The music business is littered with stories about songwriters or studio contributors and session musicians who never get the credit — or money — they’re often due for their work on hit songs.
And for every storied session musician in “The Wrecking Crew” there are perhaps hundreds of other contributors who aren’t getting their just desserts.
That’s where Jammber comes in. The five-year-old company co-founded by serial entrepreneur Marcus Cobb has developed a suite of tools to manage everything from songwriting credits and rights management to ticketing and touring all from a group of apps on a mobile phone. And has just raised $2.4 million in funding to take those tools to a broader market.
Jammber “Muse” gives collaborators a single platform to exchange lyrics and song ideas, while the company’s “Splits” app tracks ownership and credits of any eventual product from a collaboration. The company’s nStudio tracks songwriting credits to assist with chart and Grammy submission — through a partnership with Nielsen Music — and its “PinPoint” helps organize touring. The recording applications even have a presence feature so session musicians, songwriters and artists can actually be tagged in the studio while they’re working.
“I think we need to get attribution and monetization closer to the creators,” Cobb has said. “Why aren’t we doing that? The industry is growing and thriving. Are we making sure that performers and creators of all different tiers are being equally compensated?”
The answer, sadly, for many in the music industry is no. In fact, while Cobb had originally set out to make a networking tool for creatives with Jammber he wound up shifting the service to the management toolkit after visiting the offices of a music label.
“I saw stacks and stacks of payroll checks that were returned to sender,” Cobb, told Crain’s Chicago Business. “These checks were taking three months to two years to print, and they were wrong addresses, or there were stage names instead of legal names.”
That experience convinced Cobb of the demand, but it was Nashville that gave the serial entrepreneur the crucible within which to develop the full suite of tools that now make up Jammber’s soup-to-nuts platform.
Cobb likes to say that Jammber was conceived in Chicago (where the company spun up from the city’s massively influential 1871 entrepreneurship center) and born in Nashville — the home of the multi-billion-dollar American country music industry. All of the tools in Jammber, Cobb says, were created with input from a local musician, producer, artist and repertoire person or a label executive.
In 2015, the company came down to Nashville as part of the first batch of companies in Project Music, a joint venture between the Country Music Association and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center meant to encourage the development of technology for the music industry.