1 Experiment

The Experiment: Putting Kobalt Technology to the Test

We talk a lot about technology — why it matters to creators and how it helps the music industry grow — but in today’s post, we want to show you results. Here’s a first hand account, compiled and written by Wired, of real creators uncovering the real impact of innovative technology in a story we like to call: The Experiment.

Nothing illustrates Kobalt’s power better than an experiment set up by Joel Martin. He is the manager of Eminem’s former production team, FBT Productions, the company behind the Universal lawsuit. In 2002 Eminem had just released “Lose Yourself”, from his movie 8 Mile, that would go on to win an Oscar. The song’s writers included Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto. Martin split collection among three outfits: Eminem stayed with his publisher, Famous Music; Bass was represented by Universal; and Resto by Kobalt. With three accounts collecting on the same song in every territory, Martin sat back and watched. “We saw in real time what was going on,” he says. “When we collected money in Greece, say, we expected to see the same shares show up at the same time. That didn’t happen.”

What did happen was that the big publishers took twice as long to report money they collected and pay the artist, in every territory. “We would get money a full year ahead of all the major publishers through Kobalt because they were collecting and reporting it immediately,” Martin says. “The others were sitting on it. We’re talking millions of dollars here. What were they doing with it? Why were they sitting on it? They wouldn’t say.”

Multiply those millions across hundreds of artist deals and it starts to add up. But the damning part is that the uncollected royalties give the labels unfair leverage over artists. “If an artist needs money, he goes to the publisher for an advance,” Martin says. “And the publisher says, ‘OK, we’ll give you an advance, but you have to re-sign with us for another three years or whatever.’ But the artist’s own money is sitting there in the pipeline. And the publishers are playing this game. It happens all the time. No exception.”

With Kobalt, artists see money gathered in real time at the point at which it’s collected—and their account is immediately credited. Ahdritz has set it up like a cashpoint machine. “You go into the pipeline yourself, this thing you were never even allowed to see before,” he says, “and deduct your money, no strings attached."
Read the full feature on Wired: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/kobalt-how-data-saved-music


To truly excel in today’s music industry, artists and songwriters need to start trusting in the technological advancements of tomorrow. Get a closer look at the technology powering Kobalt’s core, here: https://www.kobaltmusic.com/technology

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