In a world where monetizing music through download or streaming services remains a challenge, sync licensing is an ever-promising area of growth. And increasingly, new services are emerging to lower the barriers between those looking for tracks to license, and those looking to have their music heard.
The latest is Audiosocket, a three-year old boutique music licensing firm that today has introduced a sync licensing platform for digital music services called Music as a Service (or MaaS). Released as an API, the MaaS system is designed to let social networks, gaming platforms, and media sharing services offer their users the ability to search for and license music for anything they're creating, and then share in the licensing revenue.
So for instance let's say a game development platform wanted to let its developers find and license music for their games. It would just embed Audiosocket into its site, and developers could simply search through the catalog of pre-licensed tracks in the system and pay the associated fee to gain access to the track. Think video-sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo, or photo sharing services like Animoto or PhotoBucket, and game developers like GameSalad or Gamebuilder Studio.
The upside here is that it gives the users of these services easy access to licensed music, many of which may have obtained tracks through less authorized sources in the past.
"Some of these sites, users may have been using content that wasn't really cleared, and the platform had concerns around that," says Audiosocket founder and CEO Brent McCrossen. "By having copyrighting content right there, they know from the get go their users are using music appropriately."
This is different than other stock music libraries in two respects. First, Audiosocket curates the music in its library, selecting only the tracks and artists it wants in the system rather than going for a bulk-licensing play. It has more some 33,000 songs in its catalog from 1,900 different artists. Second, the system is embeddable into partner's websites, rather than existing as a separate site.
According McCrossen, the point is to expand the platform's visibility beyond its existing partners.
"All these emerging digital media platforms just have tons of users and very creative communities that also need music licenses," he says. "The MaaS platform was built out of the realization of the size and needs of that market. This is allowing us to reach a much broader audience."
Artists can set their own prices for licensing. The companies embedding the MaaS system gets the set percentage of all sales, the rest of which is split evenly between Audiosocket and the artist. The company says it has several large brands signed up to the system, but can't discuss who they are yet until they are ready to go live with the integration.