Content creators — from podcast hosts to indie filmmakers and YouTube influencers — often encounter roadblocks when dealing with the complexities of music licensing. They want to add music to their final product, but the pricing tiers and fine print can quickly get confusing and cost valuable time.
Sometimes, one track can cost thousands of dollars, and often comes with complicated licensing restrictions.
In the same vein as stock photography websites, royalty-free music platform Soundstripe offers respite from those intimidating licensing and publishing agreements by providing unlimited access to high quality royalty-free songs for a monthly fee.
“The problem is almost impossible for musicians to make a consistent living from their music. You’re either in the top one percent or you’re eating ramen,” Soundstripe CEO Travis Terrell tells Hypepotamus. “We were interested in building a new kind of music business that thinks differently and innovates with technology in an industry that hasn’t in so many years.”
On Soundstripe’s library, users also can see curated playlists and filter by mood, project or occasion — like for a wedding video. New song releases come out weekly on Fridays, creating a turnkey “Netflix-style subscription service,” as Terrell calls it. Their customers range from freelance videographers to non-profits, marketing agencies and Fortune 500 companies, to those aforementioned YouTube filmmakers and influencers.
Terrell, along with co-founders Micah Sannan and Trevor Hinesley, founded the Nashville-based startup in 2016 to put their joint experience as seasoned musicians and producers to work on building a sustainable solution for creators and musicians. They’ve curated the library with music from 60+ composers and artists from all over the world, some as employees and others as contractors.
This past February, they team also launched their own label division, Soundstripe Productions, to expand the library further.
“The production label was born out of necessity. We wanted to create a label that was fair to artists because we’re artists ourselves,” says Terrell. “We’re creating music for Soundstripe, but also now distributing it to streaming services like Spotify. We wanted to help artists create better music and pay them more for doing it.”
The team released their new product, Soundstripe Premium, this past September. This new pricing tier includes the standard library plus more than 10,000 sound effects, a growing library of stems (editable music files), pre-release access to new songs and more.
Their blog is another component of their commitment to user experience. Concocted by VP of Marketing, Chris Small, the blog’s robust educational content helps any filmmaker or audio host navigate the confusing world of music licensing, editing and trends within the industry.
“It’s been our mission from the beginning,” says Terrell on customer experience. “We are really passionate about creating useful tools, whether it be music or sound effects or a blog for educational purposes. Our team has done an excellent job in creating useful content that adds value to the customer experience overall.”
The team raised a $500,000 seed round this past February from strategic investors in the music industry.
“What we’ve been able to do with licensing and disrupting in that model, we want to do to other facets of the music industry,” says Terrell.