Amuse, the Swedish startup that gives a free distribution service for artists eager to get their music on Spotify, Apple Music et al., coupled with what it’s calling a “subsequent technology” file label, has raised $15.5 million in Sequence A funding. The spherical is led by Lakestar, and Raine Ventures, and will probably be used to develop the corporate operations globally, together with constructing out an even bigger presence within the U.S.
Based in Stockholm in 2015 by a group of music business consultants together with Diego Farias, Christian Wilsson, Jimmy Brodd, Andreas Ahlenius, and Man Parry — and later joined by music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am — Amuse is aiming to create a brand new manner for musicians to distribute their music globally and, crucially, to be found.
As co-founder and CEO Farias defined in a name, it does this through a free music distribution service that makes it straightforward and cost-free for brand spanking new and unsigned artists to get their music into all the main music companies like Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer and so forth., and in a manner meaning they hold 100 p.c of the royalties. Related companies usually both cost an annual charge or take a reduce of any income generated or each.
Amuse additionally supplies a dashboard displaying and serving to to make sense of knowledge referring to how nicely your tracks are acting on the streaming apps and obtain shops you’ve got chosen to distribute on. And its this information — or, quite, the worth of it — that underpins the startups distinctive enterprise mannequin: come for the free distribution, keep for the file deal.
Particularly, Amuse makes use of the information that it has entry to through customers of its music distribution service to investigate music consumption and listening habits to determine “rising expertise”. The corporate then gives to signal probably the most promising artists to its personal re-imagined file label via a licensing deal whereby they nonetheless personal their work, quite than a conventional recoding contract. This consists of a 50/50 break up of streaming and obtain income and means artists have entry to what Amuse claims is large-scale promotion.
All through our dialog Farias was very eager to emphasize that he sees this as a partnership of equals, the place the pursuits of scaling up the success and attain of an artist signed by Amuse are equally aligned. The kind of value-add that the Amuse group will carry will differ relying on artist and what they want most, however will embody issues like public relations, advertising, branding, and having a extra direct line to the net distributors it companions with. Farias didn’t rule out extra conventional A&R companies both, comparable to assist with recording or getting ready an artist for follow-up releases.
In the meantime, I’m advised Amuse’s board of administrators contains Edgar Berger, former Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Worldwide, and Jörg Mohaupt, former Warner Music Group board member. Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Accomplice, Raine Ventures, can also be becoming a member of as a board observer.
Dharmash Mistry, Common Accomplice at Lakestar, says that the Amuse group have “reimagined each step of the A&R course of from inverting the industrial mannequin to be artist-friendly and discovering new musicians to altering how particular person songs are marketed”. He’s additionally speaking up Amuse’s early success in Sweden — I perceive the startup has already signed licensing offers with 40 or extra artists — and says the funding will assist the corporate roll out the mannequin throughout the U.S. and Europe. To that finish, Farias tells me Amuse is opening an workplace in L.A.