Once upon a time, sampling could be a tense topic within the corridors of some rightsholders. It’s a mark of how far we’ve come that in 2022, Universal Music Group has launched its own samples marketplace.
MBW broke the story of Usample, whose own Instagram profile describes itself as “Universal’s secret sample website exclusively for major affiliated talent”. Which is certainly a novel approach to remaining secret. The ‘major affiliated’ part is certainly different from the various other beats and samples marketplaces that are targeting amateur musicians of all levels. Usample is purely for “talent affiliated with major labels and publishers”, with a registration and verification process before musicians can access its catalogue.
The music itself comes from more than 6,000 tracks originally made for use in TV shows and films, dating back to the 1960s. Usample has the recording and publishing rights for each track, which it says will make clearing use of the samples “simple and worry free”. But not actually free: “All clearances must be negotiated with our clearance department using the form on our licensing page…”
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