musiXmatch, An IMDB For Legal Song Lyrics, Raises $3.7 Million To Expand Globally

European music startup musiXmatch will be announcing today at the MusicTech Summit in San Francisco that it has closed a $3.7 million series A funding round for its digital lyrics platform. The round was led by Italian investor Francesco Micheli Associates. musiXmatch adds to the prior $700K it has raised in seed funding from both Francesco Micheli and a former Dada executive.

Lyrics are one of the most searched for terms on Google, and I think many of us have found ourselves looking to Google and one of the many lyric sites to either help us win an argument, or clean up the lyrics of a favorite old song playing our heads. There are, of course, tons of song lyric sites floating around the Web, but the large majority of them are unofficial, or don’t have the rights to be broadcasting free song lyrics to the public.

Founded in 2010, musiXmatch is a startup trying to build the largest database of legal song lyrics on the Web. The startup is off to a good beginning, having collected 5.3 million songs to date, but not only is musiXmatch about becoming a database kosher with international rights management, it’s developing an API that will distribute its lyrics to music publishers, services, OEMs, and app developers.

This means that musiXmatch’s API allows both commercial entities as well as music lovers and developers to search lyrics using either unstructured queries or opensource identifiers, to use search-engine-friendly lyric displays without the worry of copyright infringement, get a complete list of performing artists, organized and filtered in a variety of ways, including biographies and images, and view a complete discography for each performing artist complete with release dates, tracks and cover art.

Thus, musiXmatch is hoping not just to be another site with annoying pop up adds full of stagnant, boring text — it’s going after metadata, too, hence my (albeit perhaps reaching) comparison to IMDB.

musiXmatch works with songwriters and music publishers to assist in lyric distribution and monetization, providing them with reports on usage statistics and allowing them to manage content rights on a country-by-country basis — as well as to take advantage of its revenue-sharing model. The startup’s API enables online music services to increase user engagement using officially licensed lyrics and music metadata and is available in 18 languages.

The platform’s music matching algorithms serve both end users and music providers with accurate song lyrics and allows music lovers to access lyrics from their favorite music services as well as their personal music library. Not too shabby.

While musiXmatch has already partnered with BMG, Kobalt, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony ATV Music, Harry Fox Agency, among others, it plans to use its new funding to continue adding strategic partnerships and expanding its business throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.