UnitedMasters’ App Helps Artists ‘Operationalize Their Independence’

UnitedMasters President
– UnitedMasters President
Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood

“Maximize your God-given talent. It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you have.” So says Steve Stoute, music industry veteran and founder of Translation marketing agency, when summing up the significance of having the right tools for when artists want to take control of their own careers. It’s something he claims can be accomplished with his UnitedMasters distribution platform he launched in 2017. 

The latest version of the UnitedMasters app, 1.1.0, released Oct. 15, now offers benefits to the touring industry by enabling managers to more easily toggle between multiple artist accounts and obtain data on age, gender and top cities – details essential for routing tours.

This in addition to interactive streaming data available by service and new audience visuals.

UnitedMasters made going indie easier with the July introduction of its iOS app, which allows users to release music to all major streaming services with the ease of uploading files and artwork from text messages, Dropbox or iCloud. 

UnitedMasters offers artists the chance to partner with major brands, connect to social media platforms, and access analytics about their streams, social growth and fanbase.  

The app is free to use and 90 percent of streaming revenue on distributed tracks goes to the artist. Users can track their earnings in the app – with details about how much money their streams amount to on a per song basis – and receive monthly payments through PayPal. True to the independent spirit, artists retain 100% of their rights to their music.

“UnitedMasters was launched with the specific intention of helping artists operationalize their own independence,” UnitedMasters President Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood told Pollstar. “For those who want to take the independent path, it oftentimes feels daunting. You don’t know where to go or what to do.

“Having a platform that can provide the easiest and the most effective way of getting your music out, giving you data and analytics of who’s listening to your music, better understanding of who your fans are – all of those things are incredibly important to helping independent artists achieve that goal. The app is another step in that direction.”

UnitedMasters helps indie artists with factors that musicians signed to major labels don’t have to think about. As Wirtzer-Seawood explains, “For example, making sure your music has the proper metadata attached to it is so important in helping to monetize it. When you choose to distribute your music via Youtube through the platform, we have access to YouTube’s content ID system, which can better help us monitor and monetize your song. If you’re just uploading to YouTube without knowing any of that, it’s just going to go out there. Same thing for the Soundcloud monetization.”
United Masters
– United Masters
While UnitedMasters is focused on empowering independent artists, the company is helmed by folks with the knowledge of what it takes to make artists major stars. Wirtzer-Seawood, who joined UnitedMasters in May, started her career at Def Jam Records, worked for Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment as head of digital, and most recently served as head of music partnerships at Instagram.
Stoute served as president of Urban Music at Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Sony Music Entertainment, as well as formerly managing Nas and Mary J. Blige. After founding Translation – with innovative ventures for clients like Made In America Festival – Stoute launched UnitedMasters in 2017 by raising $70 million led by Google’s corporate umbrella Alphabet along with venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and 21st Century Fox.

“Via our sister company Translation, we often work with brands that are looking to do interesting things, and many times we’ll figure out how to incorporate some of our independent artists or music in some of those campaigns,” Wirtzer-Seawood says.

“We’ve done this with NBA, AT&T, Bose and a number of other clients. One of the bigger announcements is the NBA 2K video game. The soundtrack to the game has always been a really big deal, not only in the gaming community but culturally speaking.”

Since launching distribution, UnitedMasters boasts 140,000 registered artists; 40,000 distributed artists and 2 billion streams. Artists utilizing the platform include Taylor Bennett, KOTA The Friend, YSN Flow, and Swoosh God. 

“Some of the immediate feedback that we’ve received from the artist community – which has been overwhelmingly positive – has been ease of use,” Wirtzer-Seawood says.

Take it from songwriter, producer and artist CL (also known as Chris Louis), who tweeted Oct. 28: “Their UI is the best, hands down, information organized, payments, everything super streamlined. … And they tell you important information right on your timeline feed about how your music is performing.”