Today, Stem announces its partnership with Victory Park Capital (“VPC”), a global alternative investment firm specialising in private credit, to expand its artist advance product. Building upon the success of the product to-date, the credit facility from VPC will enable Stem to provide $250 million to artists’ advance checks, and as a result, longer-term strategic and financial planning options for artists as they progress in their careers. Along with advances for yet-to-be-released music, artists will also have the option to take advances against previously released albums and songs, presenting a range of opportunities to support their growth.
Since its launch in 2020, Stem’s advance product has proven to be an instrumental resource for artists in various stages to develop their careers. For mature artists looking to leverage their catalogs financially, Stem provides market rate, near-term liquidity with flexible repayment models. For artists who are leaving the major label system and are unable to bring their existing work to a new partner, Stem provides advances against future projects without taking any ownership, allowing for more flexibility and greater financial freedom. Stem’s advance product has also had a profound impact on the careers of independent artists on the rise, providing liquidity for new projects by offering advances against previously released work or new work, while allowing those artists to retain full ownership.
“Stem has demonstrated itself to be a premiere destination for artists, whether emerging or established, to grow their careers”, says Milana Lewis, CEO of Stem. “This funding from VPC enables us to solve two major gaps we see artists consistently facing. The first gap is access to capital for those who are not quite yet ready to sell their catalog but want to leverage it for cash. The second is investment in future music for those who are exiting the major label system, have their catalog currently committed, but have the opportunity to become independent for future releases. Solving both of these pain points in a way where the client can set their own terms is incredibly exciting.”
“Enabling access to capital is a major focal point for us, and we are excited to be partnering with Stem to help meet the financing needs of artists,” said Gordon Watson, Partner at Victory Park Capital. “We share Milana and the rest of the Stem team’s commitment to flexibility for borrowers, and we look forward to supporting the continued growth and success of the advance product.”
Stem is proud to have supported numerous artists with their career growth via the advance product. Examples to-date include:
- Brooklyn-born artist Justine Skye has utilised Stem’s advances to seamlessly transition from her early career as a major label artist to an independent powerhouse. Within twelve months, Justine and her team have taken out five advances, with the most-recent loan taken being a 6x increase from the first in that period, and all have served a distinct purpose for the advancement of her career. Her first early advance was allocated entirely toward her first independent release Space & Time, encompassing the project’s creative assets, music videos and her collaboration with Timbaland on the project. The success of the project led to a bigger pool of accessible capital for her two subsequent advances, which were used to devote marketing resources to leverage a song from her label catalog and seize on the viral success of her 2014 single ‘Collide’, which at its peak was the #1 song on TikTok and garnered 1.6 million daily streams on Spotify between the original and sped-up versions nine years after the song’s initial release.
- As an independent artist, Brent Faiyaz and his team at Colture have found major success utilising Stem’s advances to properly invest in his rising stardom, taking eight advances over the past three years. Those advances helped fund the creation and release of his latest album ‘Wasteland’, released in July 2022. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 100, and became his first top-ten release on the main albums chart and the largest first-week sales of his career. ‘Wasteland’ has also grown to be one of the best-performing albums in recent years for a fully independent artist. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in less than six months time and has accrued over 670 million global streams, with two of the lead singles (‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘Gravity’) also being certified Platinum by the RIAA since its release.
- Similarly bolstering their release through a Stem advance, Tampa-based band Set It Off leveraged a six figure advance toward a SiriusXM Radio Campaign and TikTok marketing, resulting in their single ‘Punching Bag’ becoming the #1 Most Added song on the Rock radio charts.