Swedish Startup Space

She Left Spotify For Sony, Here Is Her New App That Will Disrupt The Industry

Written by on February 26, 2016

Last year, Michelle Kadir left her dream job at Spotify to join Sony Musics digital branch. Her revolution of the music industry has officially started.

One of the most read articles on Breakit last year was our interview with Michelle Kadir – the woman who left Spotify to transform the conservative record label industry.

In the interview (article in Swedish) she talked about the importance of increased transparency in the music industry. The artists need to understand how their money is generated and divided – or else, their confidence in the record labels will be negatively affected.

Eight months later, Michelle Kadir thinks that she has created a solution to the problem.

Her new app, which she demonstrates for Breakit at Sony Music’s office in Stockholm, lets all the label’s artists control in detail where, when and how their music is consumed. The app also shows how much money they get in royalties.

“Streaming generates an incredible amount of data, but no one has put it to any use at the labels. That has been a personal issue for me since I decided to go back to the label industry”, Michelle Kadir, VP of digital business at Sony Music, says.

Spotify already have an artist-interface which shows musicians when and where in the world their music is played. But that service is of course limited to Spotify’s own data.

The idea behind Michelle Kadir’s app is to aggregate all sources of income for every song and show the result to the artist. So far, it includes all the major streaming services, as well as Youtube and radio stations.

“Previously artists got a letter with all their royalty numbers twice a year. This gives them access to all the data every day”, she says.

In addition to showing the users, i.e. artists and managers, the revenue streams, the app also shows where the music is being played with a heat map. The data can help artists to make better marketing decisions for their music and touring plans.

The app also maps how artists are promoting their music on social media. Reach, followers and posts data from platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be analyzed and evaluated.

“This makes the music business, which previously has been based largely on gut feeling, more data driven.”

“The fact that we are including social media as well is an example of how it differs from the record label Kobalt, which I like. They are transparent when it comes to money, but we are taking it one step further.”

That Michelle Kadir mentions Kobalt, which was founded by the swede Willard Ahdritz, is not a coincidence. The company is still fairly unknown in Sweden, but it has – to some extent – disruptet the American music industry. With its technology, musicians and artists get to control all 700.000(!) different revenue streams for each individual song, and see exactly where the money is going.

The transparent business model has attracted prominent investors, for example Google Ventures.

The fact that a traditional record label like Sony follows in their foosteps is a clear sign that the industry is changing.

“It’s obvious to me personally that the artists should have access to this information. If I was an artist it would want access to it, so it’s a competitive advantage for us”, Michelle Kadir says.

At first, Michelle Kadir’s app will be tested on the Swedish market. If the tests show good results, international expansion awaits.

“We are 2-3 years ahead of everyone else in Sweden, so the U.S. and the rest of the world follow us with great interest. So the next step is international expansion.”

Subscribe to our mailing list