TuneCore co-founders Jeff Price and Peter Wells today launched Audium, an online service that helps D.I.Y. artists make money on YouTube. Many indie artists don't have time, skills or the YouTube plays to collect payments. Audium helps those artists make money. For labels, the startup provides a way to monetize fan cover versions.
Price and Wells each exited TuneCore more than a year ago. And to date, the popular flat fee digital distributor has not offered a justification for their sudden departures. Now the pair are back in business, creating a service to help artists collect their share of what they say is a huge pool of potential revenue.
According to Audium's founders, every month on YouTube 25 billion videos are viewed containing music. Of those, half generate an estimated $1.3 billion in advertising revenue that, to date, has gone to high traffic artists and labels. Audiam provides a system for those 12.5 billion views to generate ad revenue.
There is no up front cost to use Audiam which charges a 25% administration fee. Artists sign up at Audiam.com and uploads their songs. Audiam finds videos on YouTube that use those songs (artist's originals and covers), authorizes YouTube to place ads and distributes the revenue. Audiam also supplies YouTube information, allowing it to auto-generate buy links for the music in iTunes, AmazonMP3 and Google Play. These buy links appear just below the YouTube video.
The beta version of Audiam is available today for artists outside of the US. The service will launch globally, early this summer.