Spotify-Backed Startup Raises $22 Million, Wants to 'Kill Bad Background Music'
Soundtrack Your Brand, the Spotify-backed streaming service for businesses with a mission to "kill bad background music," has announced a $22 million investment round as it eyes expansion to the U.S. and beyond. The Stockholm-based firm, which was founded by Beats Music co-founder Ola Sars and ex-Spotify executive Andreas Liffgarden, provides businesses with a modern platform for playing and curating licensed music in public.
When you step inside anywhere from a chain store to a small boutique, you're often listening to a mix of CDs, satellite radio or consumer services. As is often pointed out, many businesses rarely report what they play, depriving royalties for rights holders and artists. With that in mind, Soundtrack's founders and investors see the digital distribution of background music as an untapped market.
"While our competitors are focused on shipping CDs by mail to large chains in U.S. and Europe, we are growing the size of this market by digital means," said Sars, CEO and co-founder. "We distribute our platform more efficiently and are continually improving the product experience. By selling online we reach the entire market, all the way down to mom-and pop’s that nobody sold to before. And we do it on a global scale."
Investors include Nordic venture capital fund Industrifonden and U.K.-based Balderton Capital, along with previous backers including Telia Company, Northzone, Creandum, H&M’s HMP and Jörg Mohaupt. Spotify was a seed investor and the company is known as Spotify Business in the Nordics (it has yet to receive clearance to use the name elsewhere). The new funding will be used to expand the service to the U.S., Asia-Pacific and Europe.
"Background music today is sold as a utility, and there’s rarely much thought going into what music brands are playing and why," said Liffgarden in a statement. "Today’s background music sucks for brands and consumers alike, and it’s hurting the music industry at large. As lovers of music and technology, we’re completely overhauling this industry, to once and for all kill bad background music."