DMN Pro Q1 Mini-Conference Preview: Meet the Company Quietly Reshaping PRO Data Capture & Payouts

audoo ryan edwards
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audoo ryan edwards
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Photo Credit: Ryan Edwards

Audoo’s Ryan Edwards knows first-hand how frustrating it can be to have your music utilized but receive no royalty payments for it. That’s why he founded Audoo to provide precision data from the public use of musical works. Ahead of his participating in DMN Pro’s exclusive ‘Missing Payments’ mini-conference, Digital Music News spoke with him on some of the biggest challenges the music industry will face in 2024.

“The liability across the whole industry still remains as data, either the lack of, or inability to consume or action it, whether it’s for A&R, publishing, or a song funds buying catalog,” Edwards told Digital Music News. “Data will become the key to everyone’s success.”

Ryan Edwards founded Audoo in 2018 after hearing his music being played in a famous London department store—and discovering he wasn’t getting paid for it. Public performance royalties are often based on estimations from popular radio play and manual data-entry—not actual data generated. Audoo intends to deliver the industry a more accurate system for compensating artists and composers for the public performance of their works.

Digital Music News is hosting an online webinar exploring fraud prevention and liability reduction in music. Some of the topics our panelists will explore this session include how the liability of inaccurate payments from public performance impacts the industry and how millions in royalties have been stolen through false copyright claims.

In conjunction with APRA AMCOS, OneMusic Australia & OneMusic New Zealand, Audoo meters have been adopted nationally across both countries for more precise public performance data. Audoo also collaborates on an industry-first data partnership with CISAC, the industry body that governs performing rights organizations globally. In speaking with Edwards, we asked what artists or rights holders should do if they feel they are missing payments. He founded Audoo to address his missing royalties—what recourse do other artists have?

“At first, either speak to their publisher or their performing right organization (PRO). We have seen first-hand the checks all have in place to ensure the most accurate distributions possible,” Edwards told Digital Music News. His company has worked extensively to ensure its Audoo meters accurate collect public performance data in restaurants, cafes, bars, stores, and other public places in Australia & New Zealand.

With the upcoming Spotify royalty changes, Ryan says it’s more important than ever that artists are getting paid for their public performances. Artists have to play live to get paid as music streaming services see tens of thousands of new tracks uploaded per day.

“For me, minimum thresholds are a good thing, with the tens of thousands of songs being released on DSP’s every week,” Edwards says. “Artists have to perform to get paid. It happens in all other business categories, if you produce a product that doesn’t turn a profit—sadly you don’t make money. I’m sure over the next few years, the model will continue to evolve.”