Un:hurd founder and CEO Alex Brees on how the start-up is powering artist campaigns

Un:hurd founder and CEO Alex Brees on how the start-up is powering artist campaigns

Un:hurd is a start-up that uses proprietary technology and AI to draw upon music and social data to create promotional campaigns.

The artist marketing platform frees up artists and better promotes their work online by, for instance, automating social media advertising on TikTok and Meta. It’s become an increasingly important tool for some artists and labels to expand reach and engagement.

Un:hurd has recently secured investment from Kobalt founder and chairman Willard Ahdritz, Musiio co-founder Hazel Savage, Nigerian star Mr Eazi and Dutch DJ and record producer Sam Feldt.

Here, founder and CEO Alex Brees opens up about his plans for the platform…

What is the vision for Un:hurd and what progress have you made to date? 

“The vision for Un:hurd has always been to democratise access to robust, data-led music promotion. We want to empower artists and are creating a platform which makes effective marketing accessible. To date, we've been focusing on building a plethora of tools for artists which focus on the most relevant marketing activities, such as automated social media advertising on TikTok and Meta, automated housekeeping tasks to ensure artists have their house in order before they start promoting their music, pitching to third party Spotify playlists and so on. These tools have contributed to over 56,000 songs landing on Spotify playlists, 81 million Spotify streams, and 380,000 new Instagram followers all throughout 2023. We've now worked with over 75,000 artists from 129 countries.”

How will the recent funding round help you develop services for artists and expand the company’s reach?

“Our core focus remains on creating tools that empower artists to give back time to them to focus on what they're great at – creating music! We've been developing tools which will help artists invest their marketing budgets more effectively, build 'owned' data sets and see a clear return on investment. We have a very clear marketing plan this year and have some exciting partnerships and activations which will help us double down on the growth in some of the key music markets globally.”

Can you talk about new plans including the fan hub and the web platform, why is this important alongside the app?

“When we launched Un:hurd, I wanted to create a tool which was accessible to artists. Artists were on TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram on their phones, so we wanted to launch on mobile first, which worked well for us. However, we had hundreds of requests for a web platform, and as adoption in certain markets started to grow, we realised we were missing out on a healthy proportion of the market by not having the platform available on desktop. It's been really fun building the web platform with the team, there's more screen real estate to play with and we can be more intricate with the insights we provide. 

“The fan hub is another feature which is very aligned to our mission to empower artists. Once an artist has started to build some momentum and is creating an audience, it's a logical next step to want to then capture your core audience and bring them into your owned community – whether that's on WhatsApp, Discord or an email database, we now facilitate that data collection piece.”

How can AI, in particular, help artists in the years ahead? 

“For me, AI is all about efficiency and time. AI can be used as a launchpad to create the first iterations of a marketing plan, content ideas for your TikTok strategy, a press release, Spotify For Artists pitch and so on. AI can also be used to enhance your content and music in a way which is accessible, affordable and powerful. We have a secret AI tool live at the moment which is being beta tested – if people are interested in using this, please get in touch!”

And how does data give power to artists - will more data from wider sources enable you to expand and refine the platform?

“All data does is reduce uncertainty. For artists, that means refining your strategy to be focusing on the right platforms, creating the right content and finding the most valuable audiences. The challenge has always been making sense of your data and then using it to create actionable insight and we continue to focus on these key areas at Un:hurd. The more data we can gather for artists, the more we can reduce the uncertainty for artists' marketing.”

What does the calibre of investors bring to Un:hurd in terms of support and expertise?

“Without a doubt, we have some of the best investors, partners and advisors in the world. The support and connections they provide are unrivalled and I listen, learn and work as hard as I can to repay their trust in me. It's together that we will achieve what we've set out to achieve.”

Are there any other plans or new areas for the company you can share?

"What I can say is, with the launch of our beta AI tool, our web app and our fan hub, you're starting to see v1 of a nucleus from which an artist can work to build, capture and monetise an audience in the modern music industry.”


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