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Entrepreneur: Why This New Form of Funding Has the Music Industry Amped Up

As CEO and president of A&M/Octone Records -- home to such acts as Maroon 5 and Flyleaf -- James Diener had a front-row seat to the habits of music creators, specifically the monetary shenanigans and squeezes that could derail their careers. After selling Octone two years ago, Diener decided to do something about those problems, coming up with a financing idea that would offer minimal risk to artists. Diener and his partner, financier Howard Lipson, launched New York-based Alignment Artist Capital in April. Backed by investment colossus BlackRock, AAC provides structured capital (from $5 million to $20 million) to music artists, songwriters and producers.

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Pensions & Investments: BlackRock Alternative in Alignment with New Music Capital Company

BlackRock (BLK) Alternative Investors has provided seed capital for a new company that offers financing to music professionals looking to expand their brands and careers, or fund their creative projects. Whether the artist needs the capital to start a new record label, invest in a music-based tech startup company, launch a clothing line based on the artist's brand, or something else entirely, Alignment Artist Capital will work with eligible music artists to provide this capital. Formed by private equity investor Howard Lipson and music entrepreneur James Diener, Alignment Artist Capital will build a diversified portfolio of structured investments in targeted artist and artist-related entities that initially will range from $5 million to $20 million per transaction.

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Music Week: Alignment Artist Capital to provide up to $20m in funding for musicians

A firm co-founded by Octone Records head James Diener and backer Howard Lipson is looking to provide musicians with funding payouts worth between $5 million and $20 million. Titled Alignment Artist Capital, the venture is being funded by asset manager BlackRock. After dishing out structured investments, Lipson and Diener will take between 10% and 20% of the artist's total income over four to five years. Alignment won't have an equity stake in any assets.

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HedgeCo: Hedge Fund Investor BlackRock Funds Launch Of Alignment Artist Capital

Veteran private equity investor Howard Lipson and longtime music entrepreneur James Diener have formed Alignment Artist Capital, a new financial firm with funding from BlackRock, Inc., the world’s leading hedge fund manager. “We at BlackRock are excited about the opportunity to work with Howie and James to support leading artists in today’s highly dynamic music industry.” BlackRock said. “The founders of Alignment have already proven their ability to anticipate trends and create modern business models to thrive in today’s dynamic global market. We are pleased to be working with them.”

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Music Business Worldwide: Want Access to $20m? You Just Have to Convince These Two You’re Worth it

Private equity investor Howard Lipson and music entrepreneur James Diener have formed Alignment Artist Capital to offer well-known acts a new financing option, which they say will ‘allow acts to expand their brands and careers, fuel growth and fund innovative, creative projects’. The money is offered for artists willing to accept business objectives, via structured investments with a 4-5 year horizon. With equity funding from BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) accounts, Alignment says it will work with artists who have already built a foundation of creative and business initiatives such as recorded music, songwriting, producing, touring, TV and film, merchandising and licensing, social media and more.

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Austin Business Journal: Funding the next Beyoncé or U2: Austin to be home base for big music deals

A financial services veteran with ties to money management giant BlackRock Inc.and the larger entertainment world will be making multimillion-dollar deals in the music business via a new investment firm based out of Austin. Howard ‘Howie’ Lipson is one of the founders of the new Alignment Artist Capital, a venture backed by BlackRock’s $120 billion Alternative Investors arm that will make multi-year investments in the careers of musicians. Lipson is partnering with music industry veteran James Diener, who helped launch the careers of artists such as Maroon 5 through the Octone Records independent label Lipson helped to back financially.

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Forbes: BlackRock Investing In Musicians Through Alignment Artist Capital

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Forbes: BlackRock Investing In Musicians Through Alignment Artist Capital

Investment giant BlackRock is getting into the music business, providing $5 million to $20 million structured investments for artists through newly formed Alignment Artist Capital.  “We believe this is the single largest amount of money raised and earmarked directly for the content creators,” says James Diener, who set up Alignment Artist Capital with cofounder Howard Lipson after the duo formed Octone Records in 2000.

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Hypebot: Music Industry Veterans James Diener And Howard Lipson Launch Alignment Artist Capital

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Hypebot: Music Industry Veterans James Diener And Howard Lipson Launch Alignment Artist Capital

In a reunion of two former key players for independent record label, Octone Records, Diener and Lipson founded Alignment as a new breed of financial firm geared toward helping established global music creators realize their vision, build their audience and expand their brands. Today's music industry does not fit the traditional mold of years past, and it never will again. Album sales are consistently waning and with the vast majority of audiences switching over to streaming or alternative forms of music consumption, artists are challenged to bring something new to the table. But with all uncharted endeavors comes financial strain and unclear risk. That's where Alignment will come in.

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Billboard: Industry Vets James Diener and Howard Lipson Launch Alignment Artists Capital, Backed By BlackRock

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Billboard: Industry Vets James Diener and Howard Lipson Launch Alignment Artists Capital, Backed By BlackRock

Alignment Artist Capital, a newly launched company created by music industry veterans and backed by the Alternative Investors arm of blue chip firm BlackRock, has announced its launch. The new concern aims to provide artists and songwriters with an alternative option for significant career financing.  James Diener, founder of Octone Records, and Howard Lipson -- who helped him finance that label and remained involved right up to the label's sale to Universal Music Group -- have launched AAC, which plans to make available funding of $5 million to 20 million for to artists and songwriters seeking sources of money apart from the typical advances provided by record labels, publishers or merchandising companies -- or loans from banks. In exchange, Alignment Artist Capital will be paid back a percentage of the artist's income streams.

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ReCode: Music Stars Are Just Like Us, Except They Need to Borrow Millions. These Guys Want to Help.

The music industry has watched its revenues decline for more than a decade. But there are still plenty of people who think you can make money in music. Here are more of them, backed by one of the world’s biggest financial players: Alignment Artist Capital says it wants to lend money to musicians, using funds provided by BlackRock, the $4.6 trillion asset manager. But don’t come to them unless you need real cash — Alignment co-founders Howard Lipson and James Diener say they’re looking to dole out $5 million to $20 million per transaction.

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PR Newswire: Music Entrepreneur James Diener and Veteran Private Equity Investor Howard Lipson Launch Alignment Artist Capital

With Exclusive Financial Funding From BlackRock, Alignment Is Offering Established Music Artists New Access to Capital to Fuel Business Growth, Expand Careers.  Veteran private equity investor Howard Lipson and longtime music entrepreneur James Diener have formed Alignment Artist Capital, a new financial firm with funding from BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK), the worlds leading asset manager.  Alignment will offer established music artists a new financing option that will allow them to expand their brands and careers, fuel growth and fund innovative, creative projects. With equity funding from BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) accounts, Alignment will work with artists who have already built a foundation of creative and business initiatives such as recorded music, songwriting, producing, touring, TV and film, merchandising and licensing, social media and more. The company will build a diversified portfolio of structured investments in targeted artist and related entities that will initially range from $5 million to $20 million per transaction.