Exclusive Interview: Anna-Clara Blixt Modin, CEO, StagePool & Ubetoo
Anna-Clara Blixt Modin is a Swedish entrepreneur who has had major success with her companies StagePool and Ubetoo. Ubetoo is a musical distribution service that offers a fast and reliable way to make unsigned bands’ music available worldwide on some of the world’s biggest music stores online. The best part is it lets you keep the copyright, and all, or at least the majority of the royalties. Sound too good to be true? We spoke to Anna to find out the secret to her success and her opinions on the latest topics of interest in the music industry.
Hello Anna, welcome to The Music Void. What can artists that sign up for your service hope to achieve?
Hi, thanks! I had been working as a singer and as a musician myself and I found it extremely hard to earn money with my music, especially over the Internet. I felt there had to be another way to distribute and sell your music online. The fundamental aspects of Ubetoo are mainly two fold; first we have the paid streaming service that allows you to upload your music for free. When the
music is played on the site, an ad is shown, and the revenue of that ad is then split 50/50 between the Artist and Ubetoo.
Secondly, we also have Ubetoo Music distribution – if you want your music on ITunes, but you don´t have a label or publisher, you can now reach over 500 online channels such as ITunes, Spotify and Amazon. Ubetoo will help you to sell your music there. You keep 100% of the royalties and your rights. We take a fee of 2 euros for the Music Distribution service. My goal is that you as an unsigned artist will have the possibility to improve your success, that you don´t sit around and wait for a record contract. Ubetoo gives you the power to do something yourself.
Are there any success stories you can share? (Have any of your members been signed as a result of using your service?)
Yes sure, there are many success stories, Miss Jacobs was contacted by Warner Music, thanks to our Summer Hit Contest. They wanted to sign her, but later she chose to stay with Ubetoo instead. Once upon a girl started her career on Ubetoo and said that thanks to Ubetoo she had the courage to start her own Label!
You started the company in 2008, what are the biggest challenges you have faced? Why do you think you have been so successful?
The challenges are to grow as a small company and to reach out to the artists and musicians so that they know what we do and what we want to achieve. We are definitely on our way. The reason why I think so many people like what we do is because we are personal. The artists know that there are real people from the business behind the site. We are here for our members, we listen to what they have to say and build Ubetoo in that direction!
You are a Swedish-based company, what kind of footprints are your artists making in Europe and the USA? In what ways are you looking to expand your global market?
What´s so amazing with the Internet is that you can have a company in Stockholm but the site is in English. Today we have customers from 180 countries! The most interesting markets for us right now are UK, USA and Germany.
What has been you experience with different copyright regimes in Europe? Which countries were the hardest and easiest?
Since we only work with unsigned artists owning their own material or Labels and managers having the right to publish their artists music on Ubetoo, we are totally excluded from the copyright challenges. And I´m actually very happy about that.
Do you have a mobile distribution strategy, or plans to develop into apps etc?
Sure! That’s really the future! The plan is to do that in 2011.
Last year the Swedish founders of Pirate Bay were found guilty of copyright violations, sentenced to a year in prison, and ordered to pay huge fines. What in your opinion are the best ways to combat this problem?
I think it´s impossible to stop the development. You really have to find other ways to improve your business model if it´s not working. With services such as Ubetoo or Spotify there are examples of other options being provided that are easy enough for people to use.