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Universal Expands DIY Digital Music Distro and A&R Platform Spinnup

Spinnup-logoSpinnup is a hybrid digital music distribution service for DIY artists with an A&R component for Universal Music that launched last year in Sweden working with X5 Music Group. They're now bringing their efforts to England in partnership with Island Records who are also instrumental in the Fan Republic crowdfunding promo platform. I missed the bigger picture till now but this is an interesting move for a number of reasons.

Universal Music's Spinnup now has an English edition and technically may be available to worldwide users. But the focus of Universal's efforts are England.

Island Records is playing a key role in the English launch of Spinnup just as they did in the launch of Fan Republic.

Spinnup presents 4 value propositions on its homepage:

  • Get your music on Spotify, iTunes and more
  • Be discovered by our talented scouts
  • Track sales and social media stats
  • Keep all rights & get 100% of your royalties

Pricing is by single, ep or album. You can dig into more details in the FAQ or via the above video.

Spinnup's Scouts are a unique piece of the puzzle. They seem to be talent spotters that are somehow connected to Universal's A&R system.

Spinnup has already distributed one highly successful track, "Din Soldat," from Swedish rapper Albin which has gone on to be streamed 8 million times.

What Spinnup (and Fan Republic) Offer Universal

Island Records' director of digital Glenn Cooper does a nice job of quickly painting the key reasons for this move:

"Digital distribution is a key stepping stone in the career of any unsigned artist and Spinnup provides the perfect ecosystem to help them get their music to market. Island Records has consistently broken ground in both the digital and A&R space; Spinnup sits alongside our existing crowdfunding platform and both deliver unique, innovative opportunities to discover and nurture new acts."

Fan Republic amplifies music crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo not only building relationships with outstanding acts but giving Island Records direct insight into the space. Spinnup seems to take that process a step further.

Together they represent ways to connect with up and coming artists who are taking early steps in their career and are self-selected as interested in major labels based on their platform choice.

While Fan Republic gives Island Records contact with bands who've reached the point of getting financial support from a fanbase, Spinnup gives Universal contact with artists at earlier stages of development as well.

For A&R purposes, Fan Republic provides a certain amount of data on select acts but Spinnup gives Universal total visibility into sales data from a wider range of artists.

As a digital distribution service, Spinnup has the potential to play a role for Universal that could be considered a much more modest version (at this point) of something like Amazon Web Services and suggests a much bigger picture of what Universal could become.

Then again it could be another corporate initiative that gets strangled in a year or two. We'll see!


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.