Posted inNews

Amuse expands its Fast Forward royalty advances service

Distributor Amuse launched its Fast Forward scheme in February 2019 as a way to pay artists up to six months of royalties in advance, based on its estimates of their future earnings.

The company now says that hundreds of artists have benefited from the feature, with advances between $250 and $300k.

Now Fast Forward is relaunching and expanding its focus, with artists now able to get advances for themselves and their collaborators – producers, managers and other musicians included.

Posted inNews

Amuse / Midia report explores Covid-19 lockdown trends for musicians

Distributor Amuse and consultancy Midia Research have teamed up for their second report on the independent music community.

One of the headline figures from Independent Artists: Pathfinding Through a Pandemic – that the ‘artists direct’ sector grew by 32% to $873m in 2019 – isn’t a new stat, having originally been published by Midia in March this year.

However, the new report has fresh material on the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has been having on independent musicians, from their incomes to their creative processes, based on responses from 376 artists.

Posted inNews

Amuse CEO talks growth, Old Town Road and artist-friendly deals

“What have you done for me lately?” Diego Farias, CEO of music distributor and label Amuse, is on the other end of a video call to Music Ally, singing the chorus of Janet Jackson’s classic track with a smile on his face, but thankfully no wardrobe malfunctions with his clothing.

It’s not (just) for the love of famous mid-80s hits. The phrase has just come up as Farias explains the impact he thinks Amuse and other distributors are having on the wider music industry, in terms of artists’ expectations when they’re talking to the labels that they’re already signed to.

“Someone at one major label here in Sweden was telling me that they find themselves in a really weird negotiation because of deals like the ones Amuse offers,” he says. “Artists really do come in and ask ‘What have you done for me lately?’ They’re asking what are they getting in return?”

“Increasingly, it’s difficult to answer that question. The true disruption is about the control the majors had on breaking stars in the past, versus the loosening grip that they have on that now.”

Posted inNews

Are Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube the new record labels?

Spotify is signing direct licensing deals with some artists and testing the ability to allow others to upload directly to its platform. YouTube and Apple Music are creating content and putting marketing budget behind artists. And Apple Music has also acquired Platoon, the British startup which helped a number of emerging artists to develop, including Billie Eilish.

Are streaming services turning into record labels? Or at least providing more of the services that used to be the sole domain of labels? And if so, what does that mean for artists, not to mention labels? A panel at the Midem conference this morning chewed over the implications.

Speakers included Marie-Anne Robert, global head of artist development at Believe Digital; Scott Cohen, chief innovation officer, recorded music, at Warner Music Group; Diego Farias, CEO of distributor Amuse; and Martin Nielsen, CEO of African streaming service Mdundo. Veva Sound’s director of industry relations Helienne Lindvall was on moderation duties.

Posted inNews

Amuse to pay artists up to six months of royalties in advance

Amuse is the Swedish music company that’s part distributor – a platform for artists to upload their music to streaming and download services – and part record label, working more closely with talent that’s emerged from its distribution arm.

Launched internationally in 2017, the model is similar to that of Kobalt’s AWAL with its combination of distribution and a higher tier of label/artist services. Amuse now has hundreds of thousands of artists on its distro platform, and raised a $15.5m funding round in May 2018.

Now it’s launching a way for those artists to get paid up to six months’ royalties in advance. The feature is called Fast Forward, and it’s launching in beta today with a group of musicians, before rolling out to more in the coming months.

Posted inNews

Amuse raises $15.5m for its ‘next generation record label’

In March 2017, Music Ally reported on a new startup in Sweden called Amuse, which was billing itself as “the world’s first mobile record label”.

It had an app through which unsigned artists could upload their music for distribution, with the company then monitoring the data to spot artists with traction, to get behind promotionally.

Just over a year later, Amuse has announced a Series A funding round of $15.5m co-led by Lakestar and Raine Ventures. Note the latter name: it’s one of the investment funds owned by merchant-bank The Raine Group, which took a significant stake in SoundCloud last year.