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ABBA Voyage's Pophouse plans Avicii musical

May 21, 2024
Photo illustration collage of Kim Nyström with abstract shapes and the Pophouse logo.

Kim Nyström. Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Pophouse

Pophouse Entertainment is in talks to create a musical with the catalog of the late Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The new production is part of the entertainment firm's mission to build and maintain fandom around music artists.

Catch up quick: EQT founder Conni Jonsson and ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus founded Pophouse in 2014. The 80-person company operates ABBA the Museum and the Avicii Experience in Stockholm and is a founding investor of ABBA Voyage in London.

  • In 2022, it began acquiring catalogs — first Swedish House Mafia and Avicii and, more recently, Cyndi Lauper and KISS.

Zoom in: Speaking with Axios on the couches at Pophouse's Stockholm headquarters, brand and marketing director Kim Nyström discussed her team's approach.

  • "Our job is to make sure that we have an ongoing brand mission that is talking to fans, that is engaging over time," Nyström says. "Brand engagement will always make sure that the creative projects happen. The stronger the brand, the more people actually want to work with us."
  • For Avicii, Nyström says Pophouse has worked with his estate to set out a long-term strategy and plan a cohesive brand expression across channels. The Avicii website offers a way for fans to subscribe to a community for email updates and sells official merchandise.
  • "It's about giving them actual content to engage in, products that I can buy so I can manifest that I'm a fan," Nyström says. "It's small things that become a relationship."
Two side by side images. Left is the interior of an office featuring 60s furniture. Right is the entrance to the Avicii Experience
(L) Inside Pophouse Entertainment's Stockholm office. (R) Entrance to the nearby Avicii Experience. Photos: Kerry Flynn/Axios

Zoom out: The music rights market gained steam in the late 2010s and recently picked up again.

  • Some catalog owners can simply sit back and profit off royalties. But others, like Pophouse, have taken a more active role in creating new artist-inspired ventures.

The intrigue: Nyström says part of the reason she was hired was because she didn't come from the music industry and brought outside expertise.

  • Prior to Pophouse, she worked in consumer goods. She spent 10 years at The Absolut Company.

What's next: Pophouse is planning more new experiences. For Lauper, Pophouse is in talks about an immersive stage performance involving her childhood memories as well as a documentary and TV series.

  • "For us, it's all about pushing the boundaries," Nyström says. "How do we actually bring quality and making sure we're always [at the] forefront?"

Editor's note: This story was corrected to show Pophouse is a founding investor in ABBA Voyage (not the producer).

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