The depressing Coronavirus headlines keep mounting up out there. But, in the music industry, some companies are leading by example – demonstrating generosity in the face of what has become a desperate situation for certain artists.
Government policies to slow the spread of COVID-19 worldwide have led directly to a raft of live shows (and festivals) being cancelled in multiple territories, wiping out an essential income stream for many performers and their teams.
Yet some elements of the music business are reacting in the best way possible.
On Friday (March 20), online retailer Bandcamp waived its usual revenue share for artists for 24 hours, while making a particular effort to encourage customers to spend money on music – a bit like a virtual Record Store Day, with all the cash going direct to artists.
Today (March 21), we’ve already learned that SoundCloud has slashed the price of its SoundCloud Pro Unlimited plan in half, while hooking up with Twitch to ensure its creators can get verified (and paid) for live streams of their shows on the platform.
Now, Los Angeles-based Songtradr has become the latest music company to sacrifice its own income for the good of the artist community – via a particularly altruistic move.
In addition to offering digital distribution and other artist services, Songtradr specializes in licensing fully-cleared music for sync to a range of clients in industries such as TV, movies, video games and advertising. In the past, these clients have included the likes of Disney, Netflix, Apple, Coca-Cola, Amazon and Columbia Pictures.
These blue-chip clients can access the Songtradr database, which contains over 450,000 artists, songwriters and catalogs from over 190 countries.
Songtradr founder and CEO Paul Wiltshire has now confirmed that Songtradr will not be taking its usual licensing fees for the next MONTH, and instead passing them on directly to artists.
Wiltshire, who was an award-winning songwriter and producer before founding Songtradr, writes: “This crisis has created a reality that is having an immediate devastating impact on those who survive from live performance income. Artists and musicians around the world have suddenly been stripped of their ability to earn from live music venues and events. As a musician who once survived from gig to gig, I deeply understand these consequences and the impact they are having on our community of artists.
“As a musician who once survived from gig to gig, I deeply understand these consequences and the impact they are having on our community of artists.”
Paul Wiltshire, Songtradr (pictured)
“With live performances canceled and no definitive end in sight, independent artists and musicians all around the world are suffering. These artists who make up our community have continued to support us through our journey. Now it’s time for us to step up and support them in a big way.
“From Songtradr’s inception, our mission has been to connect music artists to content creators across all media. This has not changed.
“To increase artist’s revenue during this time, and inspire our music buyers to participate in making a difference, we are giving our share of any new licensing transactions directly to our artists for the next month (through April 18, 2020).”
“These artists who make up our community have continued to support us through our journey. Now it’s time for us to step up and support them in a big way.”
Wiltshire further confirms: “Artists are the lifeblood of our industry. It is their inspiration, hard work, and persistence that soundtrack our lives. If you are a music buyer, you can support artists through Songtradr by licensing their original music for your projects. 100% of Songtradr licensing fees will be received by the artist at this time.
“Thank you to everyone for continuing to nurture each other through this challenging period, in and outside of our Songtradr community. Our hearts and minds are with all those whose lives have been impacted by these recent events.
“We hope you will join us in encouraging a spirit of collaboration and positivity that extends far beyond the end of this strange time.”
Songtradr also offers digital distribution to multiple platforms – as well as other artist services – to acts around the world. The company does not charge a fee, as standard, for its distribution offering, allowing acts to keep 100% of their streaming royalties.
Songtradr raised $4m in a Series A funding round in 2018 and $12m in a Series B funding round last year. 2019 also saw the company acquire creative music licensing agency Big Sync Music in a multi-million dollar cash and equity deal.Music Business Worldwide