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Kiss sells entire music catalogue in multi-million dollar deal with ABBA's Pophouse Entertainment

Kiss sells entire music catalogue in multi-million dollar deal with ABBA's Pophouse Entertainment

The hard rock legends Kiss have struck a mega-deal with Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment Group, selling their music catalogue, brand, and IP for over $300 million (€276m).

This isn't the first collaboration between Kiss and Pophouse, which was co-founded by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus.

When the band's current lineup - founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons as well as guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - took the stage at the final night of their farewell tour in December at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden, they ended by revealing digitised avatars of themselves.

The cutting-edge technology was created by George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, in partnership with Pophouse. The two companies recently teamed up for the “ABBA Voyage” show in London, in which fans can attend a full concert by the Swedish band in their heyday, as performed by their own digital avatars.

The ways in which Kiss' avatars will be utilised has yet to be announced, but Pophouse CEO Per Sundin says fans can expect a biopic, a documentary and a Kiss experience on the horizon.

An avatar show is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2027 - but don't expect it to look anything like “ABBA Voyage," Sundin told the AP.

KISS band members, from left, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer attend ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building 30 November 2023.
KISS band members, from left, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer attend ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building 30 November 2023. - Credit: Charles Sykes/2023 Invision
Promotional poster for ABBA Voyage experience
Promotional poster for ABBA Voyage experience - Credit: ABBA Voyage

“I don't like the word acquisition,” bassist and co-lead singer Gene Simmons tells the AP over Zoom, assuring the band would never sell their catalogue to a company they didn't appreciate.

“People might misunderstand and think, ‘OK, now Pophouse is doing that stuff and we’re just in Beverly Hills twiddling our thumbs.’ No, that’s not true. We’re in the trenches with them. We talk all the time. We share ideas. It’s a collaboration."

And within that: no more live touring, for real. “We’re not going to tour again as Kiss, period,” he says. “We’re not going to go put the makeup on and go out there.”

Kiss are Pophouse's second investment outside of Sweden: In February, Cyndi Lauper entered a partnership with the company which including the sale of the majority share of her music and a new immersive performance project she's calling an “immersive theatre piece” that transports audiences to the New York she grew up in.