Sir Paul McCartney is among a group of investors behind a GBP7.2 million funding round for the music start-up Audoo.
The former Beatle joins existing investors Edinv and Tileyard London, alongside Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus, in financing the company.
Audoo has collectively raised GBP14 million in pre-Series B funding and according to its chief executive is aiming at the European and North American markets “as they are generally the biggest music markets in the world.”
Founded by Ryan Edwards in 2018, Audoo is a music technology company seeking to revolutionise the royalty payment system for musicians through its Audio Meter device, which monitors music played in public venues. The device, which can be plugged into a mains socket, has its own microphone array and uses mobile networks to communicate with servers. According to Edwards, it has a 99 per cent recognition rate. He likened the technology to a smart meter, with venues ranging from pubs to shopping centres able to “fit and forget” the device.
Edwards, a former musician from Stourbridge, West Midlands, said that he had heard his own music in football stadiums, cafes and bars but was disappointed to learn that he was not receiving royalty fees for it. Currently, Performing Rights Organisations and Collective Management Organisations send individuals to venues to sample music played and estimate payments for composers and musicians.
Edwards said that “hundreds of millions are paid out on estimations”, which tended to benefit popular artists, and marginalise the earnings of smaller musicians. “Certain genres just don’t get representation,” he said. He hoped this could make a difference for someone trying to make a living from music.
Artists believe they collectively lose out on $2.7 billion in royalties. Edwards believes Audoo will help address that.
Within his team are a number of industry big hitters, including Adam Parness, Spotify’s former global head of music publishing, and Chris Herbert, the talent manager associated with the Spice Girls, among others.
Audoo’s boss was effusive in his praise for McCartney’s investment company, MPL Communications, saying it was “wonderful” to have the support of a team that understood publishing.