Utopia Music has billed its technology as a game-changer for music.
The Swiss fintech firm has spoken to Music Week about its ambitions to effectively power the back-end of the music industry with innovative data solutions.
For anyone wondering where that talk might lead, there are now some concrete answers. Utopia has signed a deal with Red Bee Media, a leading global media services provider, on accessing a vast amount of music-based data from international broadcasters. The aim is to bring transparency and greater efficiencies to royalty allocation for the use of music on TV and radio.
Of course, collection societies already do that job in individual territories on behalf of their members (and with an awful lot of number crunching).
But Utopia believes it has the technology and solution to track and process that information globally - and with accuracy - in order to help close the music industry data gap (and, of course, earn incremental revenue).
If their plan works, then - in collaboration with collections societies such as PRS For Music/ICE and PPL - it could start to transform the global music industry’s data problem and boost royalties for artists and songwriters.
Red Bee Media will provide Utopia Music with 24/7 audio feeds of over 9,000 TV and radio channels across EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia) so they can be analysed to ensure rights-holders are accurately and fairly paid for the use of their music.
The service also offers to help TV programme makers and broadcasters track and publish their use of music faster, with less costs, and fewer errors.
Utopia is on a mission to level up the entire music industry
The tracking and reporting of music usage can be time and resource intensive for broadcasters and content producers. The administrative process, including cue sheets for hundreds of rights-holders, can take months to complete, which in turn leads to delays in the royalties distributed to artists and songwriters.
Red Bee Media’s Connect service, which delivers thousands of channels for broadcasters, content owners and distributors globally, will be employed so that TV and radio channel feeds can be downlinked and processed in Utopia’s data platform, which currently holds 213 billion historic music consumption data points from over 194 countries. Through the partnership, Utopia will be able to track the real use of music, including unlicensed uses.
“Utopia is on a mission to level up the entire music industry by providing access to clear, transparent, and reliable data-based solutions,” said Markku Mäkeläinen, CEO, Utopia Music (pictured). “Currently in TV, the obligation primarily lies with the programme producer to declare what music is being used and when, which is time and resource heavy. What we are doing by partnering with Red Bee Media is making this process simpler, faster, and more transparent for everyone, so that we can deliver Fair Pay for Every Play.”
Steve Nylund, CEO, Red Bee Media, added: “It is hugely exciting to see Utopia’s truly unique adoption of our Connect service, making music rights payments simpler and more accurate for everyone. Utopia is using this service to meet a significant challenge in a unique and innovative way. We are delighted to work with them to make it easier for all content owners and distributors to meet regulatory requirements and ensure payments are going to the right places to support the entire music industry.”