(Edit: Music Kickstarter is launching a service with the name KickUp. The article has been changed to call it the name it is launching with)
Launching this Saturday by Music Kickstarter is Kickup, the "world's first cloud-based record label." The Helsinki-based company aims to update the recording industry by throwing a lot of the standard recording label tasks into the cloud. The platform aims to both give artists a publishing platform for physical and digital distribution, while also giving bands new ways to collaborate and support each other.
The cloud platform will run artists €99 a year, and handle contracts, rights management, and industry connections.
"We build a smart layer that constantly works for the artists," says Antti Silventoinen, CEO and co-founder of Music Kickstarter. "Say you send me a track. What the cloud starts doing is it looks for the appropriate points of transactions, for example whether it needs to be sent to print press, if PR needs to be notified. Do we need to alert our fans. Do we put it on Facebook."
On top of that KickUp provides other services like crowdfunding, tour creation and venue booking, customer analytics, SEO optimization, and PR.
It also should be noted that it's an open platform. KickUp does not take any music rights from artists, and if a band feels like parting ways with KickUp, there are no fines or strings attached to tie an artist up, like a typical label.
Getting that critical mass of musicians may be a challenge for KickUp, but I think any artist or outsider can see value in what they're creating. One thing that Silventoinen said over and over in his pitch is that the label is now the product, which is unlike what any traditional label would call themselves.
One thing I have to wonder about is whether they can just throw around the word Kickstarter in their company name, especially since they also provide crowdfunding services. I'll let the two companies figure that out. Edit: Music Kickstarter is launching with the name KickUp, sidestepping any trademark issues.
KickUp is launching its service on Saturday. To kickstart their service, they're throwing together a workshop at Gloria in Helsinki with food and drinks. More information can be found here.