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Indy Notes: Apple Invests $50 Million in Independent Music Distributor UnitedMasters

Apr 4, 2021
(updated: Dec 1, 2022)
Max 5 min read

The future is independence. Or, as we've said "independence is the future." Either one works. The point remains: Independent work is on the rise and will continue to rise in the future. Of that there is no doubt.

Independent work is on the rise and will continue to rise in the future.

In news that may not seem to apply to you if you're a freelance graphic designer, writer, web developer, or virtual assistant, Apple recently invested $50 million in a company called UnitedMasters. Why does this matter to you? Because UnitedMasters is an "independent music distribution platform and tool factory" or, more succinctly, a music distribution company.

The focus of UnitedMasters is to provide artists with a direct pipeline to data around the way that fans are interacting with their content and community, allowing them to connect more directly to offer tickets, merchandise and other commercial efforts. UnitedMasters also generally allows artists to retain control of their own masters.

This is a huge deal in the music world. A company that is geared towards the success of independent artists getting a major investment from one of the largest companies, and music distributors, in the world is massive. But it also points to the fact that independent work is finally gaining its rightful place in society. Independent musicians have existed for a long time, and some have been very successful, but never before have they been acknowledged and supported in such a way. The article also points out that it's significant that Apple didn't try to just buy the company like they often do, but instead invested money into it.

Apple does a lot more purchasing than investing, typically, buying a company every few weeks or so to supplement one product effort or another. UnitedMasters, then, would be a relatively unique partnership, especially in the music space.

Independent work is finally gaining its rightful place in society.

Because this is a unique story, I figured I'd give you all a unique ending to the article. Here's UnitedMasters artist Tobe Nwigwe performing with the legendary Roots crew.

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