14 innovative music startups helping artists, labels, and other creators grow their businesses

Dan Whataley and Tanya Chen
Business Insider

Technology is constantly transforming how music is created, discovered, and heard.

From the rise of radio, to MTV, Spotify, Apple Music, and now TikTok, artists and labels have been forced to adapt to the latest tech to run their businesses.

"When you had radio, you could wine and dine certain people," said Stefan Heinrich Henriquez, cofounder of the music creation app Mayk.it and a former TikTok exec. "You

cannot inuence that much anymore. All you have is a TikTok algorithm that you cannot really control."

Some technological shifts are democratizing the music industry. Social media, for example, opened the opportunity for any performer to get discovered. It continues to be a mainstay for promoting music, inuencing everything from artist discovery to record sales.

Other developments are shifting how music is made, distributed, and owned.

A new crop of startups like Mayk.it are building platforms that make it easier for the average person to create music. Companies like UnitedMasters and Epidemic Sound are developing new ways for music to be distributed. And some upstarts like Royal and Stationhead are helping forge closer ties between fans and artists — even allowing people to own pieces of their favorite song.

Insider asked readers and music-industry professionals to nominate the most innovative companies to watch for our inaugural list of music startups. Whether through tech, data, or social media, these companies are re-imagining what it means to produce and consume music.


Total funding: $4 million, according to the company.

What it does: Mayk.it is a music creation app that lets users with or without musical backgrounds produce songs on their phones. Creators choose from a library of beats and layer on their own audio with built-in voice effects.

Why it matters for the music world: The rise of TikTok and short-form video has changed how songs are discovered and heard. Tracks are now often listened to in short snippets and remixes or via covers and creator video collaborations rather than a full stream, a shift that Mayk.it cofounder and former TikTok exec Stefán Heinrich Henriquez is tapping into.

"During my TikTok time, I saw how a song just needs to be 30 seconds," Henriquez said. "It's all about the one hook and the one part that's catchy. I think dierent rules apply now in this new world."

Mayk.it plans to make money by allowing users to pay to promote songs in its app, as well as taking a cut of revenue from any Mayk.it-created songs that are licensed to streamers and other platforms.

read the full article