Soundrop, a Downtown Music Holdings company, is the song distribution and monetization service built expressly for creators. For a one-time fee—only 99¢ per track—Soundrop gets songs to the world’s top streaming music platforms, provides free cover-song licensing, and automatically splits royalty payments between collaborators. Creators from across YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, ...
Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown), the world’s leading music services provider, announced today the appointment of Scott Williams to the position of President of CD Baby and Soundrop. Mr. Williams previously served as Chief Technology Officer of CD Baby.
“During his tenure at CD Baby, Scott has spearheaded the ongoing evolution of the company’s technology platform that has made it a favorite of independent artists all over the world,” said Andrew Bergman, CEO of...
Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown℠), the world’s leading music services provider, announced today the appointment of Scott Williams to the position of President of CD Baby and Soundrop. Mr. Williams previously served as Chief Technology Officer of CD Baby.
“During his tenure at CD Baby, Scott has spearheaded the ongoing evolution of the company’s technology platform that has made it a favorite of independent artists all over the world,” said Andrew Bergman, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings. “As President of CD Baby and Soundrop, Scott will bring the same passion for innovation he’s brought to tech to the company’s overall operations as we continue to expand our offerings to artists.”
Mr. Williams joined CD Baby in 2013 as Vice President of Technology and was promoted to CTO in 2019. He was central to the launch of Soundrop, a low-cost music distribution service with transparent pricing, collaborator splits and no annual fees. He leads the team behind CD Baby’s best in class reporting to its artist clients, who have received consistent payments every week for more than two decades. Prior to his role at CD Baby, Williams led technology at EdTech companies Avant Assessment and Learning.com. Williams started his career as a Nintendo Game Counselor, a professional video game player tasked with providing advice on the game tip hotline.
“Leading the skilled and dedicated technology teams at CD Baby and Soundrop for the last decade has been a great honor. We’ve been laser focused on serving the more than 1 million artists that rely on us to get their music out into the universe to be discovered and to generate income,” said Mr. Williams. “I am so fortunate to be able to grow at the company I love so much to continue my mission of helping the independent artist community.”
Williams holds a BA in Economics from the University of Washington. He is a recipient of the 2019 Rapid Growth Award from 7CTOs, an organization devoted to the growth of tech leaders, and is a member of the DDEX Board of Directors since 2020, representing Downtown Music Holdings.
Artist services providers CD Baby® and Soundrop®, both owned by Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown), have teamed up with UK-based Rotor Video to offer artists a better, easier, and cooler tool to make Spotify’s Canvas videos, the engagement-boosting 8-second loops that artists can add to their tracks. Based on Rotor’s popular products, the enhanced, sleeker tool (available November 9, 2021) will let CD Baby and Soundrop artists quickly and inexpensively make these videos, turning them into truly eye-catching visual companions to their music.
Artists can upload their own video or choose from a million clips, then add visual filters, effects, and looping styles. This specialized video creator will let artists preview their creation exactly as it will appear on Spotify, even how it will look on different devices and smartphones. Rotor plans to expand to other short video formats soon, as more and more streaming services offer video with tracks. CD Baby and Soundrop artists are the first to gain access to this tool.
“Our artists put their hearts and souls into their art, and we want to build partnerships with innovators who care about quality, who understand that even a seconds-long video matters when it comes to expressing an artist’s vision,” notes Joel Andrew, CD Baby and Soundrop President and lifelong musician. “This partnership with Rotor will help us help musicians do more of what they love.”
“Our companies share similar roots and we really admire CD Baby and Soundrop’s artist community. They are completely dedicated to their art,” says Diarmuid Moloney, CEO of Rotor. “Musicians have faced mounting pressure to create more and more vid content, but the majority of musicians and even major labels don't have the tools or the means to keep up. The old method is too expensive, costing hundreds of dollars for a Canvas video on average. These new tools are matched to the pace and quality fans expect. They give time back to musicians to let them make more music.”
For $9 or less, artists can transform their tracks into impressive videos ready for upload to Spotify in a matter of minutes. This new tool is the latest to join CD Baby and Soundrop’s artist-driven solutions for simplifying marketing and promotion, tailored for independent music makers at all career phases.
“When artists get in touch with us looking for help or advice, marketing and promotional support is often what they’re looking for,” explains Alex Trevino, Strategic & Partner Manager at CD Baby. “We always let artists’ needs and requests guide what tech and tools we develop and offer, and that’s what led us to this new enhanced tool from Rotor.”
Soundrop makes music distribution even easier for next-gen creators with new pricing
Soundrop, the Downtown Music Holdings-owned music distribution service made for social video creators, is making it even simpler to distribute, promote, and monetize covers and song collabs. Now, for less than a dollar per track, creators who rely on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch can release fully licensed covers on major music services around the world. They can also set up unlimited numbers of royalty splits for their collaborators, at no extra cost.
“The indie music market is in that second or third wave of independent distribution where the markets are more established — and there are many different types of creators,” said Joel Andrew, President of Soundrop. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all market now. There are all these subsets of markets and different types of creatives out there — and their needs are changing constantly. We’re changing with them.”
Cover songs are an essential part of many creators’ strategies. Some of the most successful channels on YouTube, with tens of millions of subscribers each, were built around innovative covers, be they a cappella arrangements or quirky style swaps. These are the YouTubers who turn that top-40 pop single into a reggae/grunge rock fusion track or the TikTok creator who transforms show tune choruses into epic rap battle videos.
For these platform-first creators, formal music distribution may be a second step and has traditionally been rife with problems, from copyright snags to high costs once the final distribution fees get tallied. It can make the whole process not worth it, for those who find their audience on platforms and apps, not streaming music services.
With their artist-friendly fee structure, licensing and backend help, and customer service, Soundrop has changed this. Even before the new pricing, they were the go-to service for cover song artists. “Soundrop has made it super easy to license cover songs,” said YouTuber and cosplay cover artist Ginny Di. “No matter how obscure, no matter the genre, I've been able to monetize all kinds of covers with confidence.”
“Thanks to Soundrop I am able to release my covers on various streaming sites where I wasn't able to before. Thanks to this huge help, I can reach more fans and ensure a constant revenue source so I can keep releasing content and working towards my dreams,” said anime cover artist ShiroNeko.
For years, independent artists have been seen as one big group with similar needs. The needs and career paths of artists and creators, however, are now so different that nuance and specialization are required. “Creators who make music as part of their work want and need different things than a musician who’s recording albums and booking tours,” Andrew noted. “They are highly collaborative, so they need splits without extra fees, and they love to experiment and play around with popular tracks, so they need cover licenses that don’t break the bank. The new music economy will be built and maintained by services that recognize that creators and independent artists have career paths and fan platforms that are as diverse as the music they create.”
Owned by Downtown Music Holdings, Soundrop makes it easy for cover artists, collaborators, and creators distribute, promote, and monetize their music. By developing and acquiring the best technologies for distributing and monetizing copyrighted media, Soundrop provides indie artists with the best, easiest-to-use tools for promotion. Soundrop puts the clients' interest first in a mission to level the playing field, and they are the go-to tool for YouTube creators.
On April 6, Soundrop will start distributing all of its artists’ active catalog to several major music services in key new markets, expanding their potential audience by more than a billion listeners.
Soundrop’s new distribution partners include NetEase, TenCent’s music platforms (QQ Music, Kuguo, and Kuwo), Xiami, Yandex, and UMA (including mail.ru’s mobile music app). Many of these services are the market leaders in their countries and in the case of Xiami, regularly reach more users than the total population of the US.
“With the addition of top music platforms in China and Russia, we continue to add value for our artists as fast as we can. With touring and many ‘day jobs’ paused indefinitely, independent musicians need to find every possible revenue stream, so the Soundrop community is super stoked to be accessing something like a billion new listeners in these territories,” explains Zach “Pony” Domer, Soundrop’s brand manager. “I think that the type of content we distribute, which includes lots of great cover songs of music from anime, video games, movies and other pop culture sources, is going resonate strongly and generate new fan communities in those countries.”
To reach these new potential fans, Soundrop users simply need to enable Auto Distro to ensure distribution. For more information about Soundrop’s risk-free distribution approach and artist-friendly features (including integrated cover song licensing), see soundrop.com