Reservoir Media has struck a music rights deal with Latin Music hitmaker Rudy Perez.
The deal will see New York-headquartered Reservoir acquire Perez’s catalog, which includes tracks he wrote or co-wrote for such artists as Christina Aguilera and Julio Iglesias. The agreement also includes a publishing deal for his future works.
Perez’s track record in the industry is nothing short of stunning: He has produced more than 70 albums and composed more than 1,000 songs, including around 300 that have become top-10 hits, including collaborations with Natalie Cole, Jose Feliciano, Luis Miguel and others.
The Cuban-born American musician has also taken home numerous accolades, including 19 Grammy nominations and five wins. He has been named ASCAP Latin Music Songwriter of the Year five times. He is the only producer to have won Billboard’s Latin Music Award for Producer of the Year four times, and also took home Billboard’s Producer of the Decade award in 2010, for collaborating on more Top 10 hits during the 2000-2010 period than any other producer.
Among those hits were Pero Me Acuerdo de Ti and Si No Te Hubiera Conocido, both off Christina Aguilera’s 2000 album Mi Reflejo, which reached number one on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums and Top Latin Pop Albums charts, and took home the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album.
Perez has also been instrumental in establishing the Latin Music scene within the US’s recorded music industry. He co-founded both the Latin Recording Academy in 1987 and the Latin Grammys in 2000, as well as the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.
For Reservoir, the acquisition comes at a time when the company is seeking to diversify its portfolio of acquired music rights, and also at a time when the popularity of Latin Music is exploding, both in the US market and internationally.
A recent report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) found that US Latin Music revenues jumped 14.8% YoY in the first half of 2023, reaching USD $627 million.
A separate report from research firm Luminate found that streaming of Latin Music increased by 22.2% YoY in the first 34 weeks of 2023, to 57.9 billion streams. That compares with a 13.3% YoY increase in streamed music in the US as a whole.
The “Hispanic community and culture play a large role in the genre’s growth, revealing new areas for music discovery,” the Luminate report stated.
The report also found that Latin Music fans are, on average, more monetizable than fans of other genres. Latin Music super fans spend on average 30% more on music consumption than other communities of super fans in the US, and 120% more than an average non-super fan, the report found.
“Rudy is the best of the best, and we are thrilled to partner with him to bring his music to Reservoir.”
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir
“From day one our intention has been to meaningfully diversify Reservoir’s catalog with the highest quality music possible,” CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “Rudy is the best of the best, and we are thrilled to partner with him to bring his music to Reservoir.”
Reservoir Executive Vice President John Ozier, added: “Rudy is a trailblazer. He and Latin music are so deeply intertwined, and his fingerprints are all over so many of the genre’s biggest hits.
“I’ve been talking with Rudy and his team for five years, which makes closing this deal a big moment for me personally. I am so proud to welcome Rudy to Reservoir and help support his legacy and the legacy of the genre moving forward.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Reservoir family. I look forward to collaborating on new projects with their entire team as I embark on the next phase of my career.”
Perez said he is “thrilled to be a part of the Reservoir family. I look forward to collaborating on new projects with their entire team as I embark on the next phase of my career.”
For Reservoir, this is the latest in a series of recent acquisitions that have been growing the company’s portfolio.
In just the past few years, the company has acquired legendary record label Tommy Boy Music for $100 million; acquired the rights to the full catalog of Miami Sound Machine co-founder and lead songwriter Kiki Garcia; bought the entire catalog, as well as synch and master rights, from rock legend Dion; acquired the publishing and recorded music catalogs of country star Travis Tritt, as well as those of four of the founding members of the 1960s R&B group The Spinners; and acquired both the publishing and recorded rights of saxophonist and jazz icon Sonny Rollins – among many other deals.
On Reservoir’s fiscal Q2 earnings call earlier this year, Khosrowshahi declared the company’s intention to become “the largest holder of Arabic music copyrights.”
Expanding to the Middle East “is highly important to our overall strategy and a key differentiator for us,” Khosrowshahi said at the time.
In a fact sheet earlier this year, Reservoir revealed that it had spent more than $695 million on catalog acquisitions since the company’s founding in 2007.
“Rudy is a trailblazer. He and Latin music are so deeply intertwined, and his fingerprints are all over so many of the genre’s biggest hits.”
John Ozier, Reservoir
In its latest earnings report, for fiscal Q1 2024, Reservoir reported a 31% YoY increase in revenue, clocking in at $31.8 million. That was on the strength of a 37% YoY increase in revenue in its Recorded Music division, which brought in $10.4 million in the quarter, and a 26% YoY increase in revenues from Music Publishing, which came in at $20.8 million.
A significant part of the revenue jump came from the company’s continued acquisitions; stripping that out, revenue grew organically by 21% YoY in the quarter.
The company clocked OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) of $9.2 million in its fiscal first quarter, a 38% YoY jump, while adjusted EBITDA came in at $10.1 million, up 36% YoY.
On the quarterly earnings call, Khosrowshahi told analysts that the company continues to be focused on further acquisitions.
“We consistently see opportunities in the Middle East. We have a pretty healthy pipeline of deals to do there, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon,” she said.
Khosrowshahi reiterated that the company sees “about a $2 billion pipeline” in acquisitions, and that “we continue to see robust deals, and that’s a good position to be in.”Music Business Worldwide