Kiss Sells Catalog, Name, Likeness and More to Pophouse Entertainment for $300 Million

Kiss Sells Catalog, Name, Likeness and More to Pophouse Entertainment for $300 Million

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Kiss have sold their music catalog, name, image and likeness — including their iconic makeup designs — to Pophouse Entertainment, the Sweden-based music investment firm behind ABBA’s “Voyage” hologram show. While terms of the deal were not officially announced, Bloomberg and Associated Press said it was worth upwards of $300 million.

In a statement, Pophouse plans to promote the group’s “iconic music, enigmatic personas, and expressive imagery for generations to come.” Indeed, news of the deal arrives just four months after Kiss unveiled plans for an avatar concert similar to ABBA’s with digital versions of the group.

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“Our partnership will fuse the rich history and iconic status of KISS with cutting-edge technology, allowing fans – now and in the future – to experience the band like never before,” said Pophouse CEO Per Sundin at the time of that deal.

Since its launch in London in July of 2022, “ABBA Voyage” has grossed more than $1 million per week and last year Universal Music chairman Lucian Grainge announced plans to take the show around the world, with Las Vegas recently rumored as a destination. ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus is a co-founder of Pophouse, which over the past two years has also acquired catalogs by the late Swedish DJ-artist Avicii, the electronic music group Swedish House Mafia and American singer Cyndi Lauper.

Kiss teased their forthcoming digital show at the final concert of their “End of the Road” tour in New York last year when avatar versions of the band closed the show. The first digital Kiss show is scheduled for 2027.

Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons said, “We have always been breaking new ground in popular culture, and this partnership will ensure that we continue to do so for years to come. Because what Pophouse is doing, is breaking rules. We already have several plans in development.”

The band was formed by Simmons and co-founder Paul Stanley in 1973 after the two worked together in a group called Wicked Lester. Kiss signed with Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records that year and by the mid-1970s had become one of the world’s biggest bands, their fantastical imagery, eye-popping concerts and basic but driving rock music capturing the imaginations of millions of teenagers. While the original lineup featured lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss (the latter of whom co-wrote and sang “Beth,” a 1976 ballad uncharacteristic of the band that became their biggest hit), the pair left the group in the early 1980s. Simmons and Stanley were always the principals and have continued to work over the ensuing decades with hired musicians. Kiss’ greatest influence on entertainment arguably has been in imagery and performance (as well as marketing acumen) and Pophouse’s plans for its acquisitions reflect that.

Per Sundin said of the deal, “Kiss has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has throughout their 50-year career continued to push the boundaries in popular culture. The band’s enigmatic personas, unparalleled band attributes, and iconic imagery have made them a cultural force and a legendary act with multigenerational appeal.

“We will safeguard and enrich this legacy through future global endeavors, by breathing new life into their characters and personas while also leveraging and elevating the visual world of KISS.”

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