Backed by over $200 million in VC funding, Kobalt is altering the way in which the music business does enterprise and placing more cash into musicians’ pockets within the course of.
In Half I of this sequence, I walked by way of the corporate’s founding story and its total construction. There are two core theses that Kobalt guess on: 1) that the shift to digital music might remodel the way in which royalties are tracked and paid, and a pair of) that music streaming will empower a rising center class of DIY musicians who discover success throughout numerous niches.
This text focuses on the complicated method royalties movement by way of the business and the way Kobalt is restructuring that course of (whereas Half III will concentrate on music’s center class). The music business runs on copyright administration and royalty collections. If the system breaks — if folks lose observe of the place songs are being performed and who’s owed how a lot in royalties — all the things halts.
Kobalt is as a lot a compliance tech firm as it’s a music firm: it has constructed a quasi “working system” to extra precisely and shortly deal with this utilizing software program and a centralized method to collections, upending a damaged, inefficient system so all the things can run extra easily and predictably on high of it. The large query is whether or not it may well preserve its preliminary lead in doing this, nevertheless.