Articles, Blog

Oscar Höglund, Epidemic Sound – NOAH19 Tel Aviv

December 24, 2019


So, my name is Oscar the co-founder of And I love my job. I have the best job in the world and It’s made quite easy because we’re a company on a mission. We’re in a mission to soundtrack the world and We used to have a smaller mission which was soundtrack the Internet, but that turned out to be a bit easier I found myself like 10 years ago having this vision where my grandkids were sitting in my lap and saying that granddad granddad Your generation you invented the internet, right? And I go yeah, that was us and the grandkids goes. So what was your contribution? and prior to that I was BCG consultant I did television I did other stuff But I had nothing to do with the Internet and I decided that I want to be able to tell my grandkids We soundtrack the Internet and this is how it went down. So Initially we defined ourselves as a music company but as we’ve grown now, we tend more to talk about are two different networks that we have and We have two sides of our business on the one hand. We have our customers and we call them storytellers People subscribe to our service because they have incredible stories that they want to tell We turned ten this year and we have over a million customers around the world And the way we see them is that we’ve come to a point now where our customers in their own right create massive Distribution for our music so our music just on the online video platforms gets played 250 million hours every single month so tens of billions of interaction every single month and The storytellers who use our music they vary from the very very big to the really really small So if we have sound with us, this is what it sounds like when youtubers use us on a daily basis We got no mic on this, but I’m pretty cool right now, I can’t feel my fingers I can’t feel I can’t feel anything. We are in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. We’ve been taking photos all day a little bit I’ve been asked to keep it short. So this is what it sounds like when Hollywood studios use our music They oh and you can talk content without mentioning that public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse The cartel is controlled everything from the plea So we’re sound tracking millions of million stories across the world from the smallest youtuber to the biggest Storytellers of our time that’s one side of our network The other network is the network of musicians of creators who create incredible tracks that not only power their careers But power the careers of the storytellers Currently we have something like 400 hits So we define a hit as when a track has more than a million streams on Music streaming services like the Spotify and the apples and the diesels of the world And that music sounds a bit like this Put a Russian Neutron make your comfortable So we come a 200 different genres in the interest of time. I’m gonna keep this a bit short skip on I Think you get their picture So, how do we get to the point where were more or less sound tracking the entire Internet Well, we reinvented stuff and we identify two major problems from a storytelling perspective They wanted to be able to find great music to bring their stories to life But this was made very very difficult Because there wasn’t a legal model that worked the one any products which scaled to the needs that they had There wasn’t any music that was adaptable that you could use in the visual stories that you wanted to tell There was a financial transaction which didn’t make sense there was reporting which was really really inhibiting so the system didn’t work and so weary engineered everything we built a music industry of our own but we didn’t invite the Piero’s the Publishers the traditional let record labels because using technology we didn’t actually need their help The other side of the equation was looking at musicians how would their lives changed and how can you make their lives much much better? And we realized that people didn’t want to be paid based on an album You wanted to be paid based on a track that you wanted to make you wanted a flexible contract You wanted upfront payments you wanted the opportunity to collaborate without the musicians you wanted freedom You want it to be a digital Nomad in the sense of being a creator that could own your own decisions? And so we changed that as well When stuff started getting really interesting was when we saw how can we start to link these two different sides of equation together? Is there a network effect that we can start to build around this? I’m gonna play you a short video Now that illustrates what happened when stuff went totally ballistic and we became public enemy number one in the entire music industry Volume We tried again I’ve been feeling so small Watch the clock ticking off the wall But tonight up let it go Spend my coin for show I’m gonna beat myself to be someone else. No stop I’m gonna skip my break we’re gonna make mistake. I just wanna feel bad It’s just what I do when I Because it turns out the number one question on all YouTube videos across the entire world is I love the track you used in the Video, why can’t I find it on Spotify? These are Apple? I want to listen to it when I work out when I do my homework when I go to a conference and I have to Listen to Oscar and so what we did is we identified that and so we took our tracks and we put them on to the music streaming platforms a bear in mind that our music gets played roughly about 40 billion times every single month across Facebook YouTube and Instagram Number one question is where can we find that music? So we started providing links to the online creators in this case. It’s a 15 year ago called athma who uses one of our tracks faster car as the intro to all of her vlogs that she used to upload this on youtube and We started seeing millions of people clicking on these links. So we start seeing tens of millions of plays on Apple These are Spotify and all these different music streaming platforms there was Tons of revenue suddenly coming into us because there was so much royalty due for all this music that was being placed on the music Streaming platforms. We took that revenue. We split it 50/50 with the with the musicians historically that had not been the case normally Labels and publishers would take about 85 percent of the revenue and the artists would get much much less But we split everything 50/50 despite the fact that we already paid upfront for the music so suddenly we were turning out Enormous amounts of money to the creative artist industry and the record labels and the publisher went ballistic Because they’d never heard of us before because we’d been busy sound tracking the internet for 10 years So everyone on the internet knew exactly who all are musicians and who all the stars were but the music industry was totally taken aback by this We found ourselves evolving our business model because suddenly our musicians were now becoming artists in their own, right But they didn’t have digital online profiles because they’ve been busy making music for the Netflix and for the Hulu’s and for the online visual Storytellers. So now we were starting to launch artists So we helped them launch artist careers and social and some how do you present yourselves and build build your following? We’re now at a point where we’re looking at how do we balance these two networks? Which one do we focus on do we focus more on the online craters or on the music craters? And the answer is that they’re one and the same there’s been a generational shift. So they all define themselves as creators So what they’re doing now is we’re starting to see how they can collaborate with each other Drive traffic drive revenue drive understanding and this is a short clip showing two of the biggest Youtubers within fashion collaborating with one of our musical artists and how they start making content together Hey guys, so we just got to the studio we’re here with yeah She’s the pretty server highlighting and we were talking about earlier super dope. I can’t wait to like see you to yourself Hey guys, what’s up? So we’re here with Sarah. She Actually makes beads for epidemic sound and we’re obsessed. Yeah, we’re so happy to Finally meet you and just like see your creative process and stuff. We’re gonna go make our own beat Let’s do it’s called a native instruments maschine. Yeah, it’s actually based from Germany, but I really like it because We’re gonna end on that note thank you for listening to me. I’m spoken about epidemic sound and we’re sound tracking the world by You

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