Word Collections, a digital rights management company founded by Jeff Price, has raised $5 million in funding from investors led by Black Squirrel Partners, a company associated with Metallica. The funds will be used to accelerate Word Collections’ global direct licensing business and further develop its music-identification and tracking technology. In its first year, Word Collections identified and collected over $1 billion in earned and unpaid royalties for comedy performances. The company now represents the catalogs of famous comedians and musicians, including Metallica and its lead guitarist Kirk Hammett.
Metallica’s investing arm, Black Squirrel Partners, has previously invested in various ventures, including AI music startup AudioShake and vinyl record maker Furnace Record Pressing. Metallica’s acquisition of Furnace Record Pressing aimed to meet the increasing demand for Metallica vinyl. Word Collections is Jeff Price’s latest venture in the music industry, following the launch of indie record label SpinART in 1990 and music distribution platform TuneCore in 2006. Price also founded Audiam, a company specializing in recovering mechanical rights revenue for songwriters, composers, and music publishers. SOCAN and SESAC have acquired Audiam in previous years.