WMG Acquires Pioneer Playlister, Repackager X5 Music


LOS ANGELES (Hypebot) – Wringing new profits from old catalog is one of the real positives of digital music's long tail, and studies have shown that streaming, in particular, can generate income from deep catalog. That's the motivation behind today's WMG acquisition of X5 Music.

Warner Music Group has acquired pioneer music repackager and playlister X5 Music Group. X5 specializes in licensing and generating income from deep catalog by compiling playlists, streaming and download compilations. Details of the sale were not revealed but are rumored to be "in the low tens of millions."

X5 will continue to operate as a standalone company under its existing management, led by CEO and co-founder Johan Lagerlöf and overseen by Tim Fraser-Harding, WMG’s President, Global Catalog, Recorded Music.

X5 was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It originally developed its specialty by licensing and curating classical repertoire, scoring a multiple top selling albums in the genre, before branching out to blues, jazz and other genres. As part of the deal X5 will mine WMG’s deep catalog as well as continue to work with third-party partners.

Johan Lagerlöf says of the deal: “Our business is to increase the value of catalog music by putting it in the right context. We are excited to be working with the amazing catalog of Warner Music Group and look forward to harnessing our scalable business model to increase its value."

Tim Fraser-Harding says: “X5 is an incredibly exciting company that has done great things in the digital space. This team, led by Johan, has an impressive ability to curate specific genres of music and create engaging and accessible digital products and playlists. We hope to help X5 grow its business in the years ahead and believe that we in turn will benefit hugely from its experience.”