Shortly after the company officially went public, Spotify has acquired a music-focused start-up that may help the firm alleviate one of its biggest headaches: licensing.
Spotify has faced criticism over its licensing and royalty payments, as well as copyright infringement lawsuits. To mend this, the Swedish streaming giant has acquired San Francisco-based start-up Loudr.
Loudr allows people and companies to “easily obtain mechanical licenses to distribute recordings as digital downloads, ringtones, CDs or vinyl records,” according to the company’s website. It creates various products that help everyone from video makers to digital music services identify who must be paid when music is used. They also help track of the streams of songs and pay the proper royalties to the right people.
Tracking down the right publishers connected to songs and ensuring the correct amount of money finds its way to those companies or individuals is a very daunting task. Even a company as huge as Spotify has failed at it before in a big way—millions of dollars have been lost, misplaced, or withheld because of a lack of incorrect data. Identifying rights holders is one of the most difficult parts of running a streaming platform, and even the biggest players in the space need help.
“What Loudr has built is more than just a smart and easy way for artists to obtain mechanical licenses. It’s true music industry innovation,” said Adam Parness, Spotify’s global head of publishing, in an official announcement about the acquisition. “The Loudr team perfectly complements Spotify’s music publishing operation and, together, we believe we can continue to foster a more open, streamlined, and modern music publishing landscape.”