TuneCore Inc., one of the world's largest digital music distribution companies, on Wednesday announced it has signed an agreement with INDmusic to better monetize its artists' music on YouTube.
The deal calls for INDmusic to adminster the master recording rights on YouTube for TuneCore's library of 290,000 releases.
TuneCore, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., already manages its artists' publishing rights on YouTube via its operation in Burbank, Calif. YouTube spins off hundreds of millions of dollars each year in advertising revenue to its content partners and is viewed by many in the music industry to be a fast-growing source of income.
TuneCore president and COO Scott Ackerman said his company decided to partner with INDmusic, rather than build the capabilities in-house, because of the expertise of INDmusic's co-founder, Brandon Martinez.
"We’d been talking with Brandon for over a year," Ackerman told Billboard. "Our publishing department are experts at managing the publishing piece. Brandon was the best partner to manage the master recordings piece."
INDmusic, which is also based in Brooklyn, is best known for helping to promote Baauer's "Harlem Shake" into a viral video hit on YouTube earlier this year. The 8-person company manages 300 independent YouTube music channels that collectively garner about 100 million views a month. The deal lets INDmusic plug into TuneCore's artist roster, which currently number 116,000 active accounts -- each of which represent potential partners for INDmusic's multi-channel network.
For now, the contract calls for INDmusic to find user-uploaded videos on YouTube that contain sound recordings owned by TuneCore's artists. Once INDmusic identifies those videos, it can then claim the copyrights for those sound recordings on behalf of TuneCore and request that YouTube begin placing ads against the videos. TuneCore artists would receive 80% of the money that INDmusic is able to collect from YouTube for the ads; INDmusic and TuneCore would split the remaining 20%.
Launched in 2006 as a distributor of music for download stores such as iTunes, Amazon.com's MP3 store and others, TuneCore has branched into helping artists manage their digital rights in other distribution channels such as YouTube. It also manages publishing rights for artists, taking a 10% commission on royalties collected for sync and master licensing for the use of their music on television, film and commercials.