Update 3; July 29th, 6:15 pm PT. Early this morning, we reported that former Coca-Cola executive Judith Snyder was a co-founder of Music Dealers. Snyder immediately contacted us, informing DMN that she was not a co-founder and had no relation to Music Dealers outside of managing a relationship with Coca-Cola (where she was an executive). Separately, Snyder does appear to be a co-founder with Music Dealers founder Eric Sheinkop in a company called desirelist, based on multiple, published sources (including a tweet by Sheinkop).
Sync music licensing company Music Dealers has apparently and very suddenly decided to close their doors. The news hasn’t been very well-received by artists who depended on the company as a source of income, with the decision reportedly leaving many independent artists without pay.
A spokeswoman for the company released a statement, saying:
“It is with a heavy heart that Music Dealers has made the difficult decision to discontinue operations. We are proud of all we achieved in our eight years in business and disappointed to be in this position. We remain hopeful and focused on finding a partner who will help revive Music Dealers and once again realize its potential.”
Music Dealers was founded in 2008 with only one office in Chicago by Eric Sheinkop, and quickly expanded with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and London. The idea behind the company was to be a global music technology solution that would bridge the gap between top brands and independent and emerging artists, combining “the world’s largest, hand-selected catalog of pre-cleared, independent music with an amazing team of music and technology professionals to offer an unprecedented list of music-related services.” Big name brands would be able to license and distribute digital music to advertising, TV, gaming, and film industries.
Speaking on this sudden news, producer and manager Tyler Neil Johnson said:
“After countless emails and failed promises Music Dealers failed to pay out $2600 to one of my artists. I went to email again…they bounced back… did a quick google search to find out they went bankrupt and their Facebook and Twitter had been deleted. Its [sic] just sad because a lot of artists like my client were never given any warning about this and will probably never see that money.”
Other artists have shared Johnson’s complaints, with some not being surprised of the news. Seemingly giving an insight as to why the company may have suddenly closed their doors, a user named Spiderman on the forums for GearsSlutz wrote, “[Music Dealers] had some big accounts/placements over the years, but they also seemed to be living larger than their portfolio (nice downtown Chicago offices, a dozen full-time employees, etc).”
In 2011, Music Dealers had formalized a partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and had successfully raised $9.25 million in funding between 2010 and 2013. Sheinkop has reportedly moved on to focus on new startup, desirelist.com along with former Coca-Cola PR executive Judith Snyder.