Swedish-based Epidemic Sound is a music library that pays composers an upfront fee offering licensees subscriptions for non-exclusive use as well as innovative approaches such as licensing by the second. Much of their activity is in Europe but they've also cut deals with MCNs such as Disney's Maker Studios. Apparently it's working well enough that VC firm Creandum has funded a $5 million Series A round.
Epidemic Sound appears to be breaking new ground in music licensing though I don't know the space well enough to evaluate all the claims to be different from other production music libraries.
In an interview late last year CEO Oscar Höglund explained how Epidemic Sound is seeking to own rather than represent music:
"Everyone knows content is global. But within that music is still very local, because copyright collecting societies work on a country by country basis. So you can’t upload something online and have it shown in 65 countries, you have to go to 65 local collecting societies around the world and pay them. This is really having an effect on the people who make content as they can’t put music on their productions because it immediately gets claimed by those societies."
"We stay completely outside the system. We buy and own music as opposed to representing it. We made a massive investment in time and money to buy music, creating this huge library, which is almost like a professional Spotify. But it is production music and we own all the music on our platform."
Epidemic Sound pays producers upfront for music. They then own the music outright and are able to negotiate agreements with PROs recognizing that status so that licensees won't be hit with unexpected fees.
Here's an Epidemic Sound graphic of how the creation to licensing process works:
In addition to monthly subscriptions, licensees can license music by the second.
"Epidemic Sound says it will be using a portion of the new Series A funding to pay more composers to create new tracks for its library. The funds will also be used to hire additional people to staff out recently opened operations in Holland, Germany, the U.K. and U.S. — with a focus on hiring in from the broadcast and production industries it’s targeting."
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.