UPDATE: Sorting Out WeTransfer’s Spot in the Music Distribution Foodchain

A few days ago, a story about WeTransfer–the service so many of us use for transferring files too big for email attachments–began circulating about how was getting into the business of distributing exclusive music releases.

The WeTransfer people say that this wasn’t the whole story.  So in the interests of accuracy and clarity, here’s a FAQ that they sent me earlier today.

FAQ W/ MAARTEN KADIKS, VP OF MARKETING, WETRANSFER

What is the WeTransfer streaming-music solution?

WeTransfer has built a brand-new feature to support music creators – a proprietary music-streaming solution to host streaming audio directly on WeTransfer.com, allowing creators to promote music content to a growing audience of more than 85 million per month globally.

(You can see what the player looks like here.)

What’s the value/benefit for music creators?

WeTransfer serves music creatives in two ways. First, artists and producers are very active on WeTransfer.com, using the service to share their work and collaborate on projects with other music creators. This – file-transfers – is our core business.

Secondly, though, given its scale and audience, WeTransfer has evolved to become a powerful distribution channel for music creators. For years, WeTransfer has partnered with major, as well as up-and-coming musicians and labels, to feature exclusive, downloadable content on WeTransfer.com. The music-streaming solution provides another distribution option to music creators.

What makes WeTransfer different, though, is the ability to deliver both sound and sight for the artist to promote their work. Full-page customizable wallpapers featuring artist images or album covers can accompany a song or album on the streaming player, providing a high-end, fully realized music experience to a global group of more than 85 million creative tastemakers per month.

On top of that, the streaming-music solution is a free service for the artist. Next to that, WeTransfer gives away one-third of its 900 million monthly page views to promote creative projects, including music, for free. From a promotions and marketing perspective, partnering with us is a no-brainer.

Who are your potential music-streaming partners?

In recent months, WeTransfer has partnered with several top music creators to promote and preview their projects on WeTransfer.com, building custom, high-quality wallpapers featuring streamed content, but without a standalone player. The music-streaming solution was born out of these custom campaigns, making it much more scalable for partners. WeTransfer is currently in conversations with previous and potential partners about promoting their content through the service.

Troy Carter recently joined WeTransfer as a board member and will also be using his extensive and impressive relationships within the music industry to support partnership development.  For instance, we’re currently talking to Troy’s artists, as well as management companies representing the likes of other major creators, like Justin Bieber and Madonna.     

Will this compete with other streaming services?

To be clear, WeTransfer’s new music streaming-solution is not a direct competitor of Soundcloud, Spotify or other music-streaming platforms. Those are dedicated players. The WeTransfer streaming solution is very different and is primarily a marketing channel for the creator. With this player, artists get a focused campaign to deliver their content to our massive audience. It is more of a complement to their activities on Spotify or Soundcloud.

Why the sudden focus on music?

It’s not sudden. The creative community loves WeTransfer, with more than half of its global users in creative industries. Music creators – from musicians to producers – are especially active users, going to WeTransfer.com every day to share their work and collaborate on projects. WeTransfer is part of the creative workflow.

On top of that, for years, WeTransfer has partnered with major, as well as up-and-coming musicians and labels, to feature exclusive, downloadable content on WeTransfer.com. Or to promote music projects through beautiful, high-quality wallpapers on the homepage. WeTransfer is always looking for fresh music content to inspire our users while they are on our site.

All of these projects have been free for music creators. WeTransfer gives away one-third of its 900 million monthly page views to promote creative projects, including music, for free.

So partners won’t pay to stream content on WeTransfer?

That’s right. WeTransfer gives away one-third of its 900 million monthly page views to promote creative projects. The music-streaming solution is an unpaid service. We don’t charge artists. 

The goal of the music-streaming solution is to support music creators and feature great content on WeTransfer.com. By doing so, WeTransfer will accelerate growth in its key markets.

When will the dedicated music solution be available?

We unveiled a demo of the service at SMASHD Labs Demo Day, this past Wednesday. It will not be widely available to partners until Q1 of 2016. However, we are already in conversations with previous and potential partners about promoting their content through the service, at that time.

Custom-made, high-quality wallpapers featuring streamed content are still available to partners and will still be an option even when the music-streaming solution is launched.

Ah. That clears it up, then.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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