UnitedMasters, valued at $550m, just launched its own beat marketplace

Online marketplaces that let musicians buy and sell beats and sound samples are becoming a big part of the music business.

Last July, music production marketplace and distributor BeatStars reported that it had paid out over $150 million to date to creators worldwide via its platform.

Sample platform Splice meanwhile, has itself paid out over $30 million to musicians to date, and after raising $55 million in February 2021 (led by Goldman Sachs’ GS Growth), is valued at nearly $500 million.

Now, Steve Stoute’s independent artist distribution platform UnitedMasters, which raised $50 million in October, Led by Andreessen Horowitz, valuing the firm at $550 million, has launched a marketplace of its own.

UnitedMasters has announced a new platform for buying and selling beats called Beat Exchange.

Via this platform, UnitedMasters artists now have access to buy or license beats from both emerging and established producers like 3x Grammy Award-winning producer Hit-Boy (Nas, Drake, Beyonce)́ , Turbo (Gunna, Travis Scott, Lil Baby), Sham “Sak Pase” Joseph (Kodak Black, Rihanna, SAINt Jhn), Kato On The Track and David Morse who is currently on Billboard Hot 100 for Lil Durk’s song Headtaps.

In a media release announcing the launch, UnitedMasters says that its new offering is designed to “simplify browsing for beats when looking for specific sounds (genre, mood, instrument, etc.) and drive discovery through editorial playlists that highlight both emerging and established producers”.

The Beat Exchange is available on desktop app and the UnitedMasters mobile app which is available on iPhone and Android.

Launched in 2017 by Steve Stoute, UnitedMasters provides music distribution services plus analytics and royalties tools. It has facilitated partnerships between indie artists and brands such as the NBA, ESPN, TikTok, Twitch, and more.

UnitedMasters says that it currently has 1.5 million artists on its platform, and has worked with the likes of NLE Choppa, Lil Tecca, Tobe Nwigwe, Lil XXEL, and many others.

UnitedMasters’ $50 million funding round in October came just six months after it secured a $50 million Series B investment, led by Apple with additional funding from existing backers, Google parent Alphabet, and Andreessen Horowitz.

The Series B round followed the company’s $70m funding round led by Google/Alphabet in 2017.

The company says that its new Beat Exchange marketplace will provide participating producers with the option to keep 100% of their beat sales by joining the UnitedMasters SELECT program, or keep 90% of sales with no up-front fee.

UnitedMasters also says that it will be offering a choice of three licensing templates, including Non-Exclusive, Exclusive, or Buyout and producers will also be able to customize their “sale needs” including the price and length of term.



Elsewhere, UnitedMasters says that Beat Exchange will offer producers exclusive opportunities to monetize or license their beats “with the world’s biggest brands” like ESPN and the NBA with additional opportunities to get beats featured in television shows, movies and video games.

Alongside the launch of Beat Exchange, UnitedMasters is also releasing a new content series called Who Made The Beat?, presented by Crown Royal 18.

The series will spotlight top producers in the industry “sharing the backstories behind the first hit record that put them on the map”.

Episodes will feature Slade Da Monsta on Cardi B’s Press, Phonix Beats on J. Cole’s No Role Modelz, Mr. DJ on OutKast’s iconic Ms. Jackson, and more.

“The Beat Exchange is another way we’re challenging the status quo, by directly connecting brilliant artists and producers so they can continue taking ownership of their creative journeys.”

Steve Stoute, UnitedMasters 

UnitedMasters Founder and CEO Steve Stoute, said: “Producers determine the sounds of our era, and yet they often get overlooked. Our goal has always been to give independent artists the best-in-class tools to build sustainable and successful music industry careers.

“Now we’re not only giving producers the access to artists but the recognition they deserve as creators,”

“The Beat Exchange is another way we’re challenging the status quo, by directly connecting brilliant artists and producers so they can continue taking ownership of their creative journeys.”

“UnitedMasters will give emerging producers the right tools, exposure, and access to brands to help their careers blow up.”

Hit-Boy

Hit-Boy added: “I got my start making beats in my bedroom and putting them online on Myspace.

“I know the struggle and how hard it can be as an emerging producer. Working with UnitedMasters, I want young producers and artists to have what I didn’t.

“UnitedMasters will give emerging producers the right tools, exposure, and access to brands to help their careers blow up.”


UnitedMasters recently struck a new partnership with cryptocurrency platform Coinbase to give indie artists the ability to be paid in crypto through Coinbase’s new payroll product.

In August 2020, TikTok inked a deal with UnitedMasters for a full integration between both services directly through the TikTok app.

Another notable player in the online beat buying and selling business is the Timbaland and Gary Marella-founded beat marketplace Beatclub.

Beatclub offers exclusive beats, loops and sounds from top producers and musicians including Mike Dean, Scott Storch, Federico Vindver, Larance Dopson, J Cole, Boogz, Mike WiLL Made It, Cash Money AP and more.

Elsewhere in the beat and sample sector, a music sampling platform Tracklib recently raised $12.2 million, led by Sony Innovation Fund.Music Business Worldwide