The music industry is complex, and even though streaming services make it easier for artists to be discovered, many still lose their rightful earnings due to unfair royalty rules, controversial incentives, and millions of manipulated tracks that impact the original artists' payouts.
Mogul, a new service aiming to revolutionise the way musicians manage their finances, has just launched to the public to change that. Founded by Jeff Ponchick, formerly the lead of SoundCloud for Artists, and Joey Mason, former SoundCloud VP of engineering, Mogul seeks to provide artists with a comprehensive platform to track their revenue streams and ensure they're receiving their rightful earnings.
Revenue sources are diverse and often scattered across various platforms and intermediaries, so artists face significant challenges in keeping track of their income. Mogul offers artists a comprehensive view of their income streams, covering both publishing and sound recordings. This includes various revenue sources such as mechanical royalties (from music streaming and reproduction), public performance rights, and neighboring rights (for use of tracks in broadcasting and other contexts).
With features reminiscent of financial management tools like Mint and Plaid, Mogul aims to provide artists with the clarity and confidence they need to navigate their financial affairs effectively.
How? By consolidating data from multiple sources and providing artists with a centralised hub to monitor their finances. With the platform, artists can connect their accounts from up to 50 different sources, including Audiomack, District, FUGA, and DistroKid, allowing for a comprehensive overview of their earnings.
With successful artists already using the service, including Besomorph, Attack Attack!, Drama B, and Color Theory, Mogul has found more than $3.5MM in previously unidentified revenue while tracking more than $30MM—before the service has even launched. According to Mogul's estimates, artists may miss out on nearly 10% of their lifetime earnings in royalties. Founder Jeff Ponchick emphasises that these missed royalties often stem from issues encountered during the copyright registration process, as noted by TechCrunch.
The company confirmed it has attracted investment from major music and entertainment companies—it has raised a $1.9m round from Wonder Ventures, United Talent Agency, Amplify.LA, and former SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor’s Creator Partners.
"We want to build a source of truth in the music industry, a utility where musicians can gain the confidence in whether or not their business is tight," says Mogul co-founder and CEO Jeff Ponchick. "Once we have the data centralised, we can cross-reference it and let artists know how much money should be getting made. Then they can see if they're collecting it."
The launch of Mogul comes at a time when artists, particularly those in the mid-tier and emerging categories, face increasing pressure to manage their finances effectively.