Splice, a cloud-based music creation and collaboration platform, announced yesterday that it has raised $4.5 million in a Series A round of funding led by True Ventures with participation from Scooter Braun, Tiësto, Steve Angello (ex-Swedish House Mafia), AM Only, WME, Plus Eight Equity Fund LP, as well as existing investors such as Union Square Ventures.
The fundraising adds to the $2.75 million in seed funding from Union Square Ventures and other investors raised back in October 2013, bringing the company’s total to $7.25 million. The announcement also marks another move made by Braun’s $120 million music venture fund, that was also first reported back in late 2013. Splice also announced it has moved from private to open beta.
As the barriers to access professional grade sound engineering equipment and software continue to decrease and more and more people experience music through uploading remixes and covers to Soundcloud, the necessity and potential value of a service like Splice increases. The only current competitor in the marketplace is Blend.io, but according to a report by Wired, there was a huge boom in demand for such services as far back as seven years ago.
Having DJs (Tiësto, Angello) as investors is important in ensuring Splice’s alignment and importance to the community of artists who are already finding a lot of utility in the product.
“It represents a belief in the vision and it’s a belief in the future we’re trying to create,” says Splice co-Founder Steve Martocci in an interview with Billboard. “[It represents] a true belief that the problems and struggles we’re trying to address for artists on the creation side, on the collaboration side, on the distribution side, are valid.”
Splice, founded by Martocci and Matt Aimonetti, offers DJs and music producers a much-desired system of version control for creating music. As is stands right now, working on a track with multiple people across long distances is very difficult. The sizes of project files are too big to be simply emailed, and even cloud-based storage solutions (like Dropbox) don’t offer ways to track changes, leave notes, and revert to previous saved states.
@splice yo i need you! can i be bumped to top of your list?!?
— CATEGORY 6 PLURICANE (@diplo) January 30, 2014
Splice offers all of this and more in a lightweight downloadable client that acts as a bridge to a user’s digital audio workstation (or DAW) and an expansive, interactive web interface that doubles as a social network. In yesterday’s announcement, the interface receives a facelift with the introduction of a DNA player, which helps artists and collaborators visualize a song’s structure and leave annotations on specific voices or instruments.
Features like the DNA player, or the way Splice works with artists like Alesia to release tracks through that platform, allows for creators and consumers alike to experience music in a truly unprecedented way because it places the actual project files into the hands of the consumer. Fans could have the potential to open their favorite artist’s song and examine exactly how they created it, which plugins and techniques they used, and then incorporate those ideas directly into their own production (or better yet, use the file themselves). This idea of freeing one’s music has placed Splice in the center of a constructive debate about the future of modern music consumption.
Splice’s DNA player is live today. Check out the track “Scream” by Henry Fong and J-Trick, two rising stars from Tiësto’s label Musical Freedom, in the embed below.