To publish music on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Deezer, artists use one of a number of publishing platforms like CD baby or TuneChord to get their tracks in front of mass audiences. Currently these platforms have some sort of fee for artists to get music up on the web, but Helsinki-based Music Kickup announces today that they're launching the first-ever free music distribution service, meaning up-and coming artists don't have to pay any fee to get their tracks available to audiences on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Deezer. Today MusicKickup now launches their service publicly.
None of these services want absolute noise or half-hearted nonsense plaguing their tracklists, so these older publishing platforms have used a fee to determine whether or not the artist is serious about getting their tracks out there. Instead of relying on that, Music Kickup is relying on social proof. For example, bands need to have a Facebook page with a certain amount of likes, or that they're manually verified so that bands can use the service.
When opening up distribution for free, Music Kickup needs some kickback from somewhere. So how they'll monetize is through premium tools to artists. So for example if you're using Music Kickup to distribute some tracks, you can also use their service to sell t-shirts, or so on. The company's goal is to build themselves as the on-stop shop to find those services.
The other path they're taking to monetize is through deep analytics, plugging into Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud to see sort of a thermometer of what buzz these artists are experiencing. Music Kickup will then offer real-time statistics and with these can tell where the artists stand in the marketplace and offer tips of what they should do to increase their standing, drawing on analysis they've picked up of what other artists on their platform have found successful.
For example, their service might see that a band has reached a certain level of buzz, but one thing that a band once in a similar position found useful was putting more focus on Youtube. Once we go further in this hypothetical band's career they might want to explore the option of a tour. Though Music Kickup's analytics they can see what parts of the country they're getting the most buzz from, and where should probably visit.
"We've been in close contact with Spotify and Deezer. We've been talking to them a lot because we've been trying different things for promotion. Apple and iTunes are remaining in the background but we are on their preferred partner list, and there are only 22 of those, so it's a nice list to be on.
“Music Kickup focuses on how to really impact and advance careers – structure all parts into a cohesive product that just makes sense. We want to go to eleven”, explains Perttu Sutinen, COO & Co-founder of Music Kickup.
Since the start of testing, Music Kickup has over 2,000 bands using the service from around the world. In the latest Private Beta they've had testing of over 1,200 bands from 80 different countries, ranging across genres.
Their service gets music up normally within 48 hours, and through iTunes the music may be live within 30 minutes.
Deezer's Music Acquisition team comments, “Music Kickup is a real innovation for the industry. It provides a good alternative for musicians and, by getting their work heard on subscription services like Deezer, they’ll be able to reach new fans all over the world. The fact that Music Kickup offers free distribution for artists is a pioneering move and we’re proud to be part of its launch.”