Jeff Price had that sort of “You’ll never work in this town again” stink about him when he left his role as the CEO of TuneCore back in August 2012. He’d announced then via the TuneCore blog that he and another of the founders were both out (fired) and it wasn’t really made clear why. Hell, it still is unclear. Jeff is back though, and in his new role, he is setting out to be the messiah of music. And yet, once again, there is a bit of a fog surrounding his involvement. See, Jeff and his new company Audiam have recently raised $2 million — though not from traditional venture capitalists. Nope, this time, he’s eschewed fat cats in favor of the artists themselves — people like Jason Mraz, Jimmy Buffett and Bad Religion’s Brian Gurewitz. All, and several more, have chipped in cold hard cash to help Price spin gold out of YouTube hay.
The artists believe in Price’s ability to integrate music more completely with YouTube in a way that not only will be more profitable for the artists, but will also be more transparent. Nobody really seems to know how artists should be paid for the use of their music on YouTube — for a long time the answer was simply, they weren’t. Price plans to change that because YouTube is now by far the biggest medium through which music is absorbed into the culture. Based on his past success, it seems the artists believe Price can pull it off. It just seems nobody knows quite how he’s going to do it — maybe not even Jeff Price. This is a snippet from the Audiam “How it works” section:
Hmm, doublespeak … but it’s like Wham! said, “You gotta have faith … dun dun dun …”
Here’s more business in the key of YouTube: