UnitedMasters

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UnitedMasters
TypePrivate
IndustryMusic
FoundedNovember 2017
FounderSteve Stoute
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Websitewww.unitedmasters.com

UnitedMasters is an American music distributor based in the United States founded by Steve Stoute in November 2017.[1] UnitedMasters gives artists the ability to distribute music to all major streaming services. Distributed artists are eligible to participate in advertisements, brand partnerships, and other promotions that can earn them money and new fans. UnitedMasters gives artists access to their streaming and social data, this gives them information on how to maximize their fan engagement.[2] The company claims to represent 1 million artists, one of the more notable being rapper NLE Choppa.[3][4] On February 16, 2023, Baton Rouge, Louisiana rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again noted that he owns a percentage of the company and has had several talks with Steve Stoute on Rap Radar, a music podcast.[5]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

UnitedMasters was launched in November 2017 by Steve Stoute with a $70 million Series A led by Google's corporate umbrella Alphabet alongside venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and 21st Century Fox.[6]

Music distribution[edit]

In 2018, UnitedMasters rolled out the distribution feature on its platform titled Releases. The Releases feature allows artists to upload their music and album artwork and distribute their music to all major streaming services through the UnitedMasters platform.[7]

In 2019, UnitedMasters announced the appointment of its first President, Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood. Wirtzer-Seawood formerly served as Head of Music Partnerships at Instagram.[8] Prior to that, Wirtzer-Seawood spent two years as the Head of Digital at Beyoncé's entertainment and management company, Parkwood Entertainment.[9]

In 2022, UnitedMasters distribute songs for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by cooperating with several artists like Nora Fatehi, Rahma Riad, Balqees, Manal and RedOne.[10][better source needed]

Partnerships[edit]

In 2018, UnitedMasters announced a global partnership with the NBA.[11][better source needed]

In early 2019, UnitedMasters artists helped launch the Bose Frames products by featuring the product in their music videos. UnitedMasters helped identify ambassadors for the campaign and Bose assisted in the development and promotion of each artist's music videos.[12][better source needed]

In a 2019 partnership with iHeartRadio and AT&T, UnitedMasters helped major radio stations including Power 105.1 in New York City and Real 92.3 in Los Angeles celebrate emerging artists in their cities. Through 'The Come Up Show' series, independent artists got the opportunity to submit music for the chance to receive major radio play, $25,000, and a distribution deal through UnitedMasters.[13]

Also in 2019, UnitedMasters announced a partnership with NBA 2K20.[14][15][16][17]

In June 2020, UnitedMasters has partnered up with Cash App to launch a new grant program called "Cash for Change", to highlight songs by artists that address social and political climate.[18]

In August 2020, UnitedMasters and TikTok announced a partnership to allow TikTok artists to distribute their original songs through all streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube among others. It will also allow artists to sign deals with brands like the NBA.[19]

In September 2020, UnitedMasters has partnered up with Twitch to feature licensed music for creators. That also includes with CDBaby, Distrokid, and other music distributors.[20]

In March 2021, UnitedMasters raised $50m in a Series B venture round. Funding was led by Apple Inc, with follow-on funding by Google's corporate umbrella Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz.[21]

In August 2021, UnitedMasters, Symphonic Distribution, and Horus Music partnered with music funding company, beatBread, to offer clients more access to capital.[22] beatBread's chordCashAI technology provides an automated advance experience for independent musicians while enable clients to choose their own terms and retain ownership of their music.

In July 2023, UnitedMasters partnered with 1789, a record label owned by Nigerian music producer, Sarz to discover and develop the next generation of artists and producers across the five regions of Africa.[23] Steve Stoute, the founder and CEO of UnitedMasters, expressed his vision for the partnership, stating:

"Our goal is to become a bridge connecting global markets through our platform. Sarz possesses an incredible eye and ear for talent, has an impressive track record, and is the ideal partner for us as we expand to Africa. This collaboration represents the first step towards achieving our mission of empowering independent artists at all steps of their career globally."


Technology[edit]

In July 2019, UnitedMasters unveiled its new iOS app which makes the features of the UnitedMasters platform available on mobile devices.[24] The iOS app allows artists to easily distribute music directly from their text messages, Dropbox, or iCloud to major streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple, Tidal, and YouTube.[25] Similar to the desktop platform, artists can view streaming stats, playlisting details, financial earnings, and social stats as well as access opportunities for brand partnerships.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "With $70M From Alphabet, UnitedMasters Replaces Record Label". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  2. ^ "Steve Stoute's New Venture UnitedMasters". Black Enterprise. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  3. ^ "UnitedMasters puts control back into the artist's hands with new app". Kulture Hub. 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  4. ^ "Apple Supports Independent Artists With New Investment". Wall Street Journal. 2021-03-31. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
  5. ^ "RAP RADAR PODCAST: YOUNGBOY NEVER BROKE AGAIN". Rap Radar. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  6. ^ "Inside Steve Stoute's New Artist-First Music Startup". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  7. ^ "Eight Months After Launch, UnitedMasters Quietly Rolls Out Online Distribution Service For Artists". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  8. ^ "UnitedMasters Hires Ex-Instagram Exec Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood As President". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  9. ^ "UnitedMasters Hires Instagram's Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood as President: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  10. ^ Light The Sky [Music from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Official Soundtrack], 2022-10-07, retrieved 2022-10-07
  11. ^ "NBA, UnitedMasters Announce Partnership To Assist Independent Musicians". NBA. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  12. ^ "Bose Frames AR Sunglasses". Cousins. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  13. ^ "Power 105.1 Launches". Power 105.1. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  14. ^ "'NBA 2K20' Soundtrack Revelead [sic], 2K Teams With Steve Stoute For Global Talent Search". Hip Hop Wired. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  15. ^ "NBA® 2K20 is Changing the Game with a Dynamic Soundtrack Developed in Partnership with UnitedMasters". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  16. ^ "The NBA 2K20 Soundtrack Features Drake, Billie Eilish, Meek Mill And More". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  17. ^ "Drake, Travis Scott, and More Will Appear on 'NBA 2K20' Soundtrack". Complex. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  18. ^ "CashApp haves an partnership with UnitedMasters". MusicBusiness WorldWide. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  19. ^ "TikTok Makes a Deal (Not That One)". The New York Times. 2020-08-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  20. ^ "Twitch rolls out licensed music features for creators". MusicWeek. September 30, 2020.
  21. ^ "Steve Stoute's UnitedMasters Lands $50 Million Infusion Of Cash Led By Apple". AllHipHop. September 30, 2020.
  22. ^ "Music Fintech Pioneer beatBread Partners with Leading Services to Power Dedicated Artist Advance Offerings". Yahoo News. August 18, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  23. ^ Laketu, Adedayo. "UnitedMasters and Sarz Unite to Find Africa's Next Big Star". okayafrica.com. Okay Africa.
  24. ^ "Steve Stoute's Distro Platform is Going Mobile". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  25. ^ "Steve Stoute's UnitedMasters Launches New iOS App For Independent Artists". All Hip Hop. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  26. ^ "UnitedMasters Launches New App For Independent". All Hip Hop. Retrieved 2019-06-10.

External links[edit]