Unison To Fund Emerging Artists

Bored with playing the stock market? Looking for a hip new investment opportunity? The Unison Fund is an investment fund launching for the purpose of financing tours, albums, videos and other projects for emerging artists, according to the Wall Street Journal

Photo: Barry Brecheisen
Festival Futures panel

It is also reportedly considering the acquisition of festivals with an eye toward some owned by bankrupt SFX Entertainment. Unison’s founders include Tom Windish, AGI Partners, Tmwrk and management consultancy Mtheory.

It’s ponied up some $25 million in pledges to its initial fund, and expects to raise another $250 million – primarily from deep-pocketed individuals with connections to the music business, according to the Journal. It’s not the first such non-traditional fund raising endeavor in the music industry. Scooter Braun, who manages Justin Bieber among others, started a similar investment fund a few years ago with other managers. Sound Royalties, which loans money based on future earnings, is another.

These alternative means of funding look particularly attractive when one considers that record label revenues have dropped some 60 percent since 2000, according to stats from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry cited by the WSJ.

Artists like them because, unlike record label support, there are few strings attached. Unison Fund’s portfolio managers will participate in revenue streams, but artist investment funds also provide more freedom, revenue, and ownership of recordings.