Cultural hustler and innovator Steve Stoute has continually pushed the expectations of what a manager, author, music executive and marketing CEO should be in today’s business environment. He’s doing it again with his latest venture: UnitedMasters.
With $70 million from Alphabet, a16z, Floodgate and 20th Century Fox, UnitedMasters was created to help indie artists have a more direct relationship with their customers and fans with the goal of retaining more control over their intellectual property. UnitedMasters is the new kid on the block looking to disrupt the music landscape.
Stoute’s venture has already made a seismic splash partnering with one of the most popular and progressive sports leagues in the world: the NBA. The multiyear deal creates a direct line between artists distributing with UnitedMasters and the NBA’s social community of 1.5 billion fans across NBA.com, the NBA App, and league and team social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch and Snapchat. As a result, UnitedMasters has elevated its distribution channel beyond only traditional streaming platforms. The company is, of course, distributing to the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, but when your competitive advantage positions unsigned, up-and-coming talent in front of NBA fans, it’s a no brainer where the talent should flock.