When we last wrote about Epidemic Sound they were still bubbling up on Stockholm’s startup radar – but only when it came to hype from startuppers. Instead they were spending their time killing it with actual customers; in October of 2013 they were already providing 70-80% of all music used on television in Northern Europe. Today they should be a name everyone knows as far as Stockholm or Nordic startups go, after raising a $5 million (€3.65 million) Series A in a round led by Creandum.
Epidemic Sound runs a stock music site which sounds sort of old-school and unsexy, but they’ve managed to provide value to their customers by innovating in the rights management side of things. Even in recent years, stock music was passed around on hard drives and the rights and value proposition was tricky to manage for both musicians and broadcasters. What Epidemic Sound did instead was to pay musicians up-front for their music, giving them a paycheck (instead of hoping their music got found and used years down the road) and by doing so, was able to streamline the rights process. When you purchase music through Epidemic Sound you’re then given standardized and easy to use terms for the music, which frees up a lot of the hassle for everyone between broadcasters and YouTubers.
A big reason Epidemic Sound has been able to source so much music from musicians is that legendary Swedish producer Peer Åström, the producer noted for having the most ever entries on the U.S. Billboard chart for productions like Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, and all the music behind the FOX show, Glee, is an advisor to the company and provides feedback to musicians submitting their tracks.
According to TechCrunch the company will use a portion of their new funds to source more music for their collection. Today the company has 30,000 tracks in its collection, and musicians are typically paid out a flat €500 per track.
In our past interview with CEO Oscar Höglund you could tell they were on to something, so it will be interesting to see how they expand geographically with broadcasters, and how they’re also able to hit the long-tail of YouTubers, Podcasters, and anyone else that needs music rights.