Amuse

Record Label, Distributor

Amuse logo

Amuse is a Swedish-based distributor and record label co-founded by ex-Warner Music Group executive Diego Farias. Farias’s co-founders in the business include the artist will.i.am.

Calling itself “the world’s first mobile record company”, Amuse launched in Stockholm in 2015.


Business and pricing structure

Amuse is perhaps best known today for providing independent artists and labels with a free no-frills distribution service to platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

In Q1 2020, Amuse launched a ‘Pro’ subscription tier for independent artists starting at $7.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

This Pro subscription brings artists additional benefits including  a royalty splits tool, “quicker releases” onto streaming platforms and additional support.

Amuse CEO and co-founder, Diego Farias, said of the Pro launch: “With Pro, we’re giving our users more features to accelerate their careers, at an accessible price. Artists and managers will simply be able to focus on their creativity instead of the admin parts of a music career.”

In addition to its free and Pro artist tiers, Amuse also operates an in-house record label, onto which it aims to sign artists who emerge via its distribution offering.

Speaking to Music Business Worldwide in June 2019, Farias explained that Amuse’s record label only signs licensing deals with artists, rather than acquiring any long-term ownership of their copyrights, and that the label and these artists then split profits 50/50.

“Over a duration of the license period that we agree on with the artist, [Amuse] will make 50% of the royalties after we have recovered our marketing investments, and our royalty advances,” said Faris. “We just split the profit on the project 50/50.”

At the Midem event in Cannes, also in June 2019, Farias declared that the artist Lil Nas X rejected a deal with Amuse’s record label – complete with a $1 million advance – before signing with Columbia Records.


Funding

Amuse closed a €3.5 million venture funding round in 2017, which featured a contribution from Dharmash Mistry, Partner at Lakestar. Mistry’s fellow investor in the Series A round was Jörg Mohaupt from Access Industries, who was Amuse’s founding investor and subsequently joined the firm’s board.

In 2018, Amuse raised a Series A investment round for USD $15.5m co-led by Lakestar and Raine Ventures, stating it was going to use the capital to expand operations in Europe and the US.


Other milestones

In summer 2020, Amuse joined with global independent label and distribution licensing collective Merlin.

Merlin claimed that, by becoming a member of its organization, Amuse’s independent artist users would “benefit from Merlin’s collective bargaining approach” in their royalties from services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and TikTok.

In 2019, according to a fiscal filing posted in Sweden, Amuse generated 85.1m SEK (approximately $9.5m) in revenues in 2019, a figure that was up 209% year-on-year.

The same document revealed that Amuse also posted a 2019 annual operating loss of 98.4m SEK ($10.9m).Music Business Worldwide

Amuse In The News

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