Some Start-Ups Want to Share Music, Some Want to Lock It Away

“TuneSat LLC, an audio fingerprinting technology company that enables music rights holders to track the usage of their music on TV and the Internet, announced today that it has raised over $6 million in a funding round led by General Electric Pension Trust, advised by GE Asset Management… ‘TuneSat is revolutionizing the music industry by giving content owners the tools and business intelligence to take total control of where and when their music is performed,’ said Scott Schreer, CEO, TuneSat.”

“TuneSat provides rights holders with near-real time visibility into when and where their music is being performed on TV and the Internet. TuneSat utilizes a proprietary audio fingerprint technology and monitors hundreds of broadcasters and millions of websites across the globe.  An intuitive web interface gives its subscribers unprecedented knowledge about their audio performances, even in the noisiest of broadcast environments. Using TuneSat data, content owners can ensure that they are properly paid for licensed music while protecting themselves against its unauthorized use.”

Technology like this surely prevents some artists from having their music stolen and used by others for profit. But I can’t help but feel that this is innovating in the wrong direction. Music production and distribution has gotten so cheap that there is now such an abundance of music that much of it can be considered a commodity. Therefore it seems like the best way for musicians to support themselves today is by using the internet to build a loyal following of superfans who will go their shows and buy all their t-shirts, rather than trying to get paid every time a track is played. Start-ups like Hype Machine, ExFM, GrooveShark and FanBridge seem to understand this, but TuneSAT (based in New York) and efforts like it strike me as pandering to corporate interests in the music industry. Some Start-Ups Want to Share Music, Some Want to Lock It Away