Q Magazine

KISS Sells Music Catalog, Name, and Likeness to Digital Avatar Company Pophouse for $300 Million

KISS is fully ready to transcend the physical plane.

Source: MEGA

KISS has said they are retiring from touring and letting digital avatars take their place.

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

KISS is putting their money where their mouth is and forging ahead with plans to retire from touring and let digital avatars take their place. Or, more accurately, they're putting someone else's money where their mouth is.

Bloomberg reports that the band has officially sold its song catalog, master recordings, publishing rights, name, image, and likeness to Pophouse Entertainment, the Swedish company behind the popular ABBA Voyage virtual concert residency, for more than $300 million.

The holographic KISS avatars, created in collaboration with Pophouse and George Lucas' visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic, were first unveiled with a performance of "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" at the end of KISS' final concert at Madison Square Garden in December.

Article continues below advertisement

"As part of the partnership, Pophouse will create digital versions of KISS that will allow the band and their unique personas to live forever," Pophouse and Kiss said in a press release. "Through a magical combination of cutting-edge technology and unrivaled creativity, Pophouse will bring the full, authentic KISS experience to both existing and new fans for years to come. The avatar show is planned to launch in 2027."

"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,” KISS' Gene Simmons added. “Because what Pophouse is doing, is breaking rules. We already have several plans in development, where the avatar show is one, a biopic another and a KISS themed experience a third. The future could not be more exciting!”

The band's Paul Stanley added, “Our journey with Pophouse is fueled 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. This partnership is not just a chapter; it’s an eternal symphony of rock ‘n’ roll immortality.”

Per Pophouse CEO Per Sundin, "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."

Besides KISS and ABBA, Pophouse has also acquired the rights to Cyndi Lauper's music catalog.

Article continues below advertisement

Despite Simmons' and Stanley's bullishness, former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, an original member of the band who departed in 1982 and then rejoined from 1996-2002 but was not involved in last year's farewell tour, has some misgivings about the new direction.

"I think the whole thing is pretty silly. It's definitely not real rock and roll," Frehley said when the digital avatars were first announced in December. "For all I know in six months, I might get a call from Gene and he's gonna want to start a band with me."

In another interview in February, he reiterated that he "wouldn’t be surprised if they reformed" and that the virtual shows "may not be as successful as they think it’s gonna be."

"That’s not just me talking," he added. "A lot of people I’ve talked to feel that way but let them prove us wrong. I want them to be happy and doing their thing, But as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing like a live band on stage with real amps and singing into the microphone. That’s just my opinion."

Article continues below advertisement

Never miss a story — sign up for the Q newsletter for the latest music news on all your favorite artists, all in one place.

In other KISS-related news, Jojo Siwa, the 20-year-old singer, dancer, and YouTube personality who got her start on Dance Moms, recently debuted a facepaint-heavy new look that many have compared to Simmons' "Demon" persona.

Some even accused her of outright ripping the KISS rocker off, but Simmons defended Siwa from the haters in an interview with TMZ.

"JoJo is cool. Everybody who doesn't get it is just jealous, period," he said. "Never be ordinary. Always be extraordinary. JoJo is extraordinary and she looks cool. Of course she looks like me, but that's another story."

Technically, though, Pophouse now owns the likeness to Simmons' Demon character.


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More