Tencent acquires stake in AI-based A&R scouting specialist Instrumental

MBW has been writing about the AI-powered A&R Instrumental recognition platform for some time.

We’ve written about the tech from the London-based company that spotted huge tracks from Lil Nas X, Tones & I and Arizona Zervas months before these artists signed deals with major labels that helped their careers grow. to take off.

We wrote on Instrumental launching its internal label, Frtyfve, which allows it to invest early in emerging artists spotted by its own technology.

And two years ago, we wrote that Instrumental had raised $ 4 million to fuel its “aggressive growth plan.”

Now this growth plan looks set to become a supernova.

MBW learned today (October 27) that Instrumental has sold a minority stake in its business to two parties: Tencent Holdings and Tencent Music Entertainment (of which Tencent Holdings, of course, has a majority stake).

Little is known about the deal as you read this, although MBW understands that an official announcement is expected in the coming days.

Instrumental uses proprietary algorithmic technology (ie.

Warner Music Group acquired a stake in Instrumental in 2015.

Partners who have used Instrumental’s technology to help discover artists to date include the big three labels plus Live Nation and Paradigm.

Now, Tencent becomes a strategic partner of Instrumental, which was founded by its CEO – and former Warner CEO – Conrad Withey.

Earlier this year, Withey told MBW: “A&R covers a lot of things – a wide variety of skills, process, instinct, judgment and analysis. When you look at other industries, these things have all become specialized, which means all of someone’s job is to become world class every moment. Very often in music a person is expected to do everything, which in the modern world of streaming is simply not possible.

“[The] the application of machine learning and AI is all about augmenting human processes and Instrumental is committed to being the best in the world to seek out new artists.

Conrad Withey, speaking to MBW earlier this year

“That’s where we come in – at least for part of the A&R process. You can let technology take the load of the scouting and profiling side to support an individual or a team and be sure that our goal is to do that part of the job really well.

He added: “[The] the application of machine learning and AI is about augmenting human processes and Instrumental is committed to being the best in the world to find new artists and hire [record labels] continue with the rest of the work.

Instrumental declined to comment on today’s news when contacted by MBW.

Tencent has steadily strengthened its presence in the music rights industry in recent years.

The company led a consortium that acquired 10% of Universal Music Group in March of this year for more than $ 3.3 billion.

Tencent, which owns a 9% stake in Spotify, also owns a 1.6% stake in Warner Music Group.Music trade around the world

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