Music app Breaker this week announced a $ 4.2 million funding round, led by Slow Ventures. The latest increase follows $ 700,000 in funding from Andreessen Horowitz’s TxO fund – a trick those behind the service saw as sort of proof of concept as they worked to get the idea off the ground.
It is clear why Breakr’s offering is attractive to investors. The product serves as a way to connect upcoming musicians with social media influencers. Musicians are exposed and influencers are paid to effectively organize a listening session during office hours. Breakr, meanwhile, gets a 10% cut in earnings.
It’s a unique approach in a crowded music market, where discovering music and being discovered have both proven to be hard codes to crack. Although this is less about tweaking the algorithm for music listeners and more about getting undiscovered music in front of the right ears. In chatting with two of the startup’s six founders, we remembered the days when rappers stood outside record stores, trying to sell mixtape CD-Rs for $ 5 a pop – things have come a long way. a long way since then, but no one has completely solved the problem of music discovery.
“Breakr is a necessary tool to effectively connect artists, influencers and brands”, I know from personal experience that this manual process takes too long not only to find a range of diverse influencers, but also to activate them, ” Marc of AMP Technologies Byers said in a statement. “They’ve created what I call a mall of influential marketers, where all you have to do is buy the talent that matches the taste of your campaign’s needs.”
And while the medium has become social media, the hustle and bustle and feelings of futility have not changed. Not everyone has their The story of Mobb Deep with Q-Tip stopping and listening to a few bars after exiting the Def Jam offices. Obviously we need a lot more Q-Tips around the world, as a rule. However, with human cloning technology still lacking, Breakr hopes to offer some approximation of the experience, with an added financial incentive.
“If you’re a world famous DJ or A&R at a big label, these artists are already in your emails, and DMS, trying to get your attention,” says CEO Tony Brown, who previously worked for the financial giant Goldman Sachs. “We give them a unique url, they send that unique url and say, ‘hey, stay out of my DMS, meet me here.’ Here is the cost. And let’s talk about it. ‘
Influencers charge artists on a sliding scale – likely more based on their audience. Breakr says around 12,000 users have signed up for influencer accounts, which the company is currently reviewing. Between 3,000 and 4,000 accounts have been approved.
“We’ve worked with companies as big as Warner and Sony, as small as rapper SoundCloud, and everyone in between,” adds President and Product Manager Ameer Brown, who was previously at Adobe.
Rapper, influencer and longtime friend Tobe Nwigwe is also on the long list of co-founders and has been active in spreading the brand on social media, including hosting his own listening sessions.
“As soon as I saw the vision for what the Breakr team was building, essentially the technical intermediary between influencers and artists, I immediately knew that Breakr would be the future,” says Nwigwe. “Having cultural icons like Erykah Badu and Dave Chapelle rock with my music, and organically amplify myself on their platforms, was big for me. Now with Breakr, we’re making it happen in an authentic way for artists and influencers of all levels. ”
When it comes to cultural icons, Nas is also one of the notable investors. “We loved the business before we knew the connection, but this coincidence really made this deal even more special,” the rapper said in a comment provided to TechCrunch.