In our new Royalty Tech Spotlight series we’ll be speaking to the minds behind some of the latest innovations in music royalties and rights related technology.
UK-based platform Blokur is on a mission to “fulfil the potential of the Internet for the creator.” Its technology connects the dots between rights holders, creators and music users, making it simple to add music to digital products and services and ensuring that rights holders are accurately paid in the process.
We recently caught up with Blokur Founder and CEO Phil Barry to discuss the evolution of the platform and the importance of improving rights infrastructures to capitalise on an “era of golden opportunity” for music.
Where did the idea for Blokur come from?
I grew up dreaming of being a rock star and spent many years of my life writing songs every day. I was lucky enough to spend the first 8 years of my career as a professional recording artist but what I didn’t realise was that it would take me two years to get paid. We’ve created all these brilliant ways of distributing content around the world, but what we haven’t achieved is a similar revolution in the way value flows back to the creator. Blokur exists to close the loop.
Who is it for?
At Blokur we’re building a bridge between rights owners and music users to take the pain out of paying and getting paid for music use.
We are entering an era of golden opportunity for music, whether it’s the new wave of connected devices like fitness bikes and smart speakers, rapid economic growth in emerging markets, or the massive investment in web3 and the metaverse – all of these things point to more experiences that need a musical soundtrack.
But billions of dollars are being left on the table because it is difficult for startup apps to navigate music licensing, and once licences are in place a huge chunk of royalties are not properly matched to the rights owners.
So if we don’t upgrade the rights and royalties infrastructure behind digital music, we are not going to be able to capture the full potential of this opportunity for either creators or consumers.
Simply put, Blokur makes it easier for new digital music users to get started and does a better job at getting rights holders paid.
“If we don’t upgrade the rights and royalties infrastructure behind digital music, we are not going to be able to capture the full potential of this opportunity for either creators or consumers.”
What does it do / how does it work?
If you have an app or digital experience that needs music, you can come to Blokur to get access to relevant music for your product. Then once up and running we will handle all the royalty reporting on your behalf so that you can concentrate on making the best experience for your customers.
If you are a rights owner, we provide a scalable framework for vetting and licensing new digital music users that gets you plugged into new income sources. And we also match unmatched royalties from any income source you may already be working with.
Under the hood there are three key parts that enable us to excel:
- Our unique sub-graph matching technology that on average does a 6X better job at identifying the publishing rights for a given recording than other solutions;
- Our database of 200m+ recordings and 30m+ works; and
- Our relationships with rights holders which enable us to get music users to market quickly by offering them a pre-packaged set of repertoire that’s suitable to their needs.
How does Blokur contribute to the wider industry ecosystem?
Online experiences are richer and more engaging with a musical soundtrack. So everybody loses when it’s hard to identify what licenses are needed or who to pay. Blokur makes it simple to add music to digital products and services by connecting the dots between rights holders, creators and music users, enabling better consumer experiences and increasing royalties for rights owners.
“Blokur makes it simple to add music to digital products and services by connecting the dots between rights holders, creators and music users, enabling better consumer experiences and increasing royalties for rights owners.”
What was your 2021 highlight?
One of the biggest highlights of 2021 was a doubling in the size of our team, which is testament to how much we’ve been delivering for clients and the growth Blokur has gone through. With the range of perspectives and expertise we have in our team at Blokur, I really think we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.
What’s next for Blokur?
We’re looking forward to announcing some big new partnerships with publishers and record labels which will lead to more repertoire being made available to music users. Also, following the success of our 2020 Songwriters Review we are pleased to announce that preparation is underway for the launch of our report for 2021 which will shine a light on the songwriters behind the biggest songs of the year.
Enjoyed this piece? Why not check out:
- Royalty Tech Spotlight: Audoo’s Alex Futcher Talks Revolutionizing Public Performance Royalties
- Profiling Music Publishing’s Pandemic Performance
- The Big Clean Up: How Do We Improve Music Rights Data?