London-based music tech start-up Audoo has been expanding its reach globally.
The company recently announced a partnership with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC), which will see Audoo’s Audio Meter technology rolled out in multiple bars and clubs in Tokyo this month.
Audoo, which in 2020 raised £5.2 million in a Series A funding round backed by ABBA singer-songwriter Björn Ulvaeus and others, has developed the audio meter to securely monitor the music a venue is playing.
The company has arrived at a time when there’s an increased focus on streaming remuneration and the data gap, which means some artists and songwriters are missing out on royalties. The Ivors Academy found that around £500 million of royalties a year just for songwriters and rights-holders is affected by poor data.
Paul McCartney is another famous backer of the company, which is focused on improving accuracy in public performance royalties. Audoo is working with performing rights organisations around the world to make installation a condition of venues gaining a licence to play music.
Here, Audoo founder and CEO Ryan Edwards - a former artist himself - opens up about his mission to fix the problem...
What was the vision for Audoo in terms of accuracy in remuneration for artists and songwriters? How can it help transform the music industry in the streaming era?
“At Audoo we have developed a physical hardware solution - a patented Audoo Audio Meter - to a real life problem that’s decades old, to help artists and rights holders get paid more accurately. It is a small plug-in device ready to fit into a standard electrical socket, which securely monitors the music that premises (such as a bar, gym or shop) are playing. This means, for the first time, there is a viable and scalable solution to deliver accurate reporting when it comes to real world public performance - a huge step closer to artists and publishers being paid fairly and accurately for the broadcasting of their work.
“Music is identified by Audoo’s proprietary technology, and then matched against a library of over 75 million songs, to report the exact version of the song broadcast. Music captured by Audoo’s Audio Meter is never recorded, stored or transmitted, therefore no personal information is ever captured.”
How will the latest investment help the company's growth?
“We are incredibly proud to have recently announced £7.2 million of new investment, including backing from MPL Ventures [funded by Paul McCartney], taking our total funding to over £14 million in under three years following our £5.2 million Series A round last year which involved ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus.
“We have identified a huge global opportunity, quite simply because we are solving a worldwide issue. This latest round of funding will be used to drive the business’ growth into new markets as we expand across Europe, North America and the APAC regions.”
We are committed to delivering the most accurate data for public performance to PROs and CMOs around the world
How much data processing and computer power is required for Audoo to deliver the information?
“Our Audio Meter requires minimal data processing and computer power. Reporting can be turned around in as little as one hour. However, the majority of our customers will require weekly or monthly reporting.”
You have some big names as backers and advisers - how does that help the company as it spreads the word and builds industry relationships?
“It goes without saying that having major household names and industry legends as key supporters of our technology and vision is a major benefit to our brand and its credibility. It also helps others recognise and understand our value proposition too. We are incredibly proud of the community we have created in just a short space of time, and to have the likes of Björn Ulvaeus, the president of CISAC, and an internationally recognised artist on board as part of our journey is really special. Our mission is everything to us, and to have continued support from our musical heroes goes a long way towards helping us deliver our vision globally.”
What are the plans for the company in 2022?
“Our main focus in 2022 is to supercharge the adoption and roll-out of our technology across Europe, North America and the APAC regions. You can expect to see some major announcements on this front throughout the year. We are committed to delivering the most accurate data for public performance to PROs and CMOs around the world, and 2022 will see us make some significant strides towards this goal.”