While the cloud gets all the attention, TuneUp Media can argue that downloads still have a place in the conversation. That's because the San Francisco-based startup has just secured an additional $2.0 million in funding from previous investor IDG Ventures.
TuneUp offers a cleanup service for music collections: Powered by Gracenote's MusicID media recognition technology, TuneUp fixes bad metadata in a user's music files. In other words, it fixes errors in artist, track, album and other labels that can mess up a digital music collection. TuneUp offers an annual, single-computer license for $19.95 and a lifetime, single-computer license for $29.95.
What really stands out is that TuneUp has built a business at a time when streaming has become a media darling. "A jukebox in the sky is something people have been talking about for 10 or 15 years," TuneUp CEO Gabriel Adiv tells Billboard. "But it hasn't quite caught on. While it's absolutely growing and a terrific consumption model, ultimately local collections and subscription services are going to have to learn to play nicely together."
Adiv is in a good position to speak about how people want to catalog and experience music. His company has acquired 3 million users since launching in 2008 (half of them are in the U.S., Adiv says). It has 23 employees and just hired a chief technology officer and a vice president of product management. And the company is in a third round of funding, a point where investors put money into proven growth potential from a proven concept.
His own listening habits reflect the hybrid he sees in the marketplace. "I love Pandora, I love MOG, and I love my personal music collection," says Adiv. "But there are different use spaces. I don't believe that people will use any one of them exclusively."
Many cloud services acknowledge this hybrid manner of listening and collecting because they sync a user's MP3 collection to a cloud-based collection. TuneUp can help make that sync more effective because bad metadata will prevent a file from syncing to the cloud. "It doesn't do you much good to try to find your Track 01 in the cloud," he says.
The company's latest round brings its current round to $6.3 million and total funding to $8.5 million. The new funding will be used to create new services, hire additional people and increase marketing spending.
Music streaming services and companies that support them have raised tens of millions of dollars in funding in the last year. Two deals were announced in January: Rdio raised $17.5 million (Mangrove Capital Partners and other investors) and SoundCloud raised $10 million (Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures). The Echo Nest, which provides technologies used by many streaming services, raised $7 million in October (Matrix Partners). In March 2010, home music system maker Sonos announced a fresh $25 million investment (Index Ventures). In late February, music streaming service MOG announced a new $9.5 million investment (Menlo Ventures) on top of $5 million the previous year.