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Fixing the least rock 'n' roll problem in music

rightsHUB wants to make complex music industry admin easy

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rightsHUB wants to fix music’s least rock’n’roll problem

In summary:

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Most people don’t get into the music industry for the admin. And yet the business is teeming with it.

Contracts, complex documentation about rights across multiple territories, the need to keep media files well documented and organised… 

There’s a lot to keep track of if you want your music to be heard and for everyone to get paid properly.

Lee Morrison has been in the industry since the 1990s, and he understands the problem acutely. And so he’s built a product to solve it. Enter rightsHUB.

The software is designed as a home for audio, artwork, promotional material, metadata, contracts, rights information and more. More than just storage, it helps the right data get to the right places in the industry, at the right time via built-in connections.

“We underpin the music industry and we make data flows easier. Any and all copy across all rights in the music industry can be stored and disseminated in our platform” says Morrison.

Why would music industry professionals not just use a standard cloud storage offering like Google Drive or Dropbox?

Well they could, and they do. But that leads to a lot of manual work in getting the right files to the right places. rightsHUB integrates with the likes of music recognition services, publishers, distributors, anti-piracy services, and accounting companies, to make sure that the right data set goes to the right people.

Morrison likens the difference between traditional, generic tools and rightsHUB to the difference between manually submitting your bank statements and receipts to an accountant versus using software like Xero or QuickBooks.

“As the industry is evolving at a rapid rate with different consumption and different income streams, all of the processes in the background have stayed exactly the same. So everybody spends way too much time doing manual work. 

“We take away all of that manual work and give people tools to automate their business.”

rightsHUB founder, Lee Morrison

The story so far

Morrison got into the industry through a love of electronic music. DJing at parties gave him a taste for the career he could have.

Starting with a job in a warehouse putting records into boxes, he moved on to a variety of sales and management-related roles in the distribution part of the industry. He also had a stint as head of digital at the legendary Skint Records, the label behind artists like Fatboy Slim.

Throughout his career, he says he kept coming up against the problem of how essential admin caused friction. And so he set out to build a solution with technology.

The initial plan for rightsHUB was to directly manage music rights, but that idea didn’t last long.

“It became very clear, very quickly, that the industry needs something like what we're building. Rather than being another cog in the wheel and doing something that everybody else is doing, I wanted to make a difference,” says Morrison.

The startup got going just before Covid transformed the world and upended the music industry along with almost everything else.

Morrison says the pandemic slowed down the company’s initial trajectory, as core changes to business infrastructure weren’t a priority for an industry that relies on live events as a key marketing channel.

In the time since, though, rightsHUB has developed a more mature product and built up an initial customer base. 

“It was very important for me that the product worked before we went out and sold it, and it worked well. Because you don't get many shots in this industry when you're dealing with things like [rights and essential data],” Morrison says.

Now the startup is expanding with a push into more areas of the music industry. These include publishing, the sometimes lucrative field related to paying songwriters.

“It's all about sales now. It's about growing the thing out and getting more people in. We work with every client on their pain points,” says Morrison.

“I don't think anybody knows where the industry is actually really going, but it is in a real time of change. Communication with fan bases, the way that music is being consumed, and all the different offerings… is fascinating.

“So our plan is just to keep up with that to make sure that we're positioning ourselves in the right place to benefit all sides of the industry.”

And there’s more!

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  • rightsHUB’s funding and investment plans

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  • How rightsHUB squares up to the competition

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