VidCon kicks off today in Anaheim, California and while many people will be there, YouTube stars and the companies that work with them will be front and center. One company that works with YouTubers is Re:Discover which will be showing off the next iteration of Loudr. Though still in beta, folks who sign up on the homepage between today and the 4th will be added to a special priority list.
Loudr is the latest offering from Re:Discover which I wrote about earlier this week. It combines the previous efforts of Re:Discover to offer a unique platform for the licensing, distribution and sale of cover songs as well as original music.
When I wrote about it, Re:Discover was presented as a digital label for cover song artists and the folks behind it were unidentified on the site. CEO Chris Crawford contacted me to clear things up and, though I usually wouldn't write about the same company twice in one week, I wanted to give Hypebot readers a chance to get in on the beta.
From A Cappella Records to Re:Discover
The company now known as Re:Discover began at Santa Cruz where Chris Crawford was directing an a cappella singing group. During a summer internship at iTunes he realized that there were only a handful of a cappella albums on iTunes and that it had to do with the difficulties licensing cover songs. So he says he pitched it to some of the smartest people he knew and they got to work.
The first time they submitted their idea to a business plan competition at UCSC, Crawford says they were met with laughter. They went ahead and created the service anyway and the next year won the competition.
They began as A Cappella Records which included building relationships with music publishers. This is rather difficult work but they now have relationships that allow them, in some cases, to go ahead and release songs and simply report earnings without having to negotiate each individual song.
That's a lot of work for a relatively small niche and so they followed with Joypad Records offering licensing, sales and distribution to folks doing covers of game music.
Earlier this year they acquired Kakapo LLC, the folks behind the Game Music Bundle and rebranded as Re:Discover. The acquisition led to the launch of Bundle Dragon making the tech available to folks like you and Jack Conte.
Loudr Combines Re:Discover's Previous Efforts
Re:Discover then took their relationships with music publishers, their experience with sales and distribution and the tech behind their earlier labels and Bundle Dragon to create Loudr.
I spoke with Peter Hollens who also came out of the a cappella scene and has had an interesting career, including an appearance on The Sing-Off. He now makes a living producing his own music which he promotes through YouTube.
Hollens has had a chance to watch Re:Discover grow as a customer and he's a huge fan of their services and of the people behind it. He says he can be really demanding and that Crawford and company have been quite responsive, in part, because they're also musicians.
Hollens says they've always been focused on what would work best for musicians and have continued to find ways to help musicians make as much revenue as possible. We discussed Loudr and he pointed out that it's not only an excellent platform for cover songs but that he gets an even better deal for original music.
Part of the appeal to Hollens is that, once he's ready to put a video up on YouTube, he wants to make the music available for sale as quickly as possible. Loudr is designed to facilitate that process and, at this point in his career, saving time is incredibly important to him.
Crawford had previously emphasized Loudr's appeal to cover song artists but had also pointed out that it was well designed for the trajectory of many YouTube musicians who often start out using cover songs to build a fanbase and then transition to originals.
Hollens comments strongly support Crawford's perspective.
Loudr: Priority Sign Up From August 1st to 4th
In addition to cover song licensing and music sales, Loudr includes such features as revenue splits for collaborators. So instead of one musician having to account for payouts to others at tax time, the money goes directly into each collaborating musician's account. This is another feature particularly useful for YouTubers who often collaborate on projects.
Beginning today Loudr is also one of the platforms whitelisted for YouTube video annotations.
You don't have to be a cover song artist to use Loudr. It's well designed for anyone selling original music as well. If you're interested in finding out more, I'd suggest signing up and checking it out during this window of opportunity.
- Jack Conte Of Pomplamoose Tries Bundle Dragon For DIY Digital Bundles
- Re:Discover: A Digital Label For Cover Song Artists Emerges From A Stealthy Network
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.