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Soundrop is a new distribution platform tailored to the YouTube-generation artist. Offering quick and affordable distribution to top digital outlets, integrated cover song licensing, and automatic royalty splits between collaborators, Soundrop is the distribution solution for the serial content creator and collaborator.

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Lex Lindsey
812-339-1195

Current News

  • 01/04/201801/04/2018

Covers Up: The Maturing Social Media-Powered Cover Movement Fuels Greater Creativity and Real-Life Collaborations

A classically trained pianist posts a cover of a rock band’s track--and winds up on stage with them. A piano instructor draws on favorite game tunes on Instagram mini-etudes for students--and ends up working together with a popular composer on an album of arrangements, complete with sheet music. It’s all thanks to covers and social media, and it’s changing the way music gets made in some of the most productive, lucrative niches of the music industry.

Covers have had a...

Press

  • Tubefilter, Mention, 12/04/2017, Disney Sued Over Alleged “Let It Go” Song Theft, Millions Of YouTube Covers Could Be Affected Text
  • Ari's Take, Article, 08/29/2017, CD BABY, TUNECORE, DISTROKID, AWAL, DITTO, REVERBNATION, OR... Text
  • SnapMunk, Mention, 06/13/2017, Does the Digital Music Industry Need Stem's Payment Distribution Software? Text
  • Performer Magazine, Interview, 04/06/2017, Soundrop: Single-First Music Distribution for All Music Makers Text
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News

01/04/2018, Covers Up: The Maturing Social Media-Powered Cover Movement Fuels Greater Creativity and Real-Life Collaborations
01/04/201801/04/2018, Covers Up: The Maturing Social Media-Powered Cover Movement Fuels Greater Creativity and Real-Life Collaborations
Announcement
01/04/2018
Announcement
01/04/2018
A classically trained pianist posts a cover of a rock band’s track--and winds up on stage with them. A piano instructor draws on favorite game tunes on Instagram mini-etudes for students--and ends up working together with a popular composer on an album of arrangements, complete with sheet music. MORE» More»

A classically trained pianist posts a cover of a rock band’s track--and winds up on stage with them. A piano instructor draws on favorite game tunes on Instagram mini-etudes for students--and ends up working together with a popular composer on an album of arrangements, complete with sheet music. It’s all thanks to covers and social media, and it’s changing the way music gets made in some of the most productive, lucrative niches of the music industry.

Covers have had a decidedly mixed reputation for several decades. They are seen as the easy way out, the stuff of middle-of-the-road bar bands, but they have also sparked some creative revolutions in popular music. There’s one underway right now. And digital-first distribution platform Soundrop has witnessed how social media and creative arrangements are transforming the ways artists--the covered and the covering--interact. “Covers are working to connect artists at different places in their careers and with remarkably different backgrounds,” says Pony, brand manager for Soundrop. “As cover song licenses are built into what we do, we make it easy for covering artists. That means we get to watch these trends firsthand.

Take Soundrop artist Summer Swee-Singh, a classically trained pianist, whose ear and love of post-hardcore and prog, emo bands, led her beyond the traditional repertoire. She discovered bands like Thrice and Circa Survive in high school, and over time began developing medley arrangements of her favorite tracks from their albums. She found her own arranging style, eventually arranging tracks by Justice and Skrillex, who shared her arrangements on social media.

“I first covered Skrillex just for fun, with a piano quartet,” Swee-Singh recalls. “When he started reposting my arrangements, my YouTube channel blew up. It was the first time I thought I might have a viable career in music.” Swee-Singh faced the usual challenges and bumps most working musicians do, but was able eventually to quit her job at a law office and focus exclusively on music.

She decided to move abroad for a year, and during that time began to compose her own pieces, but continued to work out arrangements. Eventually, she turned to arrange songs by her favorite rock-oriented artists. “My boyfriend told me that Metallica had previously played with the San Francisco Symphony and I found it to be the coolest thing, a rock band performing alongside an orchestra. The juxtaposition of a metal band’s vocals and electric instrumentation layered over acoustic orchestral instrumentation created an amazingly rich texture which made me find the performance even more grand. I then decided that all of my favorite bands should follow suit, and that I wanted to somehow become the person those bands called upon the write those orchestral arrangements and perform keys”. Choosing to try out a proactive approach, she began writing her own counterpoint string accompaniments to her piano cover arrangements, uploading medleys of Thrice and Circa Survive songs to her YouTube channel.

Through social media, Circa Survive heard her “Instrumental Thrice & Circa Survive Medley” and reached out to her. “Summer’s video showed a pretty intimate understanding of our core melodies and movements but a brilliant voice of her own as a composer,” says guitarist and Circa Survive co-founder Colin Frangicetto “She was an obvious first choice when we thought of asking someone to add strings and keys to our recent show at [L.A.’s] Shrine. The only potential issue was the fact that we only thought of it about a week and a half out.”

The tight timeline didn’t stop the collaboration and the band decided to fly Swee-Singh to join them for a few East Coast shows as well. Swee-Singh then called on her NYC-based network of professional string players and put together another keys and strings ensemble as well as another arrangement for those East Coast shows. “Summer is part of the extended Circa fam now and we will be working together again at some point, no doubt,” he adds. The experience has driven Swee-Singh to push herself further as a composer, arranger, and pianist, she says.

For video game composer and Soundrop artist Disasterpeace, the cover relationship went the other way. “I stumbled across David on instagram. He would post these snippets of piano arrangements of different material,” short exercises for Peacock’s students. Disasterpeace recalls: “His interpretation of my music from FEZ explored the piano in a really impressive way. I loved his sense of style.” He reached out to tell him so, and the two struck up a conversation.

That conversation blossomed into a collaboration. Disasterpeace let Peacock have access to his entire, extensive catalog. Peacock arranged the pieces, and eventually the duo created sheet music, both the full arrangements and more simplified but still fun versions for beginning pianists.

“Approaching Rich’s music, I had immersed myself in the games and films whenever possible, and as a result I think there were considerations with regards to the visuals associated with it,” says Peacock. “I really appreciated Rich’s trust in my ability to explore his compositions without placing restrictions on the process. These pieces went back and forth repeatedly between us to shape the mood and sound that, I think, encompasses both of our personalities.”

“People don’t realize how substantive and innovative cover versions can be, from artists that use YouTube or other platforms as their go-to first line of distribution,” Pony explains. “Yet these tracks can foster real artistic relationships. They can spark anything from live performances by chamber ensembles to books of sheet music. By getting their ideas out there quickly, then distributing the music widely, artists are discovering how covers can transform their careers. Because Soundrop doesn't charge recurring fees to keep a cover song in distribution, artists can experiment and over time, start to see what connects. There's no financial risk to building up a large and diverse catalog, active across multiple music platforms.

 
Announcement
01/04/2018

09/13/2017, Gamechangers: A New Generation of Creators Relies on Soundrop to Get Their Music to the World (and Money in their Pockets)
09/13/201709/13/2017, Gamechangers: A New Generation of Creators Relies on Soundrop to Get Their Music to the World (and Money in their Pockets)
Announcement
09/13/2017
Announcement
09/13/2017
Soundrop, the indie distribution platform designed for single- and YouTube-first artists, can attest to the increasing popularity and impact of these scenes. The service has seen a flood of business this year so far. Its catalog has grown by 25%, driven by the low barrier to entry. MORE» More»

Free distribution plus simplified, affordable cover song licensing allows constant creators to release more - and earn more

Video game music, and those who do high-concept, epic arrangements of it. The YouTubers with golden voices. The quirky new corners of internet-spawned musical invention that have won over millions of dedicated fans.

Soundrop, the indie distribution platform designed for single- and YouTube-first artists, can attest to the increasing popularity and impact of these scenes. The service has seen a flood of business this year so far. Its catalog has grown by 25%, driven by the low barrier to entry ($0 distro fee, a real boon for constant creators) and features that facilitate collaboration and simplified cover song licensing ($9.99 one-time fee/track). Over 7,000 cover song licenses have been cleared for commercial distribution since the beginning of 2017.

In July, Soundrop collected nearly $600k in streaming and download revenue, the vast majority of which is from cover songs and video game music. Soundrop’s best-selling artists average $15k/month, with some collecting up to $70k in a single month. This music is big business. “Distributing music this way has been one of my main sources of income for years,” says YouTube favorite PelleK (who’s gained more than 2.4 million subscribers to his high-octane metal covers and anime renditions).

“Remarkably little attention has been paid to artists who aren’t struggling with the current digital business model but who have hacked it,” opines Zach “Pony” Domer of Soundrop. “There are a significant number of artists who see YouTube as their primary platform or who create in the VGM sphere, who are truly thriving, earning admirable income from their work.”

Video game music runs the sonic gamut and can reach notable artistic heights. Take Materia Collective, who compose music for games, inspired by games, and chronicling gaming. They range from 80s-style rock revamps of Sonic the Hedgehog licks, to epic symphonic journeys through Skyrim. Or Gamechops, a wildly popular video game remix label. “Soundrop is a good fit for us because it offers us the ability to license our covers, and has a dedicated team to ensure our multi-artist albums show up in stores exactly how we want them,” explains Gamechops’ Chris Cutman.

YouTube has created entire new genres and scenes, often powered by pop song covers, be they metal af (Leo) or deeply emotional (Daniel Jang). Then there’s Cat Trumpet, with their gentle covers of anime and other classics (adorable harp renditions of the theme from My Friend Totoro, anyone?). Leo of Frog Leap Studio has won over 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube with covers, and Soundrop has been essential in securing his license to create new, fun versions of hit songs. “I deal mostly with cover songs, and they fix everything with licensing and releases on all the platforms I use,” he says. “It’s simply awesome!”

For heavy guitar-wielding, game music-loving YouTube artist Ro Panuganti, using multiple distribution platforms at once has jumpstarted his career. “By coinciding music releases on iTunes, Spotify, and so on with music video releases on Youtube, I was able to grow a library of music people can purchase to support the channel and eventually fund more instruments and projects. I also found it a great way to help support charity projects, and around 2014 I helped direct the Multiplayer Video Game Charity album. All in all, being able to release and legally sell my music, covers and others, opens up a lot of doors.”

These artists take business and analytics extremely seriously, and have integrated the dashboards and feedback inherent in YouTube into their music making. Comments, requests, and stats are key elements that shape these artists’ output and creativity. Daniel Jang kept getting fans begging him to put his music out via Spotify and iTunes. He finally obliged, and he went with Soundrop. “Thanks to the responsive service and help, I felt like I could trust Soundrop with the handling of my recordings. One other thing was that Soundrop covered all the major stores that I wanted to see my music in.”

The user interface is sleek enough to navigate, I can comfortably upload tracks and provide quick info to get them licensed within a few days, and while the company is still new they've really shown their respect and excitement for the cover community. As someone who's been releasing songs almost every week, it's crucial that my distributor can keep up and support that!

Distributing to new platforms via Soundrop has opened up new ways of understanding fans’ tastes and habits. Many YouTube-first artists crunch data in savvy ways and the additional numbers from Soundrop helped them further hone their work and model. “Thanks to the reports from Soundrop, I realized that the majority of my fans leaned towards Spotify more than iTunes, which initially surprised me,” says Jang.

Dima Lancaster, who specializes in elegant anime covers, agrees that Soundrop distribution has changed how his fans relate to his work. “Now that my content is available more widely online, my fan base has become so much more creative! I kid you not, I get bombarded with fan-made music videos, vocal and guitar covers, speed drawing clips, even dancing videos - all using my tracks that are now available online for people to enjoy and draw inspiration from - thanks to Soundrop!”

“For many YouTube creators and video game musicians, fast and reliable distribution is key to continuous audience engagement and music proliferation,” states Sebastian Wolff of Materia Collective. “Soundrop has proven to be a worthy contender, ready for handling the demands of the digital indie musician. In addition to streamlining music distribution, Soundrop's partnership with Loudr provides mechanical licensing, a necessity for anyone creating cover songs.”

About Soundrop

Soundrop is a new distribution platform tailored to the YouTube-generation artist. Offering quick and affordable distribution to top digital outlets, integrated cover song licensing, and automatic royalty splits between collaborators, Soundrop is the distribution solution for the serial content creator and collaborator.

Announcement
09/13/2017

02/06/2017, Drop the Single: Soundrop Returns with Digital-First Distribution for the YouTube Generation
02/06/201702/06/2017, Drop the Single: Soundrop Returns with Digital-First Distribution for the YouTube Generation
Announcement
02/06/2017
Announcement
02/06/2017
Soundrop is a new distribution platform geared towards YouTube creators and artists creating serial content. Offering quick and affordable distribution to top digital outlets and integrated cover song licensing, Soundrop caters to artists employing a track-by-track release approach to their careers. MORE» More»

A whole generation of artists and creators have reinvented the way music reaches fans. On video platforms, in video games, via apps, these artists’ tracks defy the old rules. Distribution is often an afterthought, and they have adopted the single as their format of choice. At the same time, other artists have moved to a singles model to keep up with the newsfeed pace and bite-sized consumption of online society. 

Now there’s a distribution platform tailor-made for the new generation artists. Soundrop makes it ridiculously easy for these artists to get their work out there, with no upfront expense, solely distributing the tracks to the top five digital outlets: Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay, Amazon, and Deezer. The service will expand in 2017 to include Pandora and YouTube (monetization via Content ID and Art Tracks videos), among others.

Soundrop’s deal structure is not the only feature that makes it stand out from existing distributors. Soundrop integrates cover song licensing, a real boon for many creators who specialize in new takes on recent hits or old favorites. The platform makes it easy to acknowledge collaborations, the lifeblood of this new music ecology, and to assign payment shares automatically to everyone involved in each track. If you’re a label, you can have unlimited artists, and can manage several artist profiles from a single log in. Soundrop’s fee model is as straightforward as its interface: 15% of any revenue, even for cover songs. All features that set the service apart from other distribution approaches.

“This is a light, quick, easy way to get music out there, to places like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon,” says Zach Domer, Soundrop’s Brand Manager. 

If the Soundrop name rings a bell, that’s because the service had a previous life, as one of the most popular playlisting apps built off of Spotify. At its peak, Soundrop was generating hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify, thanks to an avid user base. When Spotify switched app strategies, so did Soundrop, moving to serve digital- and single-first artists. “Soundrop was first about connecting listeners to music on the most popular streaming platform,” Domer explains, “and now it's connecting artists to listeners directly."

“These are folks who release on YouTube first,” notes Domer. “They have a strong supporter base on Patreon. They come from EDM or game music scenes. This is the place for them.” Many of these artists once flocked to Loudr, which is merging with the new platform to better grow and serve its robust catalog. 

With Soundrop’s recent pivot, artists have a new way to release a single a day, if they want to. “Creators on platforms like YouTube are used to a fast, furious, responsive pace in serving their audience. Soundrop will be the perfect partner in this enterprise,” concludes Domer.

About Soundrop

Soundrop is a new distribution platform geared towards YouTube creators and artists creating serial content. Offering quick and affordable distribution to top digital outlets and integrated cover song licensing, Soundrop caters to artists employing a track-by-track release approach to their careers.

Announcement
02/06/2017