Servicing between 7,000 and 8,000 artists, Repost Network was co-founded by Jeff Ponchick in an effort to help artists increase revenue streams via digital distribution. Initially launching with SoundCloud as their primary focus, they eventually expanded by partnering with many other major outlets.
I worked at a company called Fullscreen, which is a YouTube MCN or multi-channel network. It’s sort of a management/advertising agency for YouTube influencers. While I was there, I helped oversee the music department and worked with some of the largest influencers in the world on YouTube in the music space.
As the company grew, it became about figuring out how to make money off their channels. When I started doing that, I was shocked at how much revenue was slipping through the cracks. A lot of independent artists didn’t have access to [the type of] workforce one might have if they were associated with a major label. As a result, there were a lot of inefficiencies. That’s the problem I wanted to fix.
Repost’s mission is to help independent artists make a living through their audiences online. We have direct deals with 25-plus platforms––Spotify, Pandora, Apple, SoundCloud, YouTube, you name it. Essentially, we build products and tools catered to the nuances of each platform. The way in which you build your audience on Spotify is very different than the way you build your audience on SoundCloud. We’re going to focus on the platforms artists care the most about and give them next generation tools around marketing, content protection and monetization.
Quick Pay, Quick Growth
We started the company when SoundCloud rolled out monetization. The process for getting an advertisement to play in front of a song so the channel could generate ad royalties required a lot of clearance. The publisher split was being done through physical mail through a third-party company. If you had access to a workforce like a label to do it for you great, but for a lot of independent artists there was an education to be gotten there.
So when we started we were like, okay, SoundCloud’s a great platform, there’s tons of artists, open API and data so you can see how people are growing. We’re going to solve that problem first and figure out monetization. We automated a lot of the backend clearance processes. Where it would take people a month to monetize a song, we got that down to just a couple days. That’s how we set ourselves apart.
The Velvet Rope
We’re selective about who we work with. We have an apply with SoundCloud process, so if you want to work with us you connect your SoundCloud channel. We’ve built an algorithm that will automatically accept or reject you based on whether or not we think you have revenue potential.
Walking the Walk
Since we’re a technology company in music and not a music company in music, we want to be able to scale up to service theoretically tens, even hundreds, of thousands of artists. We account for roughly 12% of SoundCloud’s U.S. mid-tier subscription revenue. We work for a lot of people in the hip-hop, rap and electronic dance music space, just because we’ve already kind of won that platform. Unlike a lot of other distributors in this space who’ve raised a ton of venture capital, we didn’t go that route. If we can’t make our clients a sustainable living through their craft, then maybe we shouldn’t exist. We put our money where our mouth is.
We have a way of fingerprinting our artists’ music and delivering it to YouTube. If anyone steals our artists’ music and puts it in their video without our artist’s permission, we can claim that third-party video and drive that revenue back to our artist. That’s something a couple companies do but we take it a step further—our artists can choose what videos they want to let monetize their music and which ones they want to take the revenue from.
Say we wrote a song together and I distributed it through Repost. I can add you as a third-party payee. You’ll get a message saying you have royalties waiting for you. And when the money comes in it automatically handles the accounting. That’s a big pain point for labels. We’re one of only three distributors that offer that level of functionality.
We just launched in China, so you can get your music onto Tencent, NetEase and Alibaba. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple artists pass the 100 million play mark on those platforms. We also launched in India. We partnered with Anghami, one of the largest streaming sites in the Arabic world.
One of our artists hit me up and said, hey, I had my song stolen and put on Musical.ly without my permission. With Chinese stores, they don’t show your play count but you can see the comments and he had 40,000 comments on one song. We redistributed the album into those stores, making sure all the royalties would go back to him. I kept asking, how many plays does this have? They said we can’t tell you. It turns out on one of those platforms he’d broken through 110 million plays. He’d written for some big artists but he wasn’t successful in his artist career yet and his music was being played in Chinese supermarkets. He’s over there right now touring.
That’s what we’re passionate about. It’s not about being successful in the music industry; it’s about finding ways to change people’s lives.
We operate on revenue share, so there’s no up-front fee to join. Once you’re in, whether you’re an artist who makes 10 bucks a month or an artist who makes $10,000 a month, everyone gets access to the same stuff with regards to content protection. The only thing that isn’t available to everyone is marketing.
If someone starts to do really well, we’ll adjust their revenue share. We’ll do roster deals, where a management company will want to bring ten artists over and we’ll give them a better rate. We’re always willing to talk. If the catalog or content is worth the value, we’ll have those conversations. We want people to feel comfortable with where we’re at.
SCPlanner and Artist Engine
Artist Engine allows artists to give away their music for free in exchange for a follow or like on a given social platform. That’s a great marketing tool.
SCPlanner costs anywhere from $2 to $99 per month based on how much you’re using it. Think of it as a universal login. Let’s say you have ten SoundCloud channels or 50 Spotify playlists. You can tether them together through this platform and manage your SoundCloud reposts or Spotify playlists via universal login. But the most valuable part is the hub. That allows you to communicate with other influencers and initiate trades. Let’s say we’re both trying to promote a song; we can repost songs from each other’s channel and the platform will facilitate that repost or playlist. We have massive artists using this.
Years with Company: 3.5
Address: 1516 South Bundy Drive, Unit #200, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Clients: Naomi Wild, Redbull Records, Mayer Hawthorne, Waka Flocka Flame, Far East Movement, Slightly StoopidBACKGROUND