Along with the constantly proliferating distribution channels for music come new opportunities for indie artists to drive revenue with their music. On the flipside, there are plenty of chances that uses of their music can fall through the cracks.
The rights management, copyright enforcement, and content monetization firm HAAWK is addressing both these realities by acquiring two startups, TuneRegistry and RoyaltyClaim. With these moves, HAAWK is expanding on its ability to serve its existing clients, while additionally supporting independent artists and the DIY music community. Taken together, the convergence results in a range of new “self-service” solutions that will enable independent copyright owners to protect and monetize their works, while tracking down and collecting on unclaimed music royalties.
HAAWK’s expanded capabilities provide a useful resource for music producers, as well as the growing number of recording studios that are building independent labels into their business models. Working with HAAWK could potentially allow them to offload and streamline the onerous task of maximizing revenue for their growing catalogs.
The acquisition of the assets is accompanied by personnel moves. Joining HAAWK is TuneRegistry and RoyaltyClaim founder Dae Bogan in the position of Chief Executive Officer of HAAWK, Inc. HAAWK co-founder Ryan Born’s role has been elevated to Chairman, President, and Chief Financial Officer. Born was a co-founder of music rights management firm AdRev, which was acquired in 2016 Zealot Networks for an undisclosed sum.
According to Born, HAAWK’s objective of creating and retrieving newfound revenue for rights holders will be bolstered by the “perfect fit” acquisitions and accompanying human resources moves. Along with Bogan, HAAWK will also be joined by TuneRegistry co-founders Jesse Morris as CLO, Kara McGehee as CPO, and Shane Zilinskas as CTO.
TuneRegistry didn’t have to wait long to get acquired. It launched at SXSW 2017 as a music rights and metadata management platform built to empower independent artists to function as their own music publishers, by enabling them to self-publish and retain 100% of their music royalties. TuneRegistry quickly developed an integrated network of data exchange partners within the music publishing and metadata management sectors to streamline catalog administration tasks from one central platform, including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange, Harry Fox Agency, Music Reports Inc., Loudr, Crunch Digital, TiVo, Gracenote, and MediaNet.
RoyaltyClaim was snapped up even faster, following a September 2017 launch, as a search engine for unclaimed and “black box” music royalties, procuring data regarding unattributed and unmatched music entitlements from music rights organizations around the world, and making that information searchable and actionable. Copyright owners who find records referencing their copyrights are provided step-by-step instructions on how to go about claiming entitlements that may be due to them, including accrued unclaimed royalties. With its solution, RoyaltyClaim has processed thousands of claims for Section 115 Notices of Intent (NOIs) filed by Google, Spotify, Groove Music, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio and Pandora, neighboring rights royalties around the world, and digital radio royalties in the United States.
The reinforced HAAWK appears positioned to take on established competitors like interactive streaming mechanical royalty collection agency Audiam, which was launched in 2013 by former TuneCore founder Jeff Price. On the self-publishing side, HAAWK is entering a space occupied by companies like Downtown Music Publishing’s Songtrust, which pioneered self-service royalty collection for songwriters and artists.