• ArtistWorks Joins World's Leading Online Music Education Alliance

    Union Combines ArtistWorks with Industry Leaders TrueFire, JamPlay, and FaderPro. Coalition To Deliver Affordable, Innovative, Anytime Access to Unparalleled Music Learning Systems and Best-In-Class Artists

    NAPA, CALIF. — ArtistWorks announced today that it has been acquired by Growth Catalyst Partners' portfolio company TrueFire Studios, a consortium of major online music instruction companies.

    The acquisition brings together leading names and pioneers in online music education – including ArtistWorks, TrueFire, JamPlay, and FaderPro — who together span dozens of genres and instruments while delivering access to Grammy Award-winning artists, top session players, and world-renowned educators. The deal was completed with financial support from mid-market private equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners.

    Founded in 2008, ArtistWorks partners with master musicians and enables them to create and preserve their teaching legacy online. Each hand-selected ArtistWorks teacher brings years of performing, recording, and teaching expertise to the table, offering the rare combination of virtuosity and educational excellence.

    The instructional format is empowered by the company's industry-unique Video Exchange® Learning Platform, which allows subscribing students to submit practice videos and receive personal video assessments from their teacher. Well over 90,000 (student-to-teacher) Video Exchanges, along with 2,000 hours of music lesson videos are made available to ArtistWorks members, providing a novel online music instruction environment where every interaction between student and teacher becomes a learning opportunity for all.

    ArtistWorks has taught hundreds of thousands of students in over 80 countries. This impressive and growing roster of teaching artists and lessons now joins the TrueFire Studios' syndicate of companies that provides 50,000 lessons from nearly 400 music educators covering all styles, techniques, and levels of learning reaching students in over 180 countries. Course material and Video Exchange Learning® is available anytime, anywhere across desktop, mobile, and streaming devices.

    "We welcome this new alliance that ensures fulfillment of the long-held ArtistWorks mission to 'teach the world music'. Working alongside the other top-quality consortium companies who strongly complement each other will allow exciting new collaborations and exceptional learning opportunities for lifelong players." says Patricia Butler, CEO and Cofounder of ArtistWorks.

    Scott Peters, Managing Partner of Growth Catalyst Partners commented, "We set out to bring together the world's leading online music instruction companies to provide significantly more resources to dramatically expand their capabilities and reach. By adding ArtistWorks to the family, we are able to offer access to additional world class artists and a wide variety of exceptional courses ranging from guitar, bass and banjo to voice and piano. This combination of offerings provides a more robust, diverse and scalable platform for artists, students and leading brands which collectively comprise the largest community of practicing musicians and educators in the world. We are thrilled to have ArtistWorks on the team."

    ArtistWorks will continue to operate as a stand-alone, separate division, brand and learning experience with the full support and continued equity capital from Growth Catalyst Partners, investors in TrueFire Studios holding company.

    Additional Information

    Comments 14 Comments
    1. Todd Neel's Avatar
      Todd Neel -
      Ugh. Private equity group. Get ready for higher subscription rates.
    1. Jonathan Ward's Avatar
      Jonathan Ward -
      As long as they keep spamming me with offers every day, I'll be fine.
    1. Alex Orr's Avatar
      Alex Orr -
      I did two courses via Artistworks. Nathan East's bass course was really bad. The guy is a world class player, but the course was just soooooo bad. The Michael Daves bluegrass vocals course had some good stuff, but was rarely updated, had a number of errors that were mentioned in the comments sections, and that were never updated, or really even responded to by ArtistWorks. In contrast, I have subscribed to numerous course at Peghead Nation and have, in general, been completely satisfied with their content.
    1. Mark Seale's Avatar
      Mark Seale -
      It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I've used both services, and their use cases for me were slightly different. But, Truefire is incredibly affordable (not that Artistworks is overly expensive) with the major differentiator being instructor access. I've had positive results with both, but I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if it moved toward the Truefire model of a subscription giving access to all materials (if not access to instructors.)
    1. Marcus CA's Avatar
      Marcus CA -
      Since companies spend money in order to make even more money, it will be interesting to see how TrueFire ends up profiting from this expense. Will they figure out how to expand membership beyond its current growth rate, or will they raise the prices for the service? 🤔

      Even though I play several instruments and over the years have participated in several ArtistWorks courses —- and am likely to be tempted by the curriculum of Sierra Hull’s upcoming course —- I have no interest in paying more for full access to all of the courses, given how extensive their offerings are already. A discounted rate for a second course, though, could draw me in.
    1. KCNelson's Avatar
      KCNelson -
      Private Equity firms facilitationalize exponential growth in targeted demographics using cloud-based solutions for a new post-reality paradigm.

      Sorry, I hear "private equity firm," and my brain unravels into meaningless business jargon.
    1. Michael Romkey's Avatar
      Michael Romkey -
      Hmmm. And all along I though Mike Marshall owned the company! Turns out (now that I bother to look it up) the company was founded by David Butler, a former AOL exec who got interested in music. Good old American enterprise. As a retired newspaper editor, I will tell you for free that press releases generally don't say as much as they do. For whatever that's worth. I've studied with AW a bit. I found it OK. Like all those services, they each have their own flavor. I've found Peghead to work for me a bit better, but with the advent of Zoom and so forth, there's really nothing like one-on-one. Be interesting to watch and see what it all means. Best of luck to them.

    1. Lorenzo LaRue's Avatar
      Lorenzo LaRue -
      ....Private Equity firms are in the US partly responsible for why we can't have nice things. Why didn't they just sell to Amazon?. I'm not in favor of conglomerates or multinationals....
    1. DaveGinNJ's Avatar
      DaveGinNJ -
      I am signed up with Mike Marshall at AW for another year so hoping nothing changes for the worse in the short term
    1. Sue Rieter's Avatar
      Sue Rieter -
      Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
      I am signed up with Mike Marshall at AW for another year so hoping nothing changes for the worse in the short term
      I'm kind of wishing I extended at 40% off rather than waiting until Christmas time (when I first enrolled) for the 50% discount. Who knows, that offer could be in the rear view mirror now. Bean counters.
    1. Frankdolin's Avatar
      Frankdolin -
      Joined + Alliance does not equal Aquired. At least not in my dictionary.
    1. joh's Avatar
      joh -
      The first sentence of the press release says " ArtistWorks announced today that it has been acquired by Growth Catalyst Partners' portfolio company TrueFire Studios, a consortium of major online music instruction companies."
    1. Mike Marshall's Avatar
      Mike Marshall -
      Quote Originally Posted by joh View Post
      The first sentence of the press release says " ArtistWorks announced today that it has been acquired by Growth Catalyst Partners' portfolio company TrueFire Studios, a consortium of major online music instruction companies."
      One is always a bit nervous when big changes like this occur, but I've been assured that things will stay as they are. I love the format and all the wonderful energy that all of the students put in to it. I'm constantly inspired and learning new things myself just by being so engaged with all of you personally.
      Come join us if you are curious. It's a pretty cool place
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      Here's some news that may or may not be the result of the merger. According to rumors and now confirmed by my contact at Artistworks:

      Patricia Butler is no longer in the trenches or CEO at Artistworks. She has joined the Board of True Fire Studios. John Graves has taken over as the lead for ArtistWorks, in conjunction with TFS and Board. This plan has apparently been in works for some time.