Apple is investing millions of dollars in UnitedMasters, a music distribution platform for independent artists. The company makes an app that’s designed to help indie musicians release music to streaming platforms.
UnitedMasters lets users upload their music to platforms like Apple Music within seconds. They can then get paid royalties through PayPal.
As it notes on its website:
“As the #1 distribution app, UnitedMasters lets you easily release music – straight from iMessage to all major streaming platforms. Get paid monthly through PayPal. No hidden fees, and you keep 100% ownership of your music.”
The Apple-led investment is a $50 million Series B round. Follow-on investments came from Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz.
“[CEO] Steve Stoute and UnitedMasters provide creators with more opportunities to advance their careers and bring their music to the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The contributions of independent artists play a significant role in driving the continued growth and success of the music industry, and UnitedMasters, like Apple, is committed to empowering creators.”
UnitedMasters launched in 2017. Founder Stoute is a music industry veteran. He previously worked at Sony Music and Interscope Records, the latter of which was co-founded by Jimmy Iovine, who previously headed up Apple Music.
Apple has often used its Music platform to promote independent artists. It’s not yet clear what this latest strategic partnership involving Apple is likely to mean. However, it’s possible that it leads to some deeper Apple Music integration down the line.
Have you used UnitedMasters before? What did you make of it, and how would you like to see it integrated into Apple Music? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.