Apple is backing the independent music industry’s ecosystem through a massive investment in UnitedMasters.
The company, which was founded by legendary mogul Steve Stoute, recently announced they had raised $50 million and funding, led by Apple.
UnitedMasters, which provides artists with independent distribution, as well as access to their valuable data they normally cannot receive from the majors, has attracted over 1 million acts since its inception in 2017.
According to Stoute, he hopes the deal will further his mission of democratizing the music business and putting the power back into the hands of creators around the world.
“We want all artists to have the same opportunity,” Steve Stoute told TechCrunch. “Currently, independent artists have less opportunity for success and we’re trying to remove that stigma.”
In addition to Apple, Ben Horowitz’s Andreessen Horowitz and Google’s parent company Alphabet invested heavily into UnitedMasters.
In addition to raising the $50 million, UnitedMasters is now in a strategic partnership with Apple. The tech behemoth will help shine a light on the artists using the UnitedMasters platform.
“Steve Stoute and UnitedMasters provide creators with more opportunities to advance their careers and bring their music to the world,” Apple exec Eddy Cue said in a statement. “The contributions of independent artists play a significant role in driving the continued growth and success of the music industry, and UnitedMasters, like Apple, is committed to empowering creators.”
In addition to Apple, UnitedMasters now has partnerships with huge brands like the NBA, ESPN, TikTok, and Twitch, giving artists to use the service an edge and a faster path to being discovered by potential fans.