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Stem Offers Digital Music Distribution Alternative

2Founded in 2015, Stem.is is a unique digital aggregator which submits your music to all major streaming services and, unlike most other digital aggregators, has a more streamlined payment process, meaning you and your collaborators can earn royalties with fewer accounting hassles.

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Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

There are a number of digital aggregators that all provide roughly the same services. They’re a one-stop shop that will send your music to Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Pandora, Tidal and any other digital streaming service, then collect your royalties and pay you. The problem is that the artist or manager receives the payment, and then must distribute the money to any producer or collaborators on the song or songs, creating a potential accounting hassle that most artists don’t want. Enter Stem.is, which is a cool way to not only get your music to the various streaming services, and get all of your collaborators easily paid as well.

Stem, which was founded in 2015, is a platform that submits your songs to the various streaming services, then streamlines and tracks payments for artists and their collaborators (which the platform calls “shareholders”). You assign a percentage that each collaborator should get paid and Stem takes care of the rest, and provides a shared dashboard so everyone can see the monthly performance data too.

The company received an $8 million round of funding in 2017 to help it grow, and it’s now starting to break out with the recent single from Sheryl Crow (“Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You”) as well as albums and tracks from Childish Gambino and Frank Ocean, among others.

Stem has integrated with Amazon, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, Google Play, Pandora, Saavn, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube Content ID and YouTube Art Tracks, and is adding other streaming platforms to the list all the time. The company takes 5% of the revenue that the artist earns, which is pretty good in comparison to other services that don’t offer as much. The artist also maintains all ownership rights to the material submitted.

Another upside of Stem is that it helps you collect YouTube royalties. The service works with YouTube’s ContentID system to let you monetize or block videos. ContentID knows when a visual contains the audio assets you uploaded to the platform.

Bottom line, this is an interesting platform that you should definitely check out before releasing your next song or album, especially if you’re a band or have multiple collaborators. It’s an easy way to make sure that everyone gets paid without having to worry about the accounting yourself.

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