Warner Music Group has quietly launched a digital music distribution service that is a direct competitor to Tunecore, CDBaby and DistroKid. Level Music, which WMG has never announced it's involvement is live online, accepting artists and offering some additional service.
A video walkthrough of Level
Level Music has launched as a digital distribution platform for unsigned artists. Controlled by Warner Music Group, Level will deliver music for release to Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, TIDAL, Pandora, Deezer, and Napster "without any upfront charges or fees." Artists will keep "100% of your rights, royalties and earnings."
Level also offers free tools to showcase releases including Linkfire powered intelligent landing pages that route fans to their preferred music service.
The free ride, however, may not last forever.
"We believe in building a product that gives lasting value to artists.Therefore during this beta period, Level is free of charge as we gather feedback to build a platform that best serves our artist community.
We will keep you updated on any changes to the free beta, future product offerings and features well in advance."
First, spotted by MBW, Level Music was launched this week by Warner Music Group without an announcement. Only research of the company's filings reveal the major label group's involvement. Radar Scope LTD is listed as the owner of the Level Music site. A search of UK company registration records lists three top WMG UK and US executives using WMG offices in London and New York as their address.
Why would WMG care about unsigned artists?
It could be for the data, including watching new acts that could be brought onto a WMG label as they grow. Universal claims to do just that with its Spinnup distribution service. It could also be that, like most big companies, it wants to stick its toe in the water of every possible industry vertical.
Either way, it's interesting that WMG execs appear to be in charge of Level Music, rather the team at the companies indie arm ADA.