Google paves way for new record label alternative
It has been revealed that Google has invested $70 million into the startup company, UnitedMasters. This is not Google’s first investment in the Music industry. Google has previously invested in Kobalt, a music distribution and rights service.
Founded by Steve Stoute, UnitedMasters is an alternative to Record label deals. The company currently has around 40 employees and is looking to expand its team. Many of their employees have previously worked for major companies such as Facebook and Dropbox. UnitedMasters is currently working with around 1000 artists, mostly up and coming musicians who want control over how they run their business. Future plans could be to work with more established artists who are wishing to ditch their contracts with record labels and retain more rights over their work and their business.
The way that UnitedMasters operates is that artists pay UnitedMasters a competitive rate to distribute their music across several sites on the internet, including Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. Royalties are split between the artist and UnitedMasters, and the artist retains all copyrights to the recordings. UnitedMasters also collects and analyzes data and identifies listeners in order to build a customer-relationship management tool. This helps artists pinpoint their top fans, enabling them to send targeted ads for tickets and merchandise.
Steve Stoute states the following as his vision for UnitedMasters.
“We want to build a business that helps musicians, which is my passion, and also helps brands find a much more specific way of investing their money in the category of music.”