Per Music Business Worldwide:

Seven Startups Spotify Should (Try To) Buy To Better Serve Artists 

“To give its investors cause for optimism, Spotify knows that it needs to expand into new areas. And, to a certain degree, that’s exactly what it’s been doing.

In the last six months of 2018, Spotify began directly licensing artists and enabling independent acts to upload tracks directly to its service.

Moreover, Spotify’s recent acquisitions of mechanical licensing firm Loudr and a minority stake in digital aggregator DistroKid hinted at the firm’s self-confessed objective to create a “two-sided marketplace” – where it can offer independent artists the opportunity to completely build their career on the platform.

Doing that effectively, however, will mean competing with sophisticated label and artist services companies – not least those owned by the major record companies.

To keep pace with these firms, Spotify will have to find a holistic solution to every requirement of a modern independent artist. And right now, it’s lacking in a few areas.

Luckily, Spotify has already shown itself quite happy to spend tens of millions of dollars on acquiring a range of music startups.

That’s why it might want to stick its hand in its pocket, and buy one (or more) of this lot…


Songtradr is a music licensing and distribution platform established by tech entrepreneur Paul Wiltshire in 2014 and officially launched in 2016. The company represents over 250,000 curated artists, songwriters and catalogues 

from over 180 countries and licenses music to advertisers, brands, films, TV and other media.

Music supervisors, filmmakers and other creatives use it to license music from the platform’s vast community of artists, bands, record labels and publishers, while Songtradr counts the likes of Netflix, NBC Universal, Microsoft and Disney amongst its licensees.

Santa Monica-based Songtradr raised $4m in a Series A funding round last year, while in 2017 it inked a deal with in-retail US radio giant Mood Media, which handed Songtradr responsibility for programming music radio across a network of stores. Mood Media’s past clients include McDonald’s, Ikea, Wendy’s, and The Body Shop.

Why would Spotify want to buy it?

Songtradr’s experienced exec management team, combined with the fact that the sync business is growing, means that this would be a great area to invest in.

Sync remains a hugely important income stream (not to mention exposure-giving platform) for emerging artists and, according to the IFPI, the category grew 9.6% globally in 2017 – delivering $333.1m to acts and their record companies in the year.”

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