Andreas Ahlenius, the co-founder of Sweden-born DIY distribution service Amuse has left the company.
The exec announced the news via a post published on LinkedIn last week, in which he wrote that “after almost five years it’s time for me to move on”.
Ahlenius was previously Director of Product at Amuse since October 2019, having previously served as the startup’s Global Label Director.
Prior to Amuse, Ahlenius was the Commercial Director at Universal Music Group Sweden.
Founded in 2015, Amuse offers a free digital distribution service for DIY acts and distributes hundreds of thousands of artists globally.
It also runs its own in-house record label.
Amuse raised $15.5m in Series A funding from Raine Ventures and Lakestar in May 2018.
“After almost five years it’s time for me to move on. It’s been a challenging and exciting journey but we managed to build something quite big. A service that delivers more music than almost any other distribution company in the world.”
Andreas Ahlenius (pictured)
In Mach, the company launched Amuse Pro, a new subscription tier for $7.99 per month or $59.99 per year, offering extra tools like team accounts, royalty splits and faster upload times.
Amuse’s in-house label signs artists hand-picked by its A&R team, licensing rights for a set period while splitting any resultant profits 50/50 with its acts.
In Ahlenius’s post, he stated that “we started Amuse with the belief that the next star would start their career on a service like ours, if we built it right” and notes that the likes of Lil Tecca and Lil Nas X used the service early in their careers.
In June last year the company said it offered Lil Nas X a $1 million dollar advance, prior to his eventual signing with Colombia.
“It was obvious this kid was taking off,” said Diego Farias, CEO and Co-founder of Amuse, speaking at MIDEM in Cannes, France. “The initial conversations we had with Lil Nas X [were]: ‘I want to stay independent, I want to do this on my own, blah blah blah.’ I ended up offering him an insane check with incredible terms… north of a million dollars.”
Amuse recently joined independent collective licensing agency Merlin, which means that Amuse’s artists will benefit from commercial terms of Merlin’s multi-territory licensing deals with the likes of Spotify, TikTok, Pandora, Facebook, Boomplay and Deezer, as well as China’s Alibaba, NetEase Cloud Music and Tencent Music.
Writing in his post on LinkedIn, Ahlenius said: “After almost five years it’s time for me to move on. It’s been a challenging and exciting journey but we managed to build something quite big. A service that delivers more music than almost any other distribution company in the world.
“We started Amuse with the belief that the next star would start their career on a service like ours, if we built it right. It turned out we were right: Lil Nas X (US), Lil Tecca (US), Flo Milli (US), Anna (IT) and many more have released some of their early works with us before breaking through. And we became the market leader in Sweden for Hip-Hop.
“I spent the last five years working on growth, marketing licensing, A&R and most lately product and tech, which gave me the privilege to work with some very intelligent, driven and nice people. My time with Amuse ends here, but I wish the team all the best going forward.
“I am both curious and excited about what I’ll get my hands on next. If you’re building on something cool, let’s talk.”Music Business Worldwide