Do you ever wonder why big music companies have a marketing advantage when it comes to breaking artists, globally? According to industry insiders, it’s because of their networks of local companies, or wholly-owned subsidiaries, in different countries around the world.
It stands in stark contrast to smaller record labels and publishers, who typically operate in only one country. In an effort to build an international business, small music companies must license their music to their peers in other countries. The problem with this is that small labels have only been able to afford to close international licensing deals annually at conferences like Midem. It’s actually what prompted Ian Henderson to take a long, hard look at this issue and recognize that global music sales have declined from $26.6 billion in 1999 to $15 billion this year.
Henderson also recognized that many artists have raised serious concerns with pay-per-play revenue generated from streaming services like Spotify. So, in 2013, he took his 15 years of music industry experience and set out to provide artists and music companies with new markets and new sources of revenue.
To that end, he built tuneteams, a music licensing marketplace which essentially democratizes international music licensing. Via tuneteams, each and every label, company, or publisher can negotiate deals any time, any day, and across the entire globe.
“Just as distributing CDs evolved into digital distribution, tuneteams’ licensing marketplace will evolve existing music industry licensing practices,” says Henderson, CEO and founder. “As we build awareness and content available for license on our platform, we believe tuneteams will usher in a new era of mutually beneficial licensing deals between international music companies.”
Tuneteams was built as a B2B marketplace where brands, record labels, songwriters, and music publishers can auction recording licenses while at the same time publishing and sub-publishing agreements on their own terms. Auction owners set a minimum bid, enter parameters like proposed license terms and territory, and then determine whether bidders compete to offer the highest advance or the highest royalty rate.
Bidders can also review contracts and listen to songs before bidding. After closing, the winner and auction owner then sign one of tuneteams’ template contracts electronically: the platform provides e-signature, escrow, and money transfer technologies from industry leaders in order to make the deal fast and safe.
While the platform has only been around since August 1, there’s already content available to license from popular artists and recording labels. Obviously they’ll be looking to beef that up as they keep growing and moving forward. For now, though, it’s pretty safe to say that these smaller labels are thrilled to finally have an outlet to easily license their music.