Built In Chicago and Marengo Hampshire Partners would like to congratulate September’s Startup of the Month: Music Dealers, LLC! This is the company that makes it possible for businesses as huge as Coca Cola’s and as small as your startup to purchase and use high-quality original music. The next time your organization needs music but wants to skip the legal hassles that come with acquiring rights, Music Dealers is the place to go.
Founded just under four years ago, Music Dealers now has a robust staff of 25 in Chicago, and another 16 across the US and UK. In that short time, they’ve also won an Emmy and two Cannes Lions (silver and bronze). So far, their investors have been friends, family and Angels, but they haven't sought VC funding just yet.
Music Dealers bills itself a “global B2B music licensing solution.” With 175,000 songs spanning every genre in its directory, Music Dealers offers customers a way to purchase music that’s ripe for the picking. The fact that it’s pre-cleared and ready-to-license makes the process easier, and innovative tools like a virtual studio and robust, patent-pending search function that delivers accurate music results make it easy to create or find the right song for the project.
Last year, Music Dealers served as Coca Cola’s in-house music supervisors, and worked with them to create a Beats Lab in London’s Olympic Village. There, athletes could create a live remix of any song, in any genre. The effort earned them the title of Olympics’ Music Branding Gold Medalist from Billboard Magazine.
Learn more about Music Dealers’ business and goals via our Q&A with co-founder and EVP Jonathan Sheinkop.
What does Music Dealers, LLC, do?
Music Dealers provides unique technology solutions that enable media creators such as advertising and production companies in television, video and film to streamline the complexities inherent in discovering and instantly licensing music from tens of thousands of original artists and labels.
Artists either submit music to Music Dealers’ curated online catalog, or create custom content in a virtual-studio setting. Brands can also select the best music for marketing campaigns with company’s software tools and have all the legal rights pre-cleared and hassle free.
What do your tools allow clients to do?
Visual Media creators have significant needs when it comes to both identifying music and properly licensing it for diverse uses. We have developed ways to make an arduous music discovery process more creative and efficient through a SAAS technology platform. Our Music Dealers Discovery Tool™ is the industry's most thorough search filter for discovering original new music that's already pre-cleared for licensing. Building playlists, sharing data with colleagues and clients after quickly narrowing hundreds of thousands of songs enhances a traditional art with new science.The results are faster service, better selections and lower costs.
How did this idea come about?
From it's beginning in late 2008, Music Dealers has aimed to establish itself as the trusted brand leader in music licensing for Indie artists as well as established music acts that are turning away from major labels and searching for the few outlets left to earn significant revenue from their music. Taking advantage of developing trends in licensing which includes growing fragmentation at the visual production level, Music Dealers was an idea founded to help create revenue streams for artists by disinter-mediating a system that had precluded them from fairly competing for jobs unless they signed away much of their most valuable rights.
What is your company's greatest strength?
Innovating simplified solutions for complex problems externally and internally, is the inspiration for our investments in people and technology. Everything we do begins with a focus on who we are and what we do better than anyone else to facilitate the licensing of music.
What are your goals for 2012?
We expect the rest of this year to be spent increasing our marketing efforts so new potential clients can quickly understand how robust we are, and why they should call us for anything related to finding and creating original music. There will also be the continued development of our software solutions. This includes the exciting re-launch our Discovery Tool throughout September, followed by new, information rich, artist profile pages and lastly, enhancements to our internal software, so our team can consistently scale client service while maintaining a high level of creativity. Of course the continued evolution of our official partnership with Coca-Cola will play a significant role in our plans for this year and next.
[If you're interested in being the Startup of the Month, learn how to apply here.]