Sua Música boss: ‘We are in the era of the local superstars’


Sua Música, often referred to as ‘the Brazilian SoundCloud’, says it wants to change the Brazilian music industry.

As part of our upcoming market profile of that country, Music Ally talked to the company’s CEO Roni Maltz Bin about its independent focus, shifting business models and the potential for local music artists.

Music Ally: Sua Música is often called the Brazilian SoundCloud – why?

Roni Maltz Bin: “Because we have a very similar business. On one hand Sua Música (“Your Music” in english) is a UGC music platform with focus on the independent sector, on the other hand we operate a B2B operation (digital distribution, artist management and publishing).

SoundCloud is a UGC music platform with focus on emerging artists and also operates a distribution business (repost network). The main difference between Sua Música and SoundCloud is that we focus 100% on local artists and users.”

MA: Why do you think we need a Brazilian SoundCloud? Isn’t SoundCloud itself filling this gap?

RMB: “Because we have a 100% focus on local music and the Brazilian consumer. We can make features on our platform that are interesting to Brazilian users and artists. This local approach makes all the difference. Users know they won’t be distracted by international acts (that they don’t care about) and will find only local artists and content.

SoundCloud has an international presence, they can’t change their platform in order to please only part of their audience. I believe that we are going to see many more niche music platforms coming out in the next few years.”

MA: Sua Música has more than 16,000 verified artists and more than nine million monthly active users. How fast is it growing?

RMB: “Our user base went from 1m MAU in 2013 to around 8m / 9m MAU in 2021 organically (we never spend a dollar on advertisement). Historically we grow around 20% every year, both in terms of users and artists.”

MA: You say you offer ‘the first real 360° solution for independent artists in Brazil’ – can you explain what you mean by this?

RMB: “Basically because we are the only company that offers all the main solutions in the music industry all in one place. UGC DSP -> Digital distribution -> Artist Management -> Publishing -> Content (social media) -> Proprietary events.

Our company offers a UGC DSP (Sua Música), a digital distribution company (Sua Música Digital), an artist management company (Sua Música Records) and a publishing company (Sua Música Editora). Besides that we create proprietary content (social network) and proprietary events. So artists and managers can find all the tools they need in order to run their careers in one single company.

Our strategy is very simple. We use our UGC music platform in order to find artists before all the majors and international distribution companies. After that we sign them with our digital distribution / artists management company and we use our UGC music platform in order to promote their music.”

MA: What impact did Covid-19 have on the recorded music industry in Brazil? Did you see a big rise in users?

RMB: “In the number of active users we didn’t see a big rise. People listen to music on their way to work, with friends, etc. At home they had too many options (Netflix, WhatsApp, TV, Instagram, TikTok, etc). We didn’t see a decline either.”

MA: Who are the big domestic acts in Brazil? How much international impact are they having?

RMB: “Brazil doesn’t have one big act, we have many. Inside Brazil we say that we have many different countries. Every region has its own music and its own superstars. Sometimes an artist is huge in a state and people don’t know him in other states.

Brazil is the only country in the world that enters Spotify Global 200 chart with 99% local consumption. We are an island in terms of music, our music doesn’t go overseas and international music (including Spanish) almost doesn’t play inside the country.

Our music doesn’t go out of Brazil like Spanish music, K-Pop, African music, etc and this is for many reasons. Besides Brazil, only a few small countries speak Portuguese and we don’t have a large diaspora in the USA and Europe like other Latam or African countries.”

MA: Who are the biggest acts on Sua Música?

RMB: “In our digital distribution company the biggest act right now is João Gomes with 8.1m followers on Instagram and more than 1bn monthly streams on all DSPs. João today is one of the biggest acts in Brazil and he is 100% independent.

Besides him we have other big artists such as Tarcisio do Acordeon, Vítor Fernadez, Japãozin.”

MA: Is streaming and the rise of digital music helping domestic acts?

RMB: “Yes. I believe that we are in the era of the local superstars and I’m not only talking about Global x Local. Today we have artists that are huge in some areas of Brazil and in other parts people have never heard about them. If you take Spotify Brazil 200 you won’t find many international acts anymore. Streaming is making it possible for artists to become huge inside their country and only to some segments of the population.”

MA: Do you know roughly what percentage of listening in Brazil is for domestic acts?

RMB: “I would guess that more than 90%. If you look at Spotify Brazil 200 you won’t find more than 15 international acts at any time. I’m sure this trend will continue.”

MA: How optimistic do you feel for the future of the recorded music industry in Brazil?

RMB: “I believe that we are in the golden age of the music industry and I’m very optimistic about the future of the industry in Brazil. The country has a huge population (215m people) and streaming penetration is still in its infancy. Besides that we are already seeing very interesting numbers in terms of stream volume and revenues.

I’m also very optimistic about the independent sector, our digital distribution and artist management arm is less than 2 years old and we are generating around 1.3bn monthly streams on all DSPs and competing against all the majors side by side.

Combining the independent sector, a huge population and many different consumer platforms (Spotify, Deezer, TikTok, Twitch, etc) and we will have many years of industry growth ahead of us in Brazil.”

Written by: Ben Cardew