Metallica’s Black Squirrel Fuels $5M Round at Word Collections

Word Collections, the publishing administration firm launched in July 2020 by serial music industry entrepreneur Jeff Price, has closed on a $5 million investment round to boost the company’s global licensing and collection efforts. Metallica‘s Black Squirrel Partners was the lead investor in the round in Word, which specializes in musical and comedic recordings.

Word Collections handles global licensing for — and collections from — digital music services, thus bypassing traditional mechanical and digital performance collection societies around the world. This reduces administrative fees and helps ensure the data of its songwriters and comedians’ works are properly registered at each DSP.


As for other publishing income streams and licensing — including synchronization and performance for television, radio, and general licensing to stores, bars, hotels and, etc. — Word has a joint venture with Blue Water Publishing International that promotes Word’s catalog and handles collections from those sectors, which includes being a member of over 40 collection societies around the globe.

Current Word clients include the publishing catalogs for Metallica and the band’s guitarist Kirk Hammett, Greta Van Fleet, Thomas Dolby, Songwriters Guild Of America, Gerencia360, St. Nicholas, Baroness, The Offspring’s Bryan “Dexter” Holland, Shriekback, DLG., Bazanji, Gomba Music, John Oates, Switchfoot and Grace Potter, among other musical songwriters. It also represents the comedy catalogs of Robin Williams, George Carlin, Margaret Cho, Jerry Seinfeld, David Cross, Ron White, Bill Hicks, Bill Engvall, Billy Crystal and numerous other authors and comedians.

Jeff Price
Jeff Price

Prior to starting Word Collections, Price co-founded TuneCore and also launched Audiam, now owned and/or controlled by other entities, respectively Believe Music and the SESAC. According to Word Collections’ announcement of the new financing, the funds will be employed to accelerate global direct licensing and for the enhancement of Word Collections’ proprietary technology and systems.

Black Squirrel was founded in 2020 by former Morgan Stanley executive Paul Donahue, Metallica and its in-house leadership team (Tony DiCioccio, Marc Reiter and Vickie Strate), WG&S founder Eric Wasserman and Artist Management firm Q Prime, with music industry executive Rick Krim also a partner of Black Squirrel.

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