Music Business

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

Blowy_diener.topVeteran private equity investor Howard Lipson and longtime music entrepreneur James Diener have joined forces to launch Alignment Artist Capital, a new financial firm with funding from BlackRock, Inc. 


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. 

Blackrock-crop-600x338With equity funding from BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) accounts, Alignment will build creative business initiatives such as touring, production, songwriting, recorded music, TV and film, etc. from the artist's already established foundation. Building a diverse portfolio of structured business investments ranging from $5-$20 million per transaction, Alignment allows artists the creative freedom to pursue innovative business objectives and alternative revenue streams under a new model that is more compatible with the new music industry.

“Being part of Octone for the past decade gave me a front row seat to observe the massive changes in how fans enjoy music and the pressures that artists have in creating music within conventional industry structures,” said Lipson.  “I saw artists getting pulled into different, often conflicting directions.  While there have been attempts to structure more comprehensive deals with artists, a lot of dissonance remains.  With Alignment, we wanted to reduce the friction in the process and provide financing that takes a holistic view of an artist’s career and the overall music business.  We’ll be investing in artists we believe in within a time horizon that provides a good runway for the creative process and a philosophy that will reap solid returns.”

“The way recording artists create and realize their ambitions is unique; it doesn’t always fit the conventional structure or traditional model,” said Diener.  ”We now provide an innovative financial product backed by BlackRock, the world’s most successful asset manager, for artists with an existing foundation of work.  We aim to provide them with a new financing source to pursue a range of creative objectives, over and above their current industry relationships.  It’s invaluable and empowering for artists to have aligned financial support and regular access to capital.  We believe this approach is right for the times ahead and, in the coming years, will be a contributing factor in helping artists to achieve their professional and personal aspirations.”

Joining Diener and Lipson on the Alignment Artist Capital Board of Directors is Matt Botein, Global Co-Head and Chief Investment Officer, BlackRock Alternative Investors, and BAI Managing Director Patrick Riordan, who spearheaded this investment on behalf of BlackRock.

“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.  As the music industry continues to evolve and innovate, we believe there is tremendous opportunity to provide new, creative forms of financing based on new business models and revenue sources,” said Botein. “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.”

Additional information about the Alignment Artist Capital team and board of directors is available at

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