Kiss sells name and catalogue for $453 million

Veteran rock band Kiss have sold their back catalogue of songs and brand name in a deal estimated to be worth over $US300 million ($A453 million).

Apr 05, 2024, updated Apr 05, 2024
Kiss perform in Spain last year. Photo: Juan Carlos Caval/EPA

Kiss perform in Spain last year. Photo: Juan Carlos Caval/EPA

This isn’t the first time Kiss has partnered with Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment Group, co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus.

When the band’s current lineup – founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer – took the stage at the final night of their farewell tour in December at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, they ended by revealing digitised avatars of themselves.

The cutting-edge technology was created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse.

The two companies recently teamed up for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London, in which fans could attend a full concert by the Swedish band in their heyday, as performed by their own digital avatars.

The ways in which Kiss’ avatars will be used has yet to be announced, but Pophouse CEO Per Sundin says fans can expect a biopic, a documentary and a Kiss experience on the horizon.

An avatar show is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2027 – but don’t expect it to look anything like “ABBA Voyage,” Sundin said. And fans can expect it to kick off in North America.

Sundin said the goal of the purchase is to expose Kiss to new generations – which he believes sets Pophouse apart from other acquisitions of music catalogues.

“The record companies, the three big ones that are left, they’re doing a fantastic job, but they have so many catalogues and they can’t focus on everything,” he said.

“We work together with Universal (Music Group) and Kiss, even though we will own the artists rights, and we’re doing it in conjunction with Kiss. But yes, we bought all rights, and that’s not something I’ve seen that clear before.”

“I don’t like the word acquisition,” Gene Simmons said, assuring the band would never sell their catalogue to a company they didn’t appreciate.

“Collaboration is exactly what it’s about. It would be remiss in our inferred fiduciary duty – see what I just did there? – to the thing that we created to abandon it,” he said.

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“People might misunderstand and think, ‘OK, now Pophouse is doing that stuff and we’re just in Beverly Hills twiddling our thumbs.’ No, that’s not true. We’re in the trenches with them. We talk all the time. We share ideas. It’s a collaboration. Paul (Stanley) and I especially, with the band, we’ll stay committed to this. It’s our baby.”

And within that: no more live touring, for real. “We’re not going to tour again as Kiss, period,” he said.

“We’re not going to go put the makeup on and go out there.”


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