UnitedMasters
Company 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] 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.[2]

History

Formation

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.[3]

Music distribution

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.[4]

In 2019, UnitedMasters announced the appointment of its first President, Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood. Wirtzer-Seawood formerly served as Head of Music Partnerships at Instagram.[5] Prior to that, Wirtzer-Seawood spent two years as the Head of Digital at Beyoncé's entertainment and management company, Parkwood Entertainment.[6]

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.[7][better source needed]

Partnerships

In 2018, UnitedMasters announced a global partnership with the NBA.[8][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.[9][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.[10]

Also in 2019, UnitedMasters announced a partnership with NBA 2K20.[11][12][13][14]

In June 2020, UnitedMasters launched "Cash for Change", a joint venture with mobile payment service Cash App to highlight songs by artists of whom address political and social issues, predominantly climate change.[15]

In August 2020, UnitedMasters partnered with TikTok to enable music from creators who have joined UnitedMasters to promote their work onto the platform's Commercial Music Library. The partnership was intended to translate trending activity into musical success; several artists who utilize UnitedMasters have found success on the app, such as NLE Choppa and BMW Kenny.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

In July 2023, UnitedMasters partnered with 1789, a record label owned by Nigerian music producer, Sarz to promote artists and producers across the five regions of Africa.[19]

Technology

In July 2019, UnitedMasters unveiled its new iOS app which makes the features of the UnitedMasters platform available on mobile devices.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

References

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