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Rumblefish: Content ID and Music Micro-Licensing

Rumblefish is the leader in micro-licensing and YouTube royalty administration. Its micro-licensing platform allows social video networks, video applications and marketplaces to offer soundtrack functionality on web, tablet and mobile offerings providing access to the world’s largest copyright-cleared soundtrack catalog of over 5 ...

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Ryan Dawes

SESAC Acquires Leading Music Tech and Micro-Licensing Firm Rumblefish, Provides Growth Round of Funding

Rumblefish to accelerate music micro-licensing business and expand music data and rights platform

July 31, 2014 (Portland, OR) – Rumblefish, Inc. has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by SESAC, Inc., a leading performing rights organization. The acquisition is a key element of SESAC’s pursuit of a broader vision within music licensing across multiple rights categories and license-types.  Rumblefish will operate as an independent subsidiary of SESAC with founder Paul Anthony Troiano continuing to serve as President and CEO, reporting to SESAC, Inc. Chairman and CEO John Josephson.

Rumblefish powers music offerings for leading platforms including YouTube, Vimeo and Shutterstock and issues over 50,000 micro-licenses daily across a licensed portfolio of over 5 million copyrights.  As part of the transaction, SESAC will provide growth capital to accelerate Rumblefish’s existing offerings in music micro-licensing, YouTube monetization and license verification and expand its music data and rights platform.

“SESAC’s objective is to offer an expanded, more efficient licensing and administration model and our acquisition and investment in Rumblefish is a bold step in that direction” said Chairman and CEO of SESAC, Inc. John Josephson.  “The Rumblefish management team, leadership position in the music micro-licensing space, and comprehensive music data and rights platform accelerate SESAC’s diversification plans considerably.  SESAC is proud to join forces with Rumblefish to bring the highest level of service to music creators and music users.”

“Having SESAC and their parent, Rizvi Traverse, behind us is a game changer.  We can now accelerate our plans to reach more music providers to grow our catalog, partner with even larger clients for additional licensing opportunities, and ultimately pay artists more money so that they can continue to make more music,” said Rumblefish Founder, President and CEO Paul Anthony Troiano.  “We’re honored to become part of the SESAC family, helping realize the vision of a simplified world for music licensing and rights: full-service, multi-right, and multi-territory.”

O’Melveny & Myers acted as legal counsel and Headwaters MB acted as financial advisor to Rumblefish. Akin Gump acted as legal counsel to SESAC and Rizvi Traverse.

About SESAC:

Established in 1930, SESAC is a service organization created to serve both the creators of music and music users through music licensing and timely, efficient royalty collection and distribution. The second oldest and most progressive organization in the U.S., SESAC is the ONLY PRO to pay monthly radio royalties and was the FIRST among the PROs to pay for live performances to songwriters and publishers.  SESAC is known for its diversified repertory that includes genres ranging from Adult Contemporary, Urban, Jazz, Rock, Americana, Contemporary Christian, Latin, Country, Gospel, Dance and Classical. SESAC is the performing rights organization of choice among many of Hollywood's most sought-after film and television composers.  Headquartered in Nashville, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London.

About Rizvi Traverse:

Rizvi Traverse Management believes in a value-oriented, opportunistic investment strategy that combines capital with management expertise. Rizvi Traverse Management seeks to actively create value at its portfolio companies by providing capital, management resources, strategic direction and merger and acquisition advice.  The firm works in high growth, high potential industries, investing $25 million to over $1 billion in transactions.  Current portfolio companies include SESAC, Twitter, Square, Playboy, Jawbone and Flipboard with previous investments in Facebook, ICM, Zeigler Investments and Summit Entertainment.

About Rumblefish:

Rumblefish is the world leader in music micro-licensing and YouTube monetization. Its micro-licensing platform allows social video networks, video applications and marketplaces to offer music functionality on web, tablet and mobile offerings, providing access to the world’s largest copyright-cleared music catalog of more than 5 million copyrights. The company makes music for online social video easy and legal, and has had over 65 million videos use its music tracks, resulting in 1.4 billion YouTube views per month and millions of dollars in royalties for its artists. Rumblefish clients include YouTube, Shutterstock, Google, Vimeo, Animoto, SocialCam, Vizify, and WeVideo; and partners include CD Baby and APM. The company has offices in Portland OR, San Francisco and Los Angeles.