That Pitch was launched by music producer and accidental music tech entrepreneur Mark Eckert (pictured left) in 2017.
Created to bring more licensing opportunities to independent artists, it enables them to distribute their music to the world’s top music libraries and take home 100% of their earnings.
Here, Eckert takes us through the evolution of the platform and how the technology has scaled to bring more value to artists and music libraries alike.
Where did the idea for That Pitch come from?
As a music producer I was working with independent artists all over the world, and that led to a bunch of music supervisors asking me if I had any music for sync. Word got out and I started getting lots of briefs, so I sent an email out to my mailing list and I got hundreds of submissions in less than 24 hours, and a lot of it was really good.
I thought, this could help a lot of people, how can I keep this going where it pays for itself at least? So I launched a paid email list for $15 a month, the price of a burrito and guac. We landed a bunch of syncs, but I only had so many deals from music supervisors and sync agents, and they take a cut. I wanted to see if there was a way to get everyone paid 100%.
I looked to YouTube and the creator economy where licensing is going and ended up meeting Soundstripe founder Travis Terrell through friends. They were having an issue getting the music they needed cleared and with all the metadata and media assets, so I said, I can do it.
I built out my own system where our members could upload tracks and Soundstripe could pick the music they wanted. We paid out 100% to members and within a year it was hundreds of thousands of dollars. So I started working with more libraries like Feed.fm and tunestock as their exclusive B2B music distributor.
How has the technology evolved and when did you start using Synchtank?
I kept growing the number of systems I had in place, but my tech stack was automations, Zapier, and hope. It could not scale. I started building out a new platform, but the amount of bandwidth I had to put into managing developers was taking away from the business. I realized Synchtank could do all of it and I could get started really quickly, so I made the switch.
“With the new Synchtank system, we can onboard a new library on the same day and our users have a much better experience because it’s purpose built for them.”
With the new Synchtank system, we can onboard a new library on the same day and our users have a much better experience because it’s purpose built for them – once they’re in the platform there’s a music catalog management system that’s tailor fit to work for an artist. And we can offer a lot more sync capabilities to these artists that we couldn’t before.
Once the tracks are in there, everything is automated. All the metadata, all the information that’s needed just shows to the music libraries who want to see it. And then they just pick whatever they want. Everything is self-serve.
Where does Cleared come into it?
A couple of years into That Pitch, we had a big compliance issue. A track got booted from Content ID, and I realized other platforms couldn’t solve it for me. So, I hired machine learning experts and built my own compliance system to automatically filter out copyright infringing music. I realized a bunch of music libraries wanted it, so clearedmusic.io was launched.
Cleared is built into That Pitch. As soon as a track is uploaded to Synchtank and the artist selects a specific deal structure for a specific music library, it goes through the Cleared algorithm. It’s all automated. When it passes, it’s automatically sent in. If it fails, then we do a manual review.
Who can sign up to That Pitch?
Independent artists and producers that control 100% of their master and publishing can sign up for a free account, and if they want all the features they can pay a membership fee of $39 a month. On the other side we sign music libraries. We work with the majority of them and the plan is to continue to grow and provide the music for all these companies.
“That Pitch has facilitated over 10,000 placements so far and paid out millions of dollars to artists and producers in over 40 countries.”
That Pitch has facilitated over 10,000 placements so far and paid out millions of dollars to artists and producers in over 40 countries.
What trends and shifts are you seeing in the music library space?
The biggest thing is the industry is growing really fast. It’s due to compound 11% annual growth through 2028.
Sync wasn’t very accessible before because people only focused on large deals. But changes in consumer behavior have brought opportunities for e-commerce and the future of licensing. The creator economy will continue to pour money into music licensing. It’s going to be higher volume, more mid and lower ticket, not low volume, high ticket, which has been the standard.
“There’s going to be a big change where they’re [music libraries] going to start charging by value, not by margin, and start building on enterprise plans and larger blanket licenses and stuff we’re more accustomed to in the traditional sync world.”
And the music licensing companies have realized that they’ve all gone too far when giving accessibility to enterprise. There’s going to be a big change where they’re going to start charging by value, not by margin, and start building on enterprise plans and larger blanket licenses and stuff we’re more accustomed to in the traditional sync world.
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