Medallion CEO Matt Jones on how the start-up became a key player in the industry rush for superfans

Medallion CEO Matt Jones on how the start-up became a key player in the industry rush for superfans

The superfan has become a priority area of the business for the music industry in 2024.

With music industry leaders and analysts at Goldman Sachs identifying the growth potential of this key audience, it’s a timely moment for start-up Medallion to expand its reach. 

The direct-to-artist fan platform recently closed a $13.7 million funding round with backing from tech investors and the music industry, including BRIT Awards winners Jungle, Tiga, Mt Joy and Guy Lawrence of Disclosure.

Since launching in 2022, Medallion’s tech has enabled artists to create digital environments for their community and target their most ardent fans with exclusive access to drops, merchandise and experiences.

In addition to supporting artist-owned digital fan environments, Medallion helps to deliver early access to music and tickets as well as premium sales opportunities. 

Here, Matt Jones, CEO of Medallion, speaks to Music Week about the plans for the start-up following the funding injection, ambitions for the Digital Deluxe format and their industry connections... 

What’s the vision for Medallion in terms of artist and fan engagement? 

“The top 5-10% of an artist's audience drives the majority of their consumption and sales – yet artists don’t have many ways to directly reach, engage and monetise them. We’re building a technology platform to help artists achieve economic independence by turning their fans into their lifelong supporters. In a nutshell, our technology enables artists to launch digital fan environments that are artist-branded and artist-owned; deliver early access formats for music and tickets to delight fans; and package and sell premium music products natively.

“By using Medallion, artists own their data and don’t have to compete against large platforms’ algorithms just to reach their core audience. By creating more direct pathways to reach their highest-intent customers, we believe artists will have to do less work to drive higher impact.” 

How is it performing compared to other channels utilised by artists to build fan relationships? 

“Medallion-powered communities quickly became artists' fastest-growing community channel, attracting 86% more members than their corresponding Facebook Groups, 161% more than Reddit, and 206% more than Discord.”

How will the funding round enable Medallion to further innovate and expand its reach within the music industry?

“The funding round is meant to accelerate an ambitious technical roadmap which includes supercharging core fan experiences around first access to music and tickets. We’re also doubling down on immersive paid formats like Digital Deluxe, which give artists greater flexibility to tell the story behind their music and fans to further immerse themselves in the content.”

What’s the potential for Digital Deluxe in the UK, are artists embracing the format? Is this an NFT model that can deliver for artists and fans?

“Digital Deluxe is a native paid music format that seamlessly integrates artist-curated audio, video and imagery with their music. We think there is huge potential for UK artists with Digital Deluxe because it’s a format built for the superfan – someone who wants to go deeper into the artist versus get punted to other content by playlists or discovery surfaces. 

“Unlike other blockchain-enabled formats, Digital Deluxe anchors on the emotional attachment a fan gets when they own their favourite artists' music, not on financial speculation or future trading. Our platform leverages blockchain technology in the background to record fan ownership of formats like Digital Deluxe as well as recognise other actions they take around the artist’s content within the Medallion community.”

Our focus on creating great artist-to-fan experiences has piqued the interest of the broader music industry

Matt Jones

Medallion became chart-eligible recently in the UK – how important is that for the community platform in terms of visible results for artists? 

“We know how important chart position is for artists so we’re grateful to have Digital Deluxe sales as part of the UK chart and are working closely with industry bodies to ensure inclusion for other important territories as well.”

What do the experience and industry connections of the principals at Medallion bring to the company? 

“We’re a music technology firm backed by artists and led by seasoned entrepreneurs and operators from leading e-commerce, media and entertainment brands like Songkick, Spotify, Instagram, YouTube, WMG and Live Nation. Our team's track record combined with the high conviction we have to deliver for artists and fans puts us in a great position.” 

Finally, how is your relationship with the music industry developing? What are the plans for 2024?

“Our priority is to create great artist-to-fan experiences. That focus has piqued the interest of the broader music industry and we’re excited to work more deeply together with other industry players as we grow this year.”

PHOTO: Nadav Neuhaus


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