After raising $7 million in a seed funding round in July, startup Duetti is looking to buy catalog rights from independent musicians and monetize them through data and social media marketing.
The plan was revealed by Edge on Friday (December 16), citing internal documents and other sources.
According to the report, Duetti was founded last summer by Lior Tibon, Tidal’s former COO, and Christopher Nolte, who spent two years sourcing content for Apple Music after doing the same at Tidal.
The startup has reportedly started contacting artists in recent weeks, offering to buy the rights to their songs, which are doing well on streaming services.
Duetti plans to monetize these tracks in various ways, such as adding them to playlists and collaborating with influencers. The company will then buy the rights to additional tracks from artists it has already collaborated with.
“Our goal is to financially enable all artists to continue to pursue their professional or personal aspirations,” Duetti said in internal documents cited by Edge.
The company describes itself as a fintech startup “aimed at providing independent artists with new and empowering financial solutions,” newswire reports.
Duetti is “democratizing access to catalog monetization opportunities” and “building a world-class team that will create new ways to sourcing, pricing, sourcing, aggregating and monetizing music,” the documents read.
The company reportedly uses a business model that offers either the direct acquisition of rights to certain works or payment for a percentage of ownership.
To identify high-performing songs, Duetti uses third-party tools. Looking ahead, the company may undertake this kind of data collection internally, as Nolte said on his LinkedIn page three months ago that he was looking for scientists, data engineers and web developers for his music fintech company.
“We’re an investment fintech in the music space with a whole new model for artist monetization, and our data team is at the heart of everything we do, so this is definitely an exciting role and opportunity. Currently, we are only (or already) a team of 5 people,” said Nolte at the time.
Edge also discovered a job offer that had not been widely publicized, which indicated that Duetti was looking for an optimization manager to work on “executing new state-of-the-art strategies to improve the performance of Duetti’s song catalog on music streaming platforms, along with other revenue opportunities “.
One of the artists approached by Duetti told the news site that the startup had expressed interest in purchasing one particular song from their back catalog that was doing well on streaming services. A Duetti representative suggested that the song alone could be worth “a five-figure amount” (somewhere between $10,000 and $99,000).
The artist was also told that Duetti might be interested in acquiring the rights to more songs.
To monetize these tracks, the startup plans to leverage “organic and paid media campaigns, playlists and other placements, influencer marketing and other social media opportunities,” says Duetti in a job listing for an optimization leader cited by Edge.
Duetti’s plans to invest in existing catalogs come as catalog music grows in popularity.
A study conducted by US market monitor Luminate (formerly MRC Data/Nielsen Music) earlier this year showed that consumption of “Current” recorded music in the first half of 2022 fell by 1.4% year-on-year in the US alone.
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