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Amra has invested more than $50m in its tech to date – with most of it spent in the past 3 years

Did you spot the people wildly waving their arms in the air at the annual meeting of the National Music Publishers’ Association in New York last week?

No, neither did we. But had this fictional occurrence actually taken place, there’s a good chance said arm-wavers would have worked for Amra. And that said arm-waving would have taken place precisely when Robert Kyncl, CEO of Warner Music Group, said this during his keynote interview at the event:

“One of the things that troubles me personally is that [the industry’s collection societies] are basically collecting digital revenue the way we’ve collected analog revenue for decades. The speed of it; everything is the same.”

Kyncl was referring to traditional territorial PROs in the music business.

But Amra, a Kobalt subsidiary, calls itself “the first and only global digital collection society” for good reason: the firm licenses and collects digital rights on behalf of publishers and songwriters directly from DSPs in more than 200 countries around the world.

In addition to Kobalt Music Publishing (and its songwriters), Amra’s clients today include Anthem Music Publishing and Armada Music Publishing.

It collects cash for writers such as Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), Lucas Gottwald (Dr Luke), Julia Michaels, and David Paich (TOTO).

Amra has grown into a substantial company since being acquired/launched by Kobalt in 2015. In the year to June 2022, the latest FY for which public financial numbers are available, Amra posted USD $117.3 million in revenues.

No wonder Francisco Partners, the company that acquired a majority stake in Kobalt in 2022, highlighted Amra as a growth priority. (FP’s Matt Spetzler reiterated Amra’s status at the time as “the only global digital licensing platform”.)

Today (June 20), Amra has announced a statistic that tells its own story of how seriously Kobalt/FP sees the opportunity ahead of it: Amra has confirmed that it’s surpassed USD $50 million in total technology investment to date, with the lion’s share of that figure being spent in the past three years.

In a press release, Amra said that these funds have been invested to “significantly enhance the overall processing power of the platform, maximize cloud infrastructure, to harness machine learning technology to improve Amra’s matching capabilities and to upgrade the company’s ingestion capacity”.

The company claims that these enhancements have directly resulted in an uplift in revenues for Amra clients from digital consumption around the world, as well as clients getting their money faster.

Over the last three years, says the firm, transactions handled by Amra have grown by more than 5X. In 2023 alone, the company processed more than 5 trillion transactions around the world.

“When we launched Amra in 2015, it was clear to us that digital consumption was on track to eventually become the largest share of revenue for songwriters and publishers,” said Amra CEO Tomas Ericsson.

“In order to prepare for this eventuality, we knew it would require sophisticated and smart technology solutions to deal with the data volumes associated with such consumption. Building the kind of global technology infrastructure to power this platform has required a significant financial commitment, and in the process we have created the most powerful platform in the world for processing music usage data and matching.

“This new capability provides the infrastructure needed to handle our ever-expanding client base around the world which we forecast to continue to grow robustly in the coming years.”

Robin Davies, Chief Operating Officer of amra, added: “One of the problems with the current collection landscape is an almost total lack of transparency, coupled with an inability to ensure you are receiving the correct royalties as a songwriter or publisher, a problem which is made even more complex by the exponential growth in the number of transactions.

“That is why from the very start, we’ve offered our clients the ability to conduct regular audits of their royalty statements, something that no other platform provides.”

In addition to the US market, Amra’s global reach includes direct digital collections for Southeast Asia, India, Australia, Brazil, and Japan and keeps growing.Music Business Worldwide

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