UnitedMasters, a music distribution platform for independent artists founded by industry veteran Steve Stoute, announced a $50 million Series B investment led by Apple with follow-on investments from Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz. According to the announcement, the Series B investment “fuels the company’s mission to enable artists to maintain full ownership over their work while expanding their economic opportunity and introducing them to millions of new fans.”
“The power in the music industry has shifted back into the hands of the artist,” said Stoute. “We are taking that power and using it to place the industry’s intellectual property back into the hands of its rightful owners. We built UnitedMasters as a record company in your pocket to remove the barrier entries for any independent artist who wants to create and retain full equity in their work, connect directly with their fans, and earn far more money than the legacy model through new revenue streams such as advertising. Technology, no doubt, has transformed music for consumers. Now it’s time for technology to change the economics for the artists.”
“Steve Stoute and UnitedMasters provide creators with more opportunities to advance their careers and bring their music to the world,” said Apple’s Eddy Cue. “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 was launched in 2017 by Translation founder and music industry veteran Stoute, who had previously held roles at Sony Music and Interscope Records.