Will.i.am's 'Amuse' Rethinks How Record Labels Find Artists

May 23, 2018

By Michael Teich

With the ability to find an audience through data-inspired playlists from music streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music, musicians may not need the marketing muscle of record labels anymore, said Diego Farias, the CEO of Amuse, a digital music company.

Farias hopes the company he co-founded can be the next generation record label, providing artists with a free way to get their music into the streaming services' algorithms.

Amuse serves as the "back-bone" for artists' music career by engaging in a relationship that is "more of a partnership and less of a dominating role that traditional record labels have had in the past," Farias said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar.

The company supports un-signed musicians by arranging marketing, financing, promotion, and pitching their music to be included in playlists on established streaming services for free. When an artist is eventually signed to a traditional record deal, Amuse gets half the profits.

Music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music are leading a resurgence in the music business. And this week, another big player entered the fray when Google started rolling out its new YouTube Music service.

The global recorded music industry logged its third consecutive year of revenue growth in 2018 after 15 years of decline, according to a report by IFPI. Streaming accounted for more than 38 percent of total recorded music revenue, and Amuse is working to get up-and-coming artists a slice of the pie.

The Swedish company announced Tuesday it raised $15.5 million in Series A funding, led by Lakestar and Raine Ventures, which is also an investor in Cheddar. Farias said the money will go toward expanding the company's business in the United States, home to almost 70 percent of Amuse's users.

For the full interview, click here.