While a lot of independent artists are familiar with music aggregators such as TuneCore and CD Baby, it appears the new Swedish startup Amuse is throwing its hat in the distribution ring, with a number of industry heavyweights at its helm.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
If you’ve been using a music aggregator like CD Baby or TunCore to get your music out to a wider audience, it looks like there’s a new alternative available that has a unique twist. Swedish startup Amuse (amuse.io) was founded by a team of industry heavyweights, and they’ve just received $15.5 million in funding to expand global operations, especially in the U.S.
Amuse is different from other aggregators in that it’s free and allows an indie artist to keep 100% of all royalties received from a host of streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer and more.
What’s the catch? Amuse is actually a record label that offers free music distribution to independent artists in an effort to find new music to sign. In other words, it’s a different way to execute A&R. As it’s website explains, “If we discover artists we believe in, we will offer them a record deal that includes marketing, financing, promotion and playlist pitching. We pay for the project but thereafter we split the profits 50/50 with the artists. That’s how we make money and that’s how we are able to make distribution free of charge. If offered a record deal there is no obligation to sign with us.”
The company has some heavyweights on its board, including Edgar Berger, former Chairman and CEO of Sony Music International, and Jörg Mohaupt, former Warner Music Group board member, which no doubt led to the round of funding.
While on the surface this seems to be a new way for a label to discover artists, I’m not so sure that it is. Record labels have poured over various online sites looking for artists with a buzz almost from the beginning of the Internet, so there’s nothing really new there. What is interesting is that the company will have better access to data about these artists coming directly from the sources that count – the streaming services. That said, we all know that what really matters is how an artist can deliver to its audience, especially when it comes to playing live, so this is just a another piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding new artists.
Still, you have to like the fact that the price is right for distribution if you’re an indie artist. Please send me your comments if you’re using Amuse or plan to use it in the future.