The valuation explosion we’ve seen in music rights is happening in another segment too, it seems: DIY distribution.
Now, a rival to DistroKid, Steve Stoute’s UnitedMasters – has locked in its own princely valuation.
As first reported by The Information, UnitedMasters has raised $50 million in new funding.
Led by Andreessen Horowitz, the new round values the independent artist distribution platform at $550 million, which, The Information reports, includes that new investment.
Today’s news marks yet another significant financial milestone for New York-headquartered UnitedMasters.
The company’s latest funding round comes just six months after it secured a $50 million Series B investment, led by Apple with additional funding from existing backers, Google parent Alphabet, and Andreessen Horowitz.
The Series B round followed the company’s $70m funding round led by Google/Alphabet in 2017.
Citing Steve Stoute, The Information reports that UnitedMasters will use the new investment to fund its expansion into markets like Latin America, as well as for acquisitions.
Launched in 2017 by Stoute, UnitedMasters provides music distribution services plus analytics and royalties tools. It has facilitated partnerships between indie artists and brands such as the NBA, ESPN, TikTok, Twitch, and more.
UnitedMasters says that it currently has 1 million “artist partners” on its platform, and has worked with the likes of NLE Choppa, Lil Tecca, Tobe Nwigwe, Lil XXEL, and many others.
UnitedMasters recently struck a new partnership with cryptocurrency platform Coinbase to give indie artists the ability to be paid in crypto through Coinbase’s new payroll product.
UnitedMasters launched a new subscription tier in July last year, Select, that allows acts to keep 100% of their royalties from digital services.
In August 2020, TikTok inked a deal with UnitedMasters for a full integration between both services directly through the TikTok app.
“I don’t care if you’re in music or not,” he added. “This shows that independent creators have an opportunity now, better than they’ve ever had before, and there’s a spotlight on them.
“The biggest companies in the world are rooting for them and making steps to make sure that they have the same opportunities as everyone else.”Music Business Worldwide