Alphabet-backed UnitedMasters, the music label distribution startup and record label alternative that offers artists 100% ownership of everything they create, launched its iPhone app today.
The iPhone app works like the service they used to offer, only via the web, giving artists the chance to upload their own tracks (from iCloud, Dropbox or directly from text messages), then distribute them to a full range of streaming music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and more. In exchange for this distribution, as well as analytics on how your music is performing, UnitedMasters takes a 10% share on revenue generated by tracks it distributes, but artists retain full ownership of the content they create.
UnitedMasters also works with brand partners, including Bose, the NBA and AT&T, to place tracks in marketing use across the brand’s properties and distributed content. Music creators are paid out via PayPal once they connect their accounts, and they also can tie-in their social accounts for connecting their overall online presence with their music.
Using the app, artists can create entire releases by uploading not only music tracks but also high-quality cover art, and by entering information like whether any producers participated in the music creation, and whether the tracks contain any explicit lyrics. You also can specify an exact desired release date, and UnitedMasters will do its best to distribute across services on that day, pending content approvals.
UnitedMasters was founded by former Interscope Records president Steve Stoute, and also has funding from Andreessen Horwitz and 20th Century Fox. It’s aiming to serve a new generation of artists who are disenfranchised by the traditional label model, but are seeking distribution through the services where listeners actually spend their time, and using the iPhone to manage the entire process definitely fits with serving that customer base.