Home » Technology » Stem raises $8M to get music artists paid more seamlessly


While music streaming has become more and more commoditized, artists still have a wide array of places to distribute their songs like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music — but getting paid properly can start to complicate things.

That problem gets even more difficult when there are multiple people collaborating on the same song and it’s not clear who is getting how much of a cut from the revenue share from those services. That, on top of that the general unpredictability of an artist’s revenue, has left a hole that Stem co-founder Milana Rabkin thinks her and her co-founders startup Stem can fill. To do that, the company has raised $8 million in financing led by Evolution Media and Aspect Ventures, along with several other strategic investors and continuing participation from Upfront Ventures.

Stem works to collect the revenue from those tracks in disparate platforms and sources it into a sort of escrow. It then pays out the artists based on a previously-agreed level of involvement and revenue share. Rabkin said that each artist and collaborator has to sign off on the share. When a track is uploaded, the artist defines those share percentages, and then the revenue is distributed out more quickly than traditionally if it went through the typical channels. Rabkin said users should start getting data within the first 30 to 60 days of publishing.

“A lot of the new tools that have been created in the fintech space have really been focused on the services that have enabled independent small businesses to grow on their own,” Rabkin said. “Artists and creators are no different, the problem is no one’s created tools that cater to them. If you look at Intuit you have Mint, but for an artist with unpredictable income and difficult to track revenue streams [it’s different]. You can plug in your bank account, but Intuit and mint doesn’t plug into iTunes or YouTube or Spotify.”

Another problem Stem is trying to tackle is ensuring that collaborators that…

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