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Kiss sells brand and songs for $300m

The hard rock band Kiss has sold its back catalogue of songs to a Swedish music investor for a figure thought to be upwards of $300m (£237m).

Stockholm-based Pophouse Entertainment also bought the group’s brand, likeness and intellectual property.

The sale marks the band’s retirement from live performances on their End of the Road World Tour.

Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have also sold their back catalogues for multi-million dollar figures.

Both artists sold to big music houses for $500m (£395m) and $450m (£355m) respectively.

Although details of the Kiss deal have not been revealed it is understood to be similar to that of the British band Genesis, but less than the back catalogue sale of Michael Jackson’s work ($600m/£474m).

However, Pophouse, will own not just the rights to the music but the entire Kiss brand, including intellectual property sales, which will allow the Swedish firm to generate future AI-generated content.

The company, which previously collaborated with Kiss on a digital avatar project in December last year, also produced the Abba Voyage concerts based on a similar principle.

Kiss was founded in 1973 by lead singers Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. The opening line-up, which also included Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, became renowned for their iconic face paint.

In their 1970s heyday the band produced such hits as Rock and Roll All Nite and God of Thunder.

In 1983 they appeared without face paint for the first time and enjoyed something of a resurgence. This was known as their “unmasking”. They later re-masked in the late 1990s.

Kiss have sold some 100 million records over the past 50 years.

Speaking to BBC World Business Report, Gene Simmons, widely regarded as the entrepreneurial heart of the band, addressed questions about the scale of monies involved.

He declined to put a precise figure on it but teased that it might be “billions of dollars” before suggesting that would be a tall and “unfair” claim.

“We will be able to pay our rent, but for any amount of money we wouldn’t get into bed with the wrong folks,” he said.

“The best thing about this deal is who we’re doing the deal with, about the collaborative nature and about how we’ve met our newest best friends for the rest of our lives.”

Also speaking to the BBC, Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse, lauded the partnership.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports |


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