Slip.stream, a subscription service that furnishes royalty-free music and sound effects for creators to use in their content – roughly 40% of whom are livestreaming gamers – has added to its funding coffers.
The startup raised a $7.5 million Series A earlier this month led by Sony Music Entertainment, with participation from previous backers Third Prime and LightShed Ventures. Launched in April 2021, Slip.stream had previously raised a $3.25 million seed round, bringing total funds to $10.75 million.
Slip.stream iterated on the pitch deck it used to raise money for roughly four months, updating it after pitch meetings based on feedback. The company sought to highlight early adoption, current reach, and the potential of the platform at scale, CMO Jesse Korwin told Insider.
“The ‘majors’ were not our first target – we initially wanted to go the classic VC route,” Korwin said, “but we realized that having one of the major music companies as a backer provided a ton of validity and support for our vision.”
Funds will be used to grow its team of 11 full-time employees (and 13 developer contractors in Colombia) and bolster its music catalog, which currently comprises 60,000 songs and 40,000 sound effects.
As part of the round, Slip.stream will work with Sony to onboard musicians onto its platform, given that featuring in creator content can furnish marketing exposure for emerging artists. 
Slip.stream has 100,000 free and paid creators using its service who have over 500 million collective followers. It doesn’t break out its ratio between free and paid subscribers. While the free tier, which comprises limited tracks, requires attribution, a subscription starts at $8 per month – and rises to $18 if creators wish to include music in advertisements. 
Slip.stream says its focus on streamers is a differentiator amid a crowded market of competitors like Epidemic Sound, Musicbed, Artlist, and Songtradr.
“Our go-to-market strategy is to focus on gamers because it’s not a nascent market, but it’s much less mature than the YouTube market,” said cofounder and co-CEO Dan Demole, noting that Twitch in particular has grappled with music copyright in recent months. “It gives us an opportunity to rise alongside them.”
In addition to its service for creators, Slip.stream is in the process of building a comparable subscription service for artists. Currently invite-only, the product will enable artists to apply to have their tracks featured on the platform.
Slip.stream has also released its own music “packs” – or mini compilation albums – alongside partners like FaZe Blaze and TikToker Tommy Unold. For these projects, it pays artists an upfront fee to create music, and splits streaming revenues on the back-end between the artists and creators fronting each release. Slip.stream’s aim in these ventures is to drive subscribers.
Slip.stream was founded by Korwin and Demole, formerly of the audio ad agency Jingle Punks, as well as musician and manager Anthony Martini and Fuse vet David Carson. 
Recent hires include SVP of business development Chris McDonald, who hails from Epidemic Sound; Casper vet Shan Huang, who oversees marketing as head of growth; and Michael Feldman as director of talent and influencer relations.
You can check out the deck that Slip.stream took to Sony in October, ultimately closing its commitment from the label in January. Edits have been made to the deck by Slip.stream so that it could be shared publicly.
“Musicians want their music used in content to grow their fanbase, promote their records, and generate income.”
Amid consternation between platforms and labels, artists like 21 Savage, Lil Tecca, and Canadian rapper Bbno$ have taken to Twitter to give followers permission to use their songs.
Slip.stream sees its opportunity in the 55 million digital creators and 30 million indie artists worldwide.
It wants to “remove the friction by simplifying music listening for musicians and creators while building a valuable catalog of music assets.”
It terms of the music assets it owns, Slip.stream plans to monetize via ” streaming revenue, sync fees, and traditional royalties with uncapped upside for breakout hits.”
The company also monetizes with creator subscriptions, including both “personal and commercial users for licensed access to the catalog.” Down the line, it could potentially charge subscription fees to artists in exchange for the distribution and promotion of their work.
 
“We increased our library of 100% owned assets via our network of musicians,” the company said, nodding to rapper Snowy. “We added real artists and labels to the platform and released new singles.”
Brand partners include MAC, Kate Somerville, Hourglass Cosmetics, and the financial services company Chime. 
Platform partners include TikTok, Streamlabs, CapCut, and Creative Juice.
Creator partners include Clix, Colin & Samir, Expel, Birdo, NRG, and FaZe Blaze.
In October, at the time of fundraising, the company said its users had generated 17 billion views on TikTok, and that gamers had streamed 1 million minutes of its music. 
In October, the company said its subscribers had created a total of 2 million videos that had driven upwards of 300 million views of content using Slip.stream music.
The company has its sights set on prospective brand partners like G Fuel, Bang, Estee Lauder, and Morphe owner Forma.
It also wants to work with more gamers and YouTube creators, including FaZe H1ghsky1, Daequan, Yes Theory, and Bailey Sarian.
And it’s eyeing partnerships with platforms including Stir, Flip, and Snapchat.
“The competition fails to meet creators’ rapidly evolving needs,” the company writes.
Whereas competitors take music rights, Slip.stream says it gives artists ownership. At the same time, the company furnishes diverse catalog of music rights and assets because “labels and distributors haven’t found an easy way for people to use music in UGC.”
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