Spotify Announces Acquisition of SoundBetter

By Ankit Chugh
September 14, 2019
Spotify Announces Acquisition of SoundBetter
Spotify, the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service, today announced that it has acquired SoundBetter, a leading global audio production and collaboration marketplace helping creators worldwide connect and hire top audio professionals. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “As we build out our tools for creators, we want to give them the resources they need to thrive. SoundBetter has the same vision,” said Beckwith Kloss, VP Product, Creator at Spotify.  “We're excited that creators can generate income through SoundBetter, as well as benefit from its network of top professionals - from instrumentalists to songwriters to producers - as they perfect their tracks.” SoundBetter taps into the growing market of audio professionals looking to create better-sounding content and searching for partners to advance their work. Since its founding in 2012, SoundBetter has helped tens of thousands of music professionals buy and offer services across the globe. It has a community of more than 180,000 artists registered on its network. “SoundBetter offers the most comprehensive global marketplace for music and audio production professionals for hire in the world along with a member community spanning 176 countries and 14,000 cities worldwide,” said SoundBetter Co-Founder and CEO Shachar Gilad. “We are excited to benefit from Spotify’s global scale, resources, and vision to expand our network and drive more economic opportunities for artists of all levels.” Spotify continues to invest in developing new tools to help creators create, connect, grow their audience and have an opportunity to live off their work. With SoundBetter, Spotify will now start enriching Spotify for Artists with additional 3rd party services provided by the network of professionals on SoundBetter. Spotify for Artists provides valuable services for artists and labels like insights, profile management, promotion tools. This acquisition will give Spotify for Artists users the chance to both offer their services to generate income, as well as tap into services from other users to help them in their creative process. Spotify sat down with the founders, CEO Shachar Gilad and CTO Itamar Yunger, to learn more about the company.
What are some of the benefits for artists who use SoundBetter?
Shachar: Imagine being in Japan and being able to hire a songwriter from LA who worked on your favourite song, or being in Germany and getting your track mixed by a Grammy Award winner from New York, or being in LA and having a string quartet from Hungary record tracks on your record. SoundBetter helps fill the gap between recording and distribution. It’s relatively easy to record music, but difficult to get your music to sound good enough for distribution. We connect artists with the top music pros who can help them sound the best that they can, so they can focus on whatever they do best, whether that’s songwriting, singing, or producing. At the same time we help music pros connect with clients from across the country and across the world they would never have met otherwise and earned a living.
How did you discover there was a need for something like SoundBetter?
Shachar: I had many friends who are engineers and producers who were interested in marketing to artists outside of their local or existing client base. They knew they had something to offer artists everywhere, but didn’t know how to reach them. At the same time, the number of artists self-producing has grown dramatically. I realized both sides were looking for each other. Online marketplaces were increasingly addressing this type of fragmentation in other industries, and I decided to tackle this one because it was close to my heart.
What were the early days of SoundBetter like?
Itamar: We started with mixing and mastering engineers and expanded from there. We worked in true lean-startup fashion 15 hours a day to build the marketplace you’re familiar with today, including the talent discovery, payment system, file transfer, workroom and project management tools. The work paid off. We were fortunate that we focused on some of the right things. We earned trust and the marketplace grew. As time went by we realized more and more that musicians around the world were really looking for this kind of platform, and that what we built was solving a problem.
How has Spotify changed the audio industry, from your perspective? How does SoundBetter fit into that growth?
Itamar: The way Spotify made music accessible to billions of fans, allowing them to enjoy and be inspired by music, is fantastic. SoundBetter’s mission aligns perfectly with Spotify’s mission of helping creators live off their art. That has been our mission for years. Shachar: Twenty years ago, only a handful of artists ever got to record any of their music. Now millions of artists are recording their music on digital audio workstations, and have the platform to make that music available to the whole world with Spotify. That is a tectonic shift. We’ve seen many songs produced with SoundBetter pros that each now have tens of millions of streams on Spotify. This collaboration will help drive more quality content to Spotify’s hundreds of millions of listeners while helping artists earn a living.
What are your goals and expectations for this new chapter with Spotify?
Shachar: We’re really thrilled at the opportunity to take SoundBetter to the next level with Spotify. One of the things that kept us going through this startup rollercoaster over the past few years is hearing stories from artists who tell us we’ve changed their lives. Talented folks who, thanks to SoundBetter, quit their day jobs and are doing music full time and earning a respectable living. We’ve heard endless personal stories like that, and there’s nothing more rewarding. We truly believe that with Spotify, we can make the number of artists who have such stories much, much bigger. Itamar: A significant percentage of marketplace sales on the platform is international. Just think of what we will be able to do in the audio industry as a part of the Spotify brand. We are thrilled with that potential. About SoundBetter SoundBetter is the world’s leading music production marketplace, helping musicians worldwide connect and hire top music pros so they can get to great-sounding release-ready songs. With tens of thousands of top Singers, Producers, and Mixing & Mastering Engineers, including dozens of Grammy Award winners, SoundBetter has the most comprehensive community of vetted music production pros for direct hire in the world, and a member group spanning over 14,000 cities worldwide. With its transparency, verified reviews, trust, top-tier talent and growing customer base, SoundBetter has become the defacto LinkedIn for music professionals.   

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