Chief Product Officer
Years with Company: 5
Address: Kammakargatan, Stockholm, Sweden
Email: [email protected]
Publicity: Jeff Kilgour/The Syndicate, [email protected], 917-678-4420;
Brendan Bourke/The Syndicate, [email protected], 347-564-2927
Clients: Yot Club, Vundabar, Bedroom, Emei, 80purpp, Serhat Durmus, Mind’s Eye, Ryan Mack, Brooksie, Slowshift, Confetti, Penelope Scott
When Erik Ljungqvist moved back home to Stockholm from London, the change was prompted by twin desires—to start a family and to join Amuse, the digital music distribution service that’s been disrupting the industry since 2015. Additionally, the company offers licensing deals, operates its own label, and provides artist financing.
An Amusing Concept
We were built on the idea that we can leverage data from our distribution platform to identify music with momentum at an early stage. We want to build artist-friendly services for the DIY and independent artist communities and really support them. Our services stretch from supporting an artist that might do a few thousand streams or less per year to an artist who does billions, with the artist staying independent. They set the direction; we’re merely there to support them on their journey.
Using Data To Identify Rising Stars
We sign people to our distribution platform and, if they start to grow, we spot that early on. We can help them understand what they should do next. We’re very good at understanding what the artist needs.
We get lots of data from the streaming services but also social platforms like TikTok or YouTube. We have advanced algorithms and an advanced machine-learning system that can spot tracks picking up momentum.
We have a tier called Start, which is free. It gives access to any artist to distribute their music. That’s for the beginner artist, usually. If you’re not rich or sure how to do it, you can join us and get a taste.
And then we have two paid tiers, Boost and Pro. Boost is the middle tier, where you get access to a few advanced features. And then we have Pro, which is the premium tier aimed at artists who might have a team or multiple projects.
Also, with each tier you go up, you get faster support and are able to push yourself quicker, etc.
Data Crunching With Insights
We launched Insights earlier this year [2023.] We work continually to improve it. It’s important that you don’t just look at it as data. We help you do that. We try to show where users are coming from. Are they listening to music organically or are they listening to music through playlists? Where are they? I think we are the only service that displays TikTok data. We also show YouTube content ID data.
The important thing for artists is to have a presence wherever their listeners are. If their fans are on a Discord channel, they should try to do something for that. If they see a lot of listeners appearing in a certain city, it might be a good idea to advertise in that region.
Remote Mastering Services
Few people can hire a mastering engineer, because it’s expensive. And mastering is a tricky process. We are partnering with a Norwegian startup, Masterchannel, which has built A.I. tech around their mastering service. We are offering that service to our users.
A.I. is taking big steps and can give you really nice results in a short time with no effort. If you pay $5 to get your track mastered and do ten tracks a year, that’s $50. That’s significantly less than buying a software program or hiring a mastering engineer. And you can still get really good results.
We have two advance products, one of which is Early Access. You get access to your money earlier than you would. Normally, you’d have to wait around three months. We can shorten that by approximately two months.
And then we have Fast Forward. It’s an automated advance that predicts how your music will perform and calculates an advance on that. It’s tailored to you. You still control your rights; we don’t own your masters or anything. You recoup across your whole catalog, so if you take a Fast Forward offer today and upload ten new songs tomorrow, all of that will count toward your recoup, so you can recoup faster.
Early Access can be from $5 up to a few thousand. With Fast Forward, you can go a bit bigger. We have our licensing business, which is more manual but still tailored to how you’re performing and what you need. We can cover a wide range of artists’ financial needs.
Financially Fueling Careers
When we launched Fast Forward, we had a band based in Ireland, Blue Americans. They wrote to us and said that offer made it possible to pay for flights and accommodations to London for a gig, which they would not have been able to afford. That’s a prime example of what we are trying to do—give [artists] cash they need at that moment so they can accelerate their careers.
Playlist Pitching With Groover
There are multiple things you should do [to promote yourself,] but playlist pitching is one of them. And you can pitch to playlists through a service like Groover.
With Groover, you’re not paying to get your music onto playlists. You’re paying for the ability to pitch it. You should always be wary of services that say they guarantee a spot on a playlist, because the likelihood of it not being organic is high. But with Groover, they’re real playlists. They look to make sure they’re not bot-driven or that there’s no stream farming.
More Than Distribution
We don’t see ourselves as only a distributor. We see ourselves as a music company that builds artist-fan services for the independent community. And we use data to identify music that has momentum at an early stage. So for us, it’s not only about distribution. That’s almost a means to an end.
With other distributors, their singular mission is to be a distributor. Ours is that, but we have the distribution service so we can identify growing artists that we can license, give an advance and help.
We have artists that have started on our Start tier for free and then started growing. We were able to identify that, and they’re now selling gold and platinum in the U.K. With us, you can stay the whole way through your career and we’ll be able to support you.
Having Artists’ Best Interests in Mind
We genuinely have our artists’ best interests in mind. We have a culture that is extremely artist-friendly. We have a lot of people who work at Amuse that are artists. And we always put artists in focus with what we’re trying to do. There’s an extremely strong culture of wanting to improve the lives of people that do music.
Don’t give up. We see a lot of cases where an artist uploads songs, they get a few streams but it doesn’t grow much. And then one day, the right person finds your song. It can blow up very quickly. We see that happen time and time again.