Music Business Worldwide

Josh Empson, CEO, Tempo Music: 'We're slow, steady, and very choosy.' (The MBW Podcast)

November 23, 2021 Music Business Worldwide Season 3 Episode 11
Music Business Worldwide
Josh Empson, CEO, Tempo Music: 'We're slow, steady, and very choosy.' (The MBW Podcast)
Show Notes

Welcome to the Music Business Worldwide Podcast, supported by Voly Music.

Tempo Music has been sitting on a billion-dollar-plus fund to buy music rights since 2019. This fund is bankrolled by a private equity giant – Providence Equity – that has over $45 billion in assets under its control.

Josh Empson (pictured) is the CEO and founder of Tempo Music, and the guest of this episode of the MBW Podcast.

According to Empson, Tempo is quietly and efficiently building a catalog of what he terms "modern masters".

Not to be confused (solely) with master rights, Empson's "modern masters" descriptor refers to songwriters and artists who have established themselves as standout, enduring talents over the past 10 or 20 years.

This explains Tempo's occasional announcement of deals in 2021 that have included its acquisition of a portion of the song catalog of Twenty One Pilots star, Tyler Joseph, as well as – more recently – its acquisition of a majority stake in the recording rights of two classic albums by Korn.

Josh Empson knows the finance world intimately: before founding Tempo, he was previously a Managing Director at Providence and a director of Learfield Sports, MLS Media and the NFL/PEP investment fund.

With a rich history of investing in media/entertainment properties and IP, he moonlights today as Director of European Media Partnership – a big-money partner of soccer giant Real Madrid.

Here, MBW asks Empson about Tempo Music's strategy going forward, and how contingent that strategy might be on the fund's cozy relationship with Warner Music Group.

We also get into how Empson believes the shape of the music business might change in the years ahead, and why Tempo is quite so bullish on the future growth of value in music rights.

The MBW Podcast is supported by Voly Music, the new bespoke financial management platform for people in the music business.