beatBread offers a new way for independent/unsigned artists to fund their career development, while retaining ownership of their masters. They provide advances on streaming income for both catalog and unreleased music and give artists complete choice of their distribution, marketing and promotion partners.
Firstly please tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do at beatBread and how you work with artists?
My name in Matthew Tilley and I’m Head of Artist and Industry Development at beatBread. I’m a Brit who’s been in both marketing and commercial roles in the music business for 25 years, and I’ve lived in New York for 20 years. I oversee two main areas at beatBread that are equally important to growing our business. First I work with artists to help them get the funding they need to build their careers, and second, I work to grow the rapidly expanding array of distributor and artist service partners who use the ‘white label’ version of our financial advance service.
What new music releases are you enjoying currently?
I can’t stop playing the new Sam Fender album. My family laughs at me for still listening to BBC Radio 1 on the internet twenty years after I left the UK, but I find it a great way to be “force fed” new music. I’m excited about Pink Pantheress and all the amazing British hip-hop that I keep hearing.
What was the last gig you went to?
Gig-going has been a little light recently for obvious reasons but I was lucky enough to see the force of nature that is H.E.R. at a small show for listeners of satellite radio’s Sirius XM, as well as an Eric Prydz show (always mind blowing). Oh and I should confess to going to see LANY (US emo-pop band) more than once on their last tour. I’m mildly obsessed! Coming up next is Kacey Musgraves at Madison Square Garden – she is truly an amazing artist.
What have beatBread been working on recently and how has it been establishing your presence during the pandemic?
If 2020 was about beatBread dipping its toe in the water – building our algorithm, talking directly to some artists and managers and doing a few deals very manually – then 2021 was getting in up to our knees. We built out our team and operational processes, launched and enhanced our self-service experience and did a little bit of marketing. We ended up making over 200 advances to a wide range of artists, which we were very happy with. On the partnership side, we launched our first eight white label partners and entered into many more negotiations, the fruits of which we’ll be announcing shortly.
Any big plans for 2022?
Very much so. The main goal is to scale the business in a really significant way. We have a very large capital fund for artist advances this year, and we are now going to significantly increase our marketing in order to deploy it. We’ll also be launching a major new product feature that will put even more power (and more capital, if they want it) in the hands of artists everywhere.
What kind of artists do you think beatBread makes the most sense for?
That’s really for them to decide. One of the many exciting things about beatBread is that we don’t play in any one genre or geography lane, and we are interested in making deals that range from $1,000 to $1,000,000. What unites the artists that work with beatBread is a recognition that additional capital would be useful to them as they look to develop their careers, and a desire to maintain full control of their destiny – pick their own marketing team, keep their masters, maintain creative control and so on. If some “working capital” would help grow your career then we aim to be the easiest, fairest, most flexible option out there. At the same time, as we often say, if an artist doesn’t have a great use for the cash at the moment, there’s no reason to pursue an advance right now. When that changes, we will be there for them.
What do you think the next few years will look like for the music industry as we recover from the pandemic?
Growth, growth and growth – with, we believe, more and more choice for artists and greater power in their hands. There has never been a more exciting time to be a creative and I think the number of people who can make a decent living from their musical talent – middle-class musicians, if you like, is increasing exponentially, and that’s why beatBread exists.
Is there anything you would like to say to managers who are interested in finding out more about beatBread?
Please visit beatBread.com It will take you 30 seconds or less to give us the information which we need to give you some funding estimates. The whole process (up to getting funds in your artist’s account) usually takes about a week. We’re big believers in honesty and transparency, and if you have questions or would like a demo, I’m here to help (matthew@beatBread.com).
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