After being told for years by copyright attorneys not to use music in shows, podcasters may soon have more than one legal avenue to take to license music from song creators. Nashville-Based Soundstripe has raised another $2 million in investment financing and it says the move will transport the company deeper into the business of licensing music to podcasters.
Soundstripe said last week that it had secured the financing from Craft Ventures just a few months after it had raised $4 million from other investors. This means the company that launched in 2016 will be able to expand its business beyond the production music space that has resulted in more than two million “micro-licenses” being issued to creators of video content.
Travis Terrell, co-founder and co-CEO of Soundstripe, said the investment dollars will help it target a wider-reaching subscriber base—and that includes expanding into the growing podcast segment. Terrell told Podcast News Daily that decision was validated after attending the Podcast Movement conference last month in Orlando and seeing first-hand the excitement around podcast creation.
“We came away with a strong understanding of the unique music needs of podcast creators and how we can serve the community with our library of quality production music,” Terrell said in an email. “Podcasters are increasingly encountering the complex traditional music licensing business and our mission has always been to remove those barriers for creatives. We plan to announce our offering to podcasters sometime in the coming months.”
Soundstripe has already been licensing its royalty-free music and sound effects library to podcasters. That’s typically allowed a podcaster to pay for the music on a monthly or annual basis and then use the track as many times as they wish, regardless of how many downloads an episode receives.
Podcasters are already closely watching how a new service being created by SourceAudio and SoundExchange may allow today’s biggest hit records to be used in the U.S. market. The two companies are in discussions with record labels and music publishers, working to convince them to allow their titles to be included in PodcastMusic.com. If expects to beta launch this fall by licensing Christmas music to podcasters. If all goes as planned, starting in 2020 PodcastMusic.com will offer a library of about 700,000 works. While a lot of details still need to be worked out, the players involved said they’ve been encouraged by the “dozens” of labels large and small that have expressed interest in licensing music to podcasters.
Doug Reed, Executive VP of Music at SourceAudio, said at last month’s Podcast Movement conference he expects to license songs on a per-episode basis for as little as $10 to $20 although podcasts with more downloads could pay significantly more. PodcastMusic will also not allow creators to license a record to serve as a show’s primary theme music.