Apple is investing in a stake in UnitedMasters, a music-distribution company that is trying to undercut major record labels by offering artists full control of their music.
UnitedMasters provides premium music distribution services and facilitates partnerships between artists and prominent brands. UnitedMasters enables artists to maintain full ownership over their master recording rights while introducing them to new fans worldwide through direct brand partnerships.
UnitedMasters raised $50 million in its Series B funding round, the company said Wednesday, valuing the business at $350 million. Alphabet Inc. and Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in UnitedMasters in 2017, are also participating in the round.
Former record-label executive Steve Stoute formed UnitedMasters four years ago, hoping to capitalize on growth in the independent music sector — artists who don’t have a traditional record label. The company distributes their music to all the major streaming services, taking a fee rather than commanding ownership of the underlying music.
Several companies have pursued this goal, appealing to decades of artist resentment toward record labels. The labels have thus far maintained their dominance in the record business, using their catalogs and resources to retain or sign most of the major acts.
MacDailyNews Note: Obviously, given failures such as Apple Music Connect, bypassing the music labels’ power remains elusive. Good luck, independent creators!
More info about UnitedMasters here.