Cutting Edge acquires film music catalog from First Score Music in multi-million dollar deal


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 the entire music catalog of 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 acquisition includes original music rights to films by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s Imaginarium Productions, which is in production on an animated version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Also included in the acquisition is the film score for the upcoming Imaginarium/Searchlight film Next Goal Wins, with a score by Academy Award and Emmy-winner Michael Giacchino (Up, The Incredibles, The Batman, Lost), and directed by the Academy Award-winner Taika Waititi (JoJo Rabbit, Thor: Love and Thunder).

The acquired catalog also includes 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.

Notable film titles include Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Midway and Greenland.

CEMM is a division of parent company Cutting Edge Group, whose CEO and founder is Philip Moross.

“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

“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 Moross.

Imaginarium’s Jonathan Cavendish said: “Imaginarium has a great creative and commercial relationship with Cutting Edge.”

Jonathan Serkis added: “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.”

Tara Finegan, COO of the Cutting Edge Group, 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.”

CEMM was represented in the transaction by Tim Hegarty, the head of mergers and acquisitions for parent company Cutting Edge Group, who said: “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.”

Cutting Edge’s other business units include music publisher Cutting Edge Music Publishing, film, TV & video game soundtracks division Lakeshore Records, musical theatre soundtracks unit Broadway Records, licensing platform Music.Film and custom music house White Stork.

The company also owns wellness label Myndstream, home to artists who have collectively amassed billions of streams across Spotify, Apply, Pandora and Amazon, Cutting Edge says.

In 2018, Cutting Edge-led investor group Film Score Records sold movie soundtrack and score label Varèse Sarabande to Concord Music. The deal saw Cutting Edge becoming a client of Concord Music, which started providing global distribution, marketing, and label services to Cutting Edge.

Music Business Worldwide


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