Alison Smith

Cutting Edge Nominated for Ivor for Slow Horses Season Three Soundtrack (The Ivors Academy)

Cutting Edge has been nominated for Best Television Soundtrack at The Ivors Academy, for season three of Slow Horses.

Full story available here.


Cutting Edge Secures $500M for Music Rights (Billboard)

Cutting Edge Group (“CEG” or the “Group”), an investor in and manager of niche media music rights encompassing more than 2,000 titles across soundtrack albums, completed a $500 million debt refinancing with four banks led by Fifth Third Bank and Northleaf Capital Partners.

The new credit facility will be used for corporate purposes as well as the acquisition of music rights from the roughly $1.5 billion pipeline of possible investments already identified by Cutting Edge.

“Cutting Edge has become a world leading music partner to the film and tv industries,” said Philip Moross, CEO of Cutting Edge Group, in a statement. “During that time, the structural trends driving our industries have accelerated exponentially, delivering a proliferation of digital platforms and content, matched by an increase in demand for media music usage. Prior to the pandemic, we identified a similar opportunity in the global wellness market, which is now projected to grow at 10% per annum to a US$7 trillion market by 2025. This refinancing will enable us to execute our growth strategy to take full advantage of these trends in our usual disciplined way.”

Full article available via Billboard here.


Music Rights Investor Cutting Edge Secures $500mn to Fund Acquisition Spree (Financial Times)

A UK-based media group has secured $500mn in debt funding to invest in creating and buying music rights for films, TV, theatre productions and computer games in a sign of continued interest in the asset class among investors.

Cutting Edge Group (CEG), a music financier, publisher and record label based in London, has secured $500mn from a syndicate of four banks, led by US lender Fifth Third Bank and Northleaf Capital. 

CEG will use the additional funds to buy and manage music rights, as well as finance new film and TV scores. The group is already in talks over more than $1bn of potential acquisitions, which could be further funded by bringing in third party investors.

CEG is a specialist in owning and managing music featured in film, TV, theatre productions and video games. Its existing portfolio of more than 2,000 titles includes the publishing rights to films such as Aquaman and distribution rights of The Jungle Book.

CEG, which was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Philip Moross, also operates a business creating and managing portfolios of “wellness music”, which aids sleep or focus. Majority owned by Moross the company also provides music for spas and hotels around the world.

Moross, who is working with artists such as hip hop producer Timbaland producing wellness music, said the genre was popular on streaming platforms, with some tracks being streamed billions of times.

Music rights have become an increasingly popular investment on the back of rising revenues from streaming — which offers a growing income — with several specialist funds set up to own and manage the rights.

Full article available via Financial Times here.


BROADWAY RECORDS FOUNDER VAN DEAN TO LAUNCH NEW LABEL: CENTER STAGE RECORDS (Broadway World)

Grammy Award and Tony Award-winning producer Van Dean is launching his new record label, Center Stage Records. The new label already has over two dozen albums scheduled for the coming year, including exciting titles from Broadway, Off-Broadway, London’s West End, concept recordings and major Broadway solo artist recordings.

In addition to its New York headquarters, Center Stage Records is deeply committed to the West End/London theatre and is establishing a London office which will be led by Executive Director, London producer/GM, Jamie Chapman Dixon.

Broadway Records’ Robbie Rozelle will also be joining Center Stage Records as its A&R Director and will design the artwork/packaging for its new releases. He will also continue to conceive and produce albums with key artists.

Most recently, Van Dean has been running Broadway Records under the ownership of Cutting Edge Group, which acquired the premier label from Dean in early 2020. The intention is for Center Stage to collaborate with Broadway Records on selected releases in the future and for Dean to consult for Broadway Records/Cutting Edge to aid in the transition. As part of Dean’s new venture, Center Stage will take over the management and distribution of nearly two thirds of the Broadway Records back-catalog with the remaining one third of titles staying with Broadway Records.

Under Cutting Edge, Broadway Records will continue as a leader in the musical theater album space, supporting its valuable retained catalog of titles, and releasing select new frontline cast albums including with its existing production partners such as The National Theatre in London.

For more info on Center Stage Records please visit: www.centerstagerecords.com

Van Dean (President and Founder) is a Tony Award and Grammy Award winning producer. He co-founded Broadway Records which released nearly 300 albums during his leadership. Van earned his Grammy Award for helping to produce the Broadway Records’ release of the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple. His Grammy nominations were earned for his work on Matilda the Musical, My Fair Lady and Caroline, or Change. Van also executive produced well over 200 other albums including 9 that were Grammy Award nominated.

His theatrical production credits include The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Tony Award), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Tony Award nomination), Anastasia, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette and Diablo Cody (Tony Award nomination), How to Dance In Ohio, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical, Matilda (Tony Award nomination), Evita (Tony Award nomination), Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (Tony Award nomination), Catch Me If You Can (Tony Award nomination), The Velocity of Autumn, Big Fish, Bonnie & Clyde, Chinglish, the Off-Broadway production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (2016) and ROOMS a rock romance and the national tours of Anastasia, Matilda, Cinderella, The Lightning Thief and more. He was also a producer of Master Class with Tyne Daly and the 2022 and 2023 productions of Bonnie & Clyde in London’s West End. Upcoming: Death Note, Wild, Goodbye New York, SMASH, Figaro, Little Dancer, Song of Bernadette.

He co-produced Broadway For Orlando’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love” to raise funds for the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. The charity single was featured on NBC’s “Maya and Marty” and at the Democratic National Convention in 2016. He co-conceived and co-Executive Produced the anti-bullying single “I Have A Voice” featuring 70 Broadway kids from Matilda, School of Rock and more and co-produced the new Broadway United music video of “We Are The World”. He also co-conceived and produced From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook featuring 100 Broadway stars, a 40 piece orchestra and 300+ children from Newtown and From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA at the BB&T Center Arena in Sunrise, FL and co-produced the Emmy Award winning From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando. He is also a co-producer of the feature film documentary “Midsummer in Newtown” which premiered as a Spotlight selection at Tribeca Film Festival. Van has several major film and television musicals in pre-production.

Full article available via Broadway World here.


CUTTING EDGE ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN WHITE STORK, THE PUBLISHING COMPANY OF UK COMPOSER TOM HOWE (Music Business Worldwide)

Cutting Edge Media Music (CEMM) has acquired a majority interest in White Stork, the publishing company of award-winning UK composer Tom Howe.

CEMM did not disclose the financial terms of the investment, although it said that the deal is aimed at expanding the White Stork business.

CEMM’s collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Tom Howe has produced original music for over 80 Emmy and BAFTA-winning dramas and documentaries, including shows such as Ted Lasso, The Great British Bake Off and Daisy Jones & The Six, as well as major motion pictures, such as Warner Bros. Wonder Woman and Legends of Tarzan.

As a songwriter, Howe has also written a number of international Top 40 hits. He most recently co-wrote the song Fought & Lost alongside Sam Ryder and Jamie Hartman that was featured in the penultimate episode of Ted Lasso’s final season.

“It’s great to be working with Cutting Edge Media Music and Tamsin Dove on this new venture. They both have so much experience and I’m hugely excited to see what we can accomplish together,” Howe said.

White Stork, which boasts studios in London and Los Angeles, will publish all of Tom Howe’s future work following the deal.

"This creative and strategic partnership brings Cutting Edge Media Music one step closer to its long-term goal of becoming the pre-eminent media music publisher and services provider in the world."

-Philip Moross, Cutting Edge Group

Tom Howe, White Stork

Cutting Edge Group founder and CEO Philip Moross added: “We are excited to be working with such a high-caliber talent as Tom Howe. This creative and strategic partnership brings Cutting Edge Media Music one step closer to its long-term goal of becoming the pre-eminent media music publisher and services provider in the world. I am thrilled to have Tamsin Dove on board leading the team, her expertise with leading international broadcasters as both licensor and licensee is a huge asset to our global teams.”

In addition to the stake sale between CEMM and White Stork, the pair also intend to form a joint venture led by Cutting Edge Chief Commercial Officer Tamsin Dove, who joined the company in September.

In her new role, Dove will lead bespoke music production and licensing for the group across CEMM’s London and LA offices and manage the diverse, hand-selected roster of award-winning composers.

Dove previously served as Head of Television for UK and APAC at global music publisher, Audio Network. In that role, she secured and managed deals with Amazon, BBC, ITV, C5, C4, Discovery, Disney, Turner, and Netflix. Dove has licensed music for major motion pictures like The 355, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Logan, and successful TV shows including Married at First Sight, Upright, Emmerdale, Shetland, Four in a Bed, and Top of the Lake.

She has also worked closely with a number of musicians including; Rag’n’Bone Man, Tokio Myers, Maroon 5 and music legends Neil Diamond, The Proclaimers, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

“I am humbled and thrilled to be working with both Cutting Edge Media Group and Tom Howe and leading this new venture. By combining Cutting Edge’s growing high-caliber back catalogue, with the bespoke music services under Tom Howe’s helm, we are on track for becoming the leading full-service music provider internationally,” said Dove.

The acquisition of White Stork adds to CEMM’s extensive catalog of music from popular films and TV series, including Hollywood blockbusters such as The King’s Speech and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, as well as high-profile video games like Cyberpunk 2077.

These assets are available for licensing for media and brands through the White Stork team.

CEMM is a unit of Cutting Edge Group, which provides music for different forms of media including film, televisions, video games, advertising and Broadway across its publishing, label, services, and marketing verticals. It owns and controls the music IP in some of the most popular media properties and franchises globally.

CEMM acts as a financier, publisher, record label and has provided a range of music services to over 1,000 feature films, tv shows, musical theatre productions and video games, including such films and television shows including Stranger Things, Bridgerton, The King’s Speech, Drive, Star Trek: Discovery, Fury, John Wick, Sicario, Whiplash, Hacksaw Moonlight Ridge, and The Walking Dead, as well as Broadway shows like Matilda, The Color Purple, Anastasia, and My Fair Lady.

CEMM’s brands include Lakeshore Records (Soundtrack Label), Music.Film (film & TV music licensing platform), Broadway Records (musical theater label), Cutting Edge Music Publishing (music publisher), 12on12 (specialty vinyl), CEG Analytics (royalty tracking & analysis), and most recently, White Stork (custom music house).

The acquisition of White Stork adds to CEMM’s extensive catalog of music from popular films, TV series, and video games. These assets are available for licensing through the White Stork team.

CEMM, a division of Cutting Edge Group, specializes in music for various media platforms and operates as a financier, publisher, and record label. The company has provided music services to numerous feature films, TV shows, musical theater productions, and video games. Their brands include Lakeshore Records, Music.Film, Broadway Records, Cutting Edge Music Publishing, 12on12, CEG Analytics, and the recently acquired White Stork.

CEMM’s acquisition of White Stork follows its eight-figure deal with pop songwriter and producer Jamie Hartman in May and the purchase of a major film music catalog from First Score Music Ltd. in March.

The company secured $125 million for music publishing rights acquisitions in collaboration with affiliates of Blantyre Capital in 2022 and obtained an additional $100 million from banks led by Pinnacle Financial Partners in February 2023.

Full article available via Music Business Worldwide here.


CUTTING EDGE STRIKES EIGHT-FIGURE DEAL WITH POP SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER JAMIE HARTMAN (Music Business Worldwide)

UK-headquartered Cutting Edge Media Music (CEMM) has been one of the most active buyers of film and TV music rights over the past few years.

In 2022, it partnered with affiliates of London-based Blantyre Capital in a deal that secured $125 million for acquisitions of music publishing rights from composers who write music for film and TV.

With those funds now fully deployed, earlier this year CEMM secured another $100 million from banks led by Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Now CEMM is stepping into the world of pop music, striking a deal with prominent songwriter and producer Jamie Hartman, who’s written or co-written numerous hits for artists such as Lewis Capaldi, Celeste, Calvin Harris, Rag’n’Bone Man and the Backstreet Boys, among many others.

CEMM says it “will purchase the majority of Hartman’s back catalog royalties”, published through his deal with Reservoir Media, which includes hundreds of songs he’s written and collaborated on with artists including Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Calvin Harris, Kygo and Lewis Capaldi as well as songs for commercials, TV and film written with artists such as Carole King, Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera.

MBW understands that CEMM has bought the majority of Hartman’s writers’ share. Hartman continues to be published by Reservoir.

The deal was done on Hartman’s behalf by Milk & Honey Music’s Peter Coquillard and Lucas Keller, Hartman’s longtime managers.

The deal “represents a key move by CEMM to expand its reach beyond primarily instrumental composers and engage strategically with songwriters in the pop realm and other genres to capitalize on unique opportunities advantageous to both parties,” CEMM said in a statement.

MBW understands that the deal tipped into the eight-figure realm.

Hartman’s work straddles the Top 40 music scene and film and TV scores. He co-wrote Rag’n’Bone Man’s 2016 mega-hit Human, as well as Rag’n’Bone Man’s collab with Calvin Harris, Giant.

He also co-wrote and co-produced the Backstreet Boys’ 2018 hit Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. More recently, he wrote two songs on Lewis Capaldi’s 2019 album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, and also has a cut on Heavenly Kind of State of Mind from Capaldi’s new album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent.

Elsewhere, he co-wrote and co-produced many of the songs on Celeste’s 2021 debut album, Not Your Muse, including Stop This Flame, which was chosen as the theme song for Sky Sports’ Premier League coverage, and also appeared in a Peloton ad.

Hartman’s film and TV credits include My Loyal Brave and True, from Disney’s Mulan, which was performed by Christina Aguilera; The Measure of a Man from 20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man, performed by FKA Twigs; and Here I Am Singing My Way Home, from the aretha Franklin biopic Respect, performed by Jennifer Hudson and Carole King.

In the wake of the deal, Hartman continues to have hits with the likes of the track Fought and Lost, co-written by Hartman and performed by Sam Ryder (which appeared in the penultimate episode of Apple TV+ hit comedy Ted Lasso), and with Dancing is Healing by Charlotte Plank, Rudimental, and Vibe Chemistry.

Hartman has won multiple BMI Pop Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, Brit Awards, and a Music Week Award.

“I am very proud of those songs, written over 30 years, and to have Cutting Edge echo that sentiment, and to be working on behalf of those songs alongside my long-term publishers Reservoir and their team, is fantastic,” Hartman said in a statement.

“This endeavor represents an exciting expansion of our company’s scope and we are honored to be working alongside the extraordinarily talented Jamie Hartman,” said Philip Moross, CEO of Cutting Edge Group, the parent company of CEMM.

Launched in the early 2000s, Cutting Edge operates as a financier, publisher, and record label. Its divisions include Lakeshore Records (a soundtrack label), Music.Film (a film and TV music licensing platform), Broadway Records (a musical theater label), Cutting Edge Music Publishing (a music publisher), 12on12 (specialty vinyl), White Stork (a custom music house) and CEG Analytics (royalty tracking & analysis).

It has so far provided a range of music services to over 1,000 feature films, TV shows, musical theater productions and video games, including the TV shows Stranger Things, Bridgerton, Star Trek: Discovery and The Walking Dead.

Films have included Drive, Fury, John Wick and Sicario, while major video games have included Sunset Overdrive, Assassins Creed Valhalla, Red Dead Redemption and Cyberpunk 2077. Its theatrical works have included such Broadway shows as Matilda, The Color Purple, Anastasia, and My Fair Lady.

Earlier this year, Cutting Edge announced a new joint venture with Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, parent company of Village Roadshow Pictures and Village Roadshow Television.

The deal covers all of VREG’s past and future music publishing assets, soundtrack album releases and music supervision services, as well as VREG’s music assets for film and scripted and unscripted television.

Among CEMM’s recent deals is the acquisition of a “major film music catalog” from UK-headquartered First Score Music Ltd., which included full master and publishing rights to more than 75 “premium” film scores.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but a source told MBW that the deal was worth in the high seven figures.

Tim Hegarty, CEMM’s Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, added: “We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Jamie’s award-winning catalog, which bridges audio and visual media. We see a huge scope to build on Jamie’s existing reputation in film and TV, and look forward to partnering with his team on new opportunities in the future.

“This marks a new chapter for CEMM as we look to ally with world renowned songwriters who are looking to expand their profile in the motion picture industry.”

Music rights acquisitions have become a booming business in recent years, with some $5 billion in transactions in 2021 alone, and film and TV rights are a major part of that.

Full article available via Music Business Worldwide here.


Ted Lasso Season 3: What The “Fought & Lost” Song Really Means (ScreenRant)

Ted Lasso season 3, episode 11 features the song “Fought & Lost” by Sam Ryder, begging the question of what the song itself means but also its connection and context to the show.

Ryder’s song has much more emotional meaning to Ted Lasso season 3, episode 11. The song plays toward the end of the episode, bridging the scene of Ted’s heartfelt confrontation with his mother Dottie and his return to Richmond the day after to reveal a truth bomb to Rebecca. Regarding the song itself, “Fought & Lost” has profound meaning both on its own merits and in terms of how it provides context to Ted Lasso leading into the series finale.

One of the significant strengths of Ted Lasso throughout all three seasons has been its soundtrack choices, which often provide added context to the character's stories or play off an inside joke in the script.

The meaning behind Sam Ryder’s “Fought & Lost” song centers on people’s abilities to constantly bounce back from a defeat of any kind. While this could link to a sports team like A.F.C Richmond for instance, it can mean in any aspect of life. From emotional trauma and mental health to physical injuries and everyday aspects of life, the central lyric of “Better to have fought and lost than never fought at all” encompasses the perseverance of humanity.

The song centers on the ups and downs of life, and continuing to fight is better for someone than giving up completely. Lyrics such as “We wanted it so bad, gave it all we had. Oh, but wanting it doesn’t always make it yours. This time was ours to lose. But fortune favors to those who ride the storm and make it through” typify the meaning behind the song. While people may not always win, no matter how much they want something, life will always reward those who continue to fight regardless of whether they will win or lose.

The meaning behind Sam Ryder’s “Fought & Lost” connects to Ted Lasso in two major ways. Firstly, on a more surface-level note, the song can apply to the journey of A.F.C Richmond. Despite losing heavily in Ted Lasso season 1, even to the point of relegation, Ted nor the squad gave up and continued to fight. As a result, they are now being rewarded by being on the precipice of winning the Premier League title.

However, the song also applies to Ted’s personal life, with his realization in Ted Lasso season 3, episode 11 that he misses raising his son. Lyrics like “Everybody falls, and life will tear you down to show you what’s worth fighting for” link to Ted’s realization, as the constant pain and trauma he has been through has torn him down to the point that he realized Henry is what is worth fighting for. Ted’s mother replies that parents just need to keep fighting for their children when Ted reveals his fear of getting close to Henry, something that Sam Ryder’s “Fought & Lost” exemplifies perfectly in Ted Lasso season 3, episode 11.

Full article available via ScreenRant here.


Cutting Edge Acquires First Score Film Music Catalog (Billboard)

Financing and investment company Cutting Edge Media Music acquired the full music catalog of U.K.-based media company First Score Music. The acquisition gives Cutting Edge complete master and publishing rights to over 75 film scores, including original music rights to films from Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish‘s Imaginarium Productions. This includes Imaginarium’s upcoming animated version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, as well as its Taika Waititi-directed film Next Goal Wins with a score by Michael Giacchino.

The acquisition gives Cutting Edge complete master and publishing rights to over 75 film scores, including original music rights to films from Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish‘s Imaginarium Productions.

Philip Moross, Cutting Edge CEO

The catalog also includes scores by composers such as Carter Burwell, Christophe Beck, Hildur Guðnadóttir, David Newman and Rachel Portman for films including Sicario: Day of the Soldado; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Midway; and Greenland.

Full article available via Billboard here.


Cutting Edge Reveals Multimillion-Dollar Deal for First Score Music’s Catalog — Encompassing 75+ Film Scores (Digital Music News)

Last month, Cutting Edge Media Music (CEMM) announced that it had obtained $100 million in new financing and disclosed plans “to help give the next wave of film and TV composers the opportunity to monetize their catalogues.” Now, the company has acquired the catalog of First Score Music.

Cutting Edge Media Music unveiled the “multi-million dollar deal” with the UK’s First Score Music today, and the transaction is said to encompass both the master and publishing rights behind north of 75 film scores. Featured within the latter is the original music from several movies by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s Imaginarium Productions, the forthcoming animated adaptation of Animal Farm among them, according to CEMM.

The Cutting Edge Group subsidiary – which operates a soundtrack arm called Lakeshore Records as well as a namesake publishing unit – likewise relayed that the buyout includes the scores of Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Midway (2019), and STX-distributed Greenland (2020).

Additionally, Cutting Edge specified that the play extends to the score of Next Goal Wins. Directed by Taika Waititi (who also directed Thor: Love and Thunder and is married to singer-songwriter Rita Ora), Next Goal Wins is slated to debut this September.

In a statement, Cutting Edge Group founder and CEO Philip Moross acknowledged his ambitious vision for CEMM and the associated significance of today’s deal, indicating: “This purchase brings Cutting Edge Media Music closer to its long-term goal in becoming the pre-eminent media music publisher and services provider in the world.”

And in remarks of her own, longtime Cutting Edge Group COO Tara Finegan, who doubles as CEO of music-tech company CAAST, communicated: “Through CEMM and its divisions such as Lakeshore Records, CEMM can continue to invest in productions and provide a range of music services, including publishing the best original scores and releasing the best soundtracks.”

CEMM’s latest music-IP acquisition arrives as more than a few other companies, evidently unperturbed by rising rates and turbulence throughout the broader economy, are also continuing to inject capital into song rights.

Earlier today, AMR Songs bought the catalog of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, while Mojo Music & Media three weeks back touted its purchase of a “trove of classic catalogs,” including the music IP of Duran Duran’s Warren Cuccurullo. Lastly, Reservoir one month ago scored a catalog agreement with Sonny Rollins, and Spirit Music Group owner Lyric Capital concluded February by detailing the close of its second, $800 million music royalty fund.

Full article available via Digital Music News here.


Cutting Edge Acquires Major Film Music Catalog From First Score Music in Multi-Million-Dollar Deal (Music Business Worldwide)

The market for copyrights belonging to composers for film and TV continues to heat up.

Just yesterday (March 22), Multimedia Music, a company that specializes in catalogs of film and TV music rights, raised an additional $100 million investment bringing the company’s total funds raised to date to $200 million.

Last month, UK-born Cutting Edge Media Music (CEMM) secured $100 million in financing from a group of banks led by Pinnacle Financial Partners to boost its cash reserves to invest in music for film, television, video games and more.

That new $100 million raise came after a year during which the company invested $125 million, raised in an initial round, to acquire film and TV music rights.

Now, CEMM has announced the acquisition of what it says is a ‘major film music catalog’ – from UK-based media company First Score Music Ltd.

CEMM says that the acquisition gives it full master and publishing rights to more than 75 “premium” film scores.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a source tells MBW that the transaction was in the high seven figures.

The transaction includes master and publishing rights to a collection of film scores including the score for director Taika Waititi’s upcoming sports comedy-drama film Next Goal Wins starring Michael Fassbender, and the score for the upcoming animated version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm from Andy Serkis.

Next Goal Wins includes a score by Academy Award and Emmy-winner Michael Giacchino, who composed themes for Up, The Incredibles, The Batman and Lost.

These themes are just among the over “over 75 premium film scores that Cutting Edge is acquiring, expanding its catalog of media music.

"This purchase brings Cutting Edge Media Music closer to its long-term goal in becoming the pre-eminent media music publisher and services provider in the world."

-Philip Moross, Cutting Edge Group

“Imaginarium has a great creative and commercial relationship with Cutting Edge,” said Jonathan Cavendish of Imaginarium Productions, the producer of Serkis’ Animal Farm animation.

“It is incredibly important for us to have partners in the musical sphere who are as knowledgeable, creative and clever as Cutting Edge’s Philip Moross and Tara Finnegan.”

The deal will also see CEMM buying film scores by composers such as Carter Burwell, Christophe Beck, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Volker Bertelmann, John Debney, Benjamin Wallfisch, Andrew Lockington, David Newman, Rachel Portman, Mychael Danna, Craig Armstrong, David Buckley and Harald Kloser.

“This purchase brings Cutting Edge Media Music closer to its long-term goal in becoming the pre-eminent media music publisher and services provider in the world,” said Philip Moross, CEO and founder of Cutting Edge Group, CEMM’s parent company.

Cutting Edge Group COO Tara Finegan added: “Through CEMM and its divisions such as Lakeshore Records, CEMM can continue to invest in productions and provide a range of music services, including publishing the best original scores and releasing the best soundtracks.”

“We have been tracking the development of First Score Music for some time and are thrilled to bring this world class catalogue of independent film scores into the Cutting Edge Media Music portfolio,” added Tim Hegarty, head of mergers and acquisitions for Cutting Edge Group, who represented CEMM in the transaction.

The acquisition marks CEMM’s latest investment since raising $100 million from a group of banks led by Pinnacle Financial Partners last month. In 2022, CEMM invested $125 million in buying film and TV music rights.

Nearly a month ago, the company agreed to form a strategic music venture with Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (VREG), covering the latter’s past and future music publishing assets, soundtrack album releases and music supervision services.

The deals come as music rights companies double down on investments in copyrights for film and TV scores.

Shortly after CEMM announced its funding round, Multimedia Music, which also operates in the space, said it closed an eight-figure deal to acquire the music publishing and music master rights from the entire film music library of STX Entertainment.

The transaction includes music for film titles like Bad Moms, The Gentlemen, Den of Thieves, Greenland and The Foreigner and music from composers including Hans Zimmer, Cliff Martinez, Marcelo Zarvos, Hauschke, Chris Lennertz, Andrew Lockington, Clinton Shorter and Nicholas Britell.

Full article available via Music Business Worldwide here.