among others.
The catalog also features his 1975 self-penned hit, Welcome Back, the theme to the sitcom Welcome Back Kotter. The company says it has also acquired interests in the majority of SOJA’s catalog, spanning from the band’s inception through 2020, including “music publishing, various master recordings and artist royalties therein”.
The Grammy Award-winning reggae band’s 2009 album, Born in Babylon, notably reached No.11 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart, and their albums Strength to Survive (2012) and the Grammy-nominated Amid the Noise and Haste (2014) topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart.
Additionally, AMR has also acquired interests in the publishing, producer and artist royalties of what it says are “hundreds of celebrated songs” across multiple genres, including hits recorded by artists such as Brantley Gilbert, Boston, Carly Simon, Celine Dion, Charlie Daniels, Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, James Arthur, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Juanes, Kane Brown, Leona Lewis, Lil Wayne, Linda Ronstadt, Little River Band, Luke Combs, Pitbull, Pure Prairie League, Samantha Mumba, Westlife, and Yandel, and more.
Plus, as a frontline company, AMR says it has signed global music publishing deals with producer, writer, and multi-instrumentalist Erik Janson and Australian soul artist EJ Worland, who will also be releasing new music under AMR’s label.
Prior to launching AMR, Conniff held senior executive roles as EVP of Roc Nation Music Publishing, COO of Artist Publishing Group, and President of Front Line Management/Ticketmaster, and was Billboard’s Editor-in-Chief from 2004 to 2008.
Reinstadtler has extensive experience as a private equity investor focused on the media, entertainment and communications sectors, having served as a Partner at SR Capital Advisors and Co-Head of TD Capital in NYC, which, according to a media release announcing AMR Songs’ launch and new deals, “deployed over $1 billion in private equity and mezzanine investments”.
“AMR’S INVOLVEMENT IN MY CATALOGUE, AND SPECIFICALLY THE ENTHUSIASM I’M FEELING FROM TAMARA CONNIFF ABOUT THIS MATERIAL, WILL ENSURE THAT MY SONGS WILL KEEP SINGING FOR A GOOD LONG TIME.” JOHN SEBASTIAN
“AMR’s involvement in my catalogue, and specifically the enthusiasm I’m feeling from Tamara Conniff about this material, will ensure that my songs will keep singing for a good long time,” said John Sebastian.
“I’M ECSTATIC TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF AMR SONGS AND FULLY REALIZE OUR VISION OF BUILDING A TRULY CREATIVE HOME FOR OUR ARTISTS AND WRITERS — NOT JUST ACQUIRING RIGHTS, BUT PROACTIVELY NURTURING AND MARKETING CATALOGS, SIGNING AND DEVELOPING ARTISTS WITH FRONTLINE OPERATIONS.” TAMARA CONNIFF
Conniff said: “I’m ecstatic to announce the launch of AMR Songs and fully realize our vision of building a truly creative home for our artists and writers — not just acquiring rights, but proactively nurturing and marketing catalogs, signing and developing artists with frontline operations.
“We’ve established a stellar film and TV sync licensing team, label distribution and digital marketing support to uniquely foster new opportunities and revenue growth for our roster and catalogs.”
Added Conniff: “I’m also thrilled to announce AMR has acquired the catalogs of John Sebastian and his interest in The Lovin’ Spoonful, as well as the SOJA catalog.
“We’re passionate about the music and incredibly proud to represent and take care of these amazing works, ensuring they are exposed to new audiences for generations to come.”