LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Google parent Alphabet has launched a well-funded tech startup that aims to challenge traditional record labels.
Launched with an initial investment of $70m, Alphabet's UnitedMasters will seek to develop and promote unsigned and independent artists from online communities and for the most promising artists, to support their career with financial and marketing support.
As well, the service will offer data tools for streaming analytics, and that help unsigned acts with fan interaction as well as providing avenues for selling concert tickets, music and merch.
The firm has been founded by Steve Stoute, who formerly served as President of Urban Music at Interscope Records.
While the full details on UnitedMasters' business model have not been revealed, artists will pay the company for digital distribution of their work, as well as services, but the artists will retain ownership of their master rights.
If any of this sounds familiar, its because other companies such as Kobalt, BMG and CD Baby have already trod the path.
Investors in the venture include Alphabet, 21st Century Fox, Andreessen Horowitz, Floodgate, and Translation.