MediaLab acquires Lyrics Database Genius in $ 80 million deal

Photo credit: Genie

Lyrics and Music Information Database Genius officially sold to Santa Monica-headquartered MediaLab for $ 80 million, less than what the 12-year-old platform raised from investors, including Everblue, Andreessen Horowitz and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

The $ 80 million sale (along with MediaLab executives’ immediate plans for Genius) was revealed in a report from Bloomberg. Three-year-old MediaLab, “a holding company of mainstream Internet brands” that claims to have a “growing presence in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Latin America at large” – said in a statement that it had already finalized layoffs affecting “some very talented people in the content and production teams.

It’s unclear which division (s) the additional cuts might have an impact, but an anonymous source with knowledge of the matter clarified that any further cost-cutting measures would not involve the engineering, product or Brooklyn-based sales team.

Additionally, the buyer, who owns the Kik messaging app and the DatPiff mixtape distribution service, said: artists. “

Finally, concerning the nuances of the sale, Bloomberg relayed that Genius’ “obligations to its preferred shareholders exceeded the sale price,” which means lenders will not get back all of their investments. MediaLab paid $ 60 million as part of the purchase and is expected to pay the remaining $ 20 million over the next two years.

The Genius sale comes about 13 months after its high-profile stolen-talk lawsuit was dismissed against Google and Toronto-based LyricFind.

LyricFind provides lyrics for Google’s search results pages, and Genius alleged in the $ 50 million lawsuit – filed in December 2019 – that the company removed some of those lyrics directly from Genius. In an effort to prove the charges, members of the Genius team inserted almost indistinguishable “curly apostrophes” into their transcripts, and the punctuation marks, which spelled “hand in the act” in Morse code, then appeared. in a number of LyricFind lyric sets.

Despite this evidence, the presiding judge dismissed the action in part because it had not been submitted by the rights holders themselves, with Genius and LyricFind given permission to display the lyrics. The plaintiff did not “allege breach of contract claims that are qualitatively different from federal copyright claims”, which he could not pursue in this case because he does not own the underlying intellectual property. jacente, the court said.

Last December, Spotify officially patented a “spoken word analyzer,” or an AI-based system that analyzes and ranks songs based on their lyrics and technical characteristics. Separately, a text-to-speech AI that debuted in late June of this year allows users to hear text typed into the voices of prominent rappers such as Kanye West and Eminem.

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