EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft Cloud Computing System Suffering From Global Shortage Read Now

Doja Cat attends the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. Photo: AP
Creator Economy
Startups Facebook

The Big Money in Music Startups

Photo: Doja Cat attends the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. Photo: AP

TikTok wouldn’t be much as fun without music. A cluster of music-oriented startups have taken note, selling independent musicians access to online production tools and marketplaces that connect them with video performers who can help their songs go viral.

Among the 52 startups in our creator economy database, five are focused on music, and they’ve raised an estimated $350 million in total funding. Atlanta-based Music Breakr connects social media influencers with artists to spread their music. Rapchat, a Columbus, Ohio company, offers free use of an online recording studio to aspiring rappers who want to make music on their phones, along with a more advanced subscription product. Splice charges musicians for access to a library of royalty-free samples and music production tools for a monthly fee. 

Driving the swell of activity is the relative ease of making music on a smartphone phone and the explosion in popularity of TikTok and copycats like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. These short videos, often set to music, can make a little-known artist an overnight hit with fans—well before any record label takes notice. Songs that become part of popular dance trends or challenges have propelled emerging musicians such as Lil Nas X and Doja Cat into sudden sensations.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Crypto Facebook
How Netflix Can Regain Momentum
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. Photo by Bloomberg.
We’re now just a couple of weeks away from the second-quarter earnings reporting season. And if history is any guide, first out of the gate will be Netflix’s report on July 19, which is likely to be one of the most closely watched tech earnings updates of the quarter. Netflix’s first-quarter report, revealing a tiny drop in subscribers and forecasting a bigger one for the second quarter,...
Latest Briefs
 
Klarna to Raise Cash at $6.5 Billion Valuation in Dramatic Down Round
Amazon Secures UK Broadcast Rights for Lucrative European Soccer Games
China’s Tencent, ByteDance Implement New Round of Layoffs
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Tesla's Fremont factory, in a photo taken in May 2020.
Exclusive Autonomous Vehicles
At Tesla, Returning to the Office Creates New Problems
On the evening of June 8, speaking from Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., Elon Musk addressed a few dozen of the electric car maker’s employees in person, and thousands more in a livestream.
From left: Brooke Hainey & Keith George, co-founders of Cortina; Bennett Carroccio, co-founder of Canal; Conner Sherline, founder of Disco.
Startups to Watch Startups E-commerce
Three Startups That Help Online Retailers Cut Out Facebook Ads
Direct-to-consumer brands that rely heavily on Facebook and Instagram ads have been reeling ever since Apple’s 2021 privacy changes made it harder and more expensive to land new customers.
Art by Haejin Park
Opinion
A Girl Killed Herself. It Took TikTok Six Months to Remove Her Account.
Nina is the name I’ll use for the girl who loved my 16-year-old son. Until recently, when he wanted to think about her, he could still find her videos on TikTok, including the ones she posted under a false name while she was a patient in a psychiatric hospital.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Photo: Bloomberg
Coinbase Pulls Back Its Startup Investing as Others Weigh Options
Investors are fleeing crypto as the markets collapse. So will big crypto companies keep pumping money into startups to help the fledgling industry stay afloat?
Org Charts Amazon E-commerce
The People with Power in Amazon’s Retail and Operations Teams
This Friday, Doug Herrington will replace Amazon’s Dave Clark as CEO of the e-commerce giant group previously dubbed Worldwide Consumer, which served as the center of power for Amazon’s retail and operations businesses over the past few years of explosive growth.
Sequoia Capital global managing partner Doug Leone. Photo: Bloomberg
Exclusive
Sequoia Capital Targets $2.25 Billion for Two U.S. VC Funds
Sequoia Capital, defying the tech market sell-off that’s chilled startup fundraising, is asking investors to commit money to two new U.S.-focused funds, according to two people familiar with the matter.