As long as there’s been a music industry, artists have relied on their lawyer. But technology is opening up new legal options for independent acts who are keeping a close eye on budgets.
Shout4 is a low-cost, deal-making and contracting platform for independent musicians and labels looking to finance projects by sharing future income. The user can easily create binding agreements with third parties, safe in the knowledge that a top law firm has advised on the draft contracts embedded in the platform.
“We brought Clintons on board as specialist music lawyers to ensure that the agreements are both fit for purpose in terms of the nuances of the music industry, but also the fairness to all parties in agreement,” explained chairman and founder Ric Yerbury.
Former AIM CEO Alison Wenham is backing Shout4, which she describes as a “truly democratic revolution for the industry”. The platform is already working with AIM, MMF and PRS Foundation’s Power Up initiative, as well as being part of the BPI Music & Tech Springboard Programme.
“They are all very supportive and are the best way for us to further test both the value and integrity of our model and service,” said Yerbury. “We will continue to build on that support and will be announcing some key ambassadors from within the industry for our model.”
Shout4 is targeting revenue growth by charging for an expanding range of services.
Its launch is also timely given that self-releasing artists are on the increase.
“It is really the only platform that provides an appropriate legal and commercial solution for the DIY artists,” says Yerbury. “I am a massive advocate of artists retaining their rights, while ensuring that the professionals who give so much to support new and emerging talent get fairly rewarded in the event of successful outcomes.”
The next phase of the rollout is a territorial section that will enable artists around the world to access the service in line with the legal system of their territory.
“We are aware of the demand for this product in a number of international markets and will be looking to meet that as soon as possible,” says Yerbury.