In January this year, we spotted a new British startup called Hookd that was planning to offer “the world’s first pre-cleared, commercial music licensing solution for online video creators”.
Today, Hookd is launching its service officially. It will use a ‘pay-per-licence’ model, charging YouTubers from £7 to £150 per track based on their average video viewership, with “the lion’s share” of these revenues going to rightsholders.
The company is launching with a catalogue of thousands of tracks, with independent firms Hospital Records, Sentric Music and Wipeout Music among the first music companies to sign up for the service.
It was founded by Paul Sampson, formerly of Music Dealers and CueSongs. “The industry has been at loggerheads with YouTube over revenues for a number of years, but until now has been missing out on any revenue at all from the creator market,” he said in a statement.
“Hookd solves that problem, with labels and publishers being remunerated for influential stars using their songs. The time of having to use sub-standard library music in the highest profile YouTube videos is over and labels that sign-up to Hookd will benefit most from the new era.”
Hookd isn’t the first music-licensing service to target YouTube channels. Production-music companies like Epidemic Sound and Audio Network have also courted these creators as an emerging part of their businesses. Meanwhile, YouTube channels like No Copyright Sounds have also found success sourcing music that other creators can use in their videos.
These companies would all argue fiercely against suggestions that their music is “sub-standard”, but what Hookd is hoping is that known labels and artists will appeal to YouTubers. A goal not so dissimilar to what CueSongs originally launched with, although it was arguably ahead of its time in terms of the development of the online-video ecosystem.