DreamWorks Sells Music Publishing Business to JDS

From Times Wire Services

DreamWorks Music Publishing, whose catalog of works include songs by the Byrds, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Eat World, was bought Thursday by New York-based buyout and hedge fund JDS Capital Management Inc. for an undisclosed price.

JDS, which has built a portfolio of digital music and music distribution firms, will fold 7,000 songs from DreamWorks’ catalog into its Dimensional Music Publishing arm, JDS President Danny Stein said. He would not disclose the value of the deal.

JDS already owns digital music service EMusic, Digital Club Network and music distributor Orchard, which supplies more than 200,000 tracks to top digital music services and retail CD distributors.


Each time a TV commercial uses one of the catalog’s songs, and every time New York Yankee Bernie Williams steps up to the plate to the tune of “Disco Inferno,” DreamWorks Music pulls in revenue, Stein said.

The DreamWorks catalog features works by such artists as John Denver, Rickie Lee Jones and Alien Ant Farm and owns such songs as “Monster Mash,” “Day-O,” “Take the A Train,” “Rocky Mountain High” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Music created for motion pictures and television programs produced by DreamWorks’ affiliated companies was not part of the sale.

“We’re going to try to buy more songs and build the asset,” said Stein, who saw international markets and selling music for mobile phone ring tones and video games as areas for growth.

DreamWorks SKG, founded by film director Steven Spielberg, former Walt Disney Co. film chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and music executive David Geffen, sold its recorded music business to Universal Music Group last month. The sale of the music publishing business to JDS will allow the company to concentrate on films.

“It’s possible the music business just didn’t fit into what they wanted to accomplish,” said Marla Backer, an analyst at Soleil Securities in New York.

Bloomberg News and Reuters were used in compiling this report.