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KISS close $300m deal with ABBA Voyage investors

Rock icons Kiss have sold the rights to their name, music, image and likeness, in a deal valued upward of US$300 million, with an avatar show confirmed for 2027.

Pophouse Entertainment, the Swedish entertainment firm that helped bring ABBA Voyage to life, has acquired the rights to the band’s logo, famed character makeup design, recording royalties and trademarks. The Associated Press and Bloomberg valued the deal at over $300 million, though Pophouse has not disclosed details.

“Our mission is to fulfil the band’s vision to become immortal, and to let new generations discover and be part of the KISS journey and carry it forward,” says Johan Lagerlöf, head of investment at Pophouse. “With the help of the fans’ energy, the band, our expertise, and creativity – we will make that vision happen.”

As part of the deal, the firm has confirmed plans for an avatar show in 2027, along with a biopic and themed experience. Pophouse, which ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus co-founded, said the deal would “unlock new audiences and revenue streams”.

“It’s an eternal symphony of rock ‘n’ roll immortality”

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

The eight-foot-tall avatars of Demon, Starchild, Catman and Spaceman were introduced at the band’s final show at New York’s Madison Square Garden last December, with vocalist Paul Stanley saying today that the decision ushers in an “eternal symphony of rock ‘n’ roll immortality”.

“Our journey with Pophouse is fuelled by the desire to eternally resonate across diverse facets of global culture. As we embark on this venture, we aim to weave our legacy into the tapestry of different worlds, ensuring that the KISS experience continues to captivate both our devoted fans and those yet to discover the thrill,” says Stanley.

The London-based, renowned ABBA Voyage virtual concert — which has sold over two million tickets — reportedly grosses more than $2 million (€1.6m) per week. A smash-hit success, the show’s producer hinted at plans for global expansion earlier this year.


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ABBA Voyage takings ‘more than $2m a week’

The smash-hit ABBA Voyage virtual concert residency has created a new model for ageing legends after grossing more than $2 million (€1.87m) a week, according to a new report.

Held at the purpose-built 3,000-cap ‘ABBA Arena’ under the direction of producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson and director Baillie Walsh, the show debuted at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in May 2022 to universal acclaim.

One of the most expensive productions in music history, the £140m (€164m) show has brought the Swedish group – Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus (co-founder of lead investor Pophouse Entertainment), Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – back to the stage in avatar form, supported by a 10-piece live band.

ABBA Arena is designed to fit 1,650 seats and space for a standing audience of 1,350. According to Bloomberg, the residency has already generated upwards of €140m in sales after selling over 1.5 million tickets, achieving a 99% occupancy rate with an average ticket price of around £85 (€100).

Discussions are reportedly taking place to expand ABBA Voyage to cities including Las Vegas, New York, Singapore and Sydney, and Pophouse CEO Per Sundin says other icons have expressed interest in developing similar productions.

“If you are an artist, you can create your legacy in a way you never could before”

“If you are an artist, you can create your legacy in a way you never could before,” Sundin tells Bloomberg. “This is such a success. We already have been talking to some artists that really want to do this.

“ABBA has done it again. They were early to music videos, they were early to jukebox musicals.”

The four members of ABBA spent five weeks being filmed by 160 cameras for motion capture as they performed the 22 songs that make up the show’s 95-minute runtime. Other key team members include co-executive producer Johan Renck, choreographer Wayne McGregor and AV tech specialist Solotech UK, led by director of special projects Ian “Woody” Woodall.

Speaking to IQ last year, Ludvig Andersson (son of Benny) said the show was six years in the making.

“An idea came to the Stockholm office of ABBA that it might be possible to create digital versions of themselves, and that’s basically how it started,” he said. “Then followed three years of research and development: a lot of conversations around tables in different cities, with different people about what can and cannot be done. Slowly, slowly through that process, we ended up with the idea that became what it is today.”


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