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Summary:

AudioMicro.com, a small, L.A.-based commercial music licensing startup, has just closed a first round of funding, from DFJ Frontier.

AudioMicro.com, a small, L.A.-based commercial music licensing startup, said today that it’s closed its first round of funding, from DFJ Frontier. Despite an already well-populated microstock music space, the site’s simple interface and relatively inexpensive pricing — $1 for every download minute and less for bulk purchases — could make it easier for the very smallest web videographers to get inexpensive royalty-free music for their work.

But while its pricing structure could benefit users, AudioMicro doesn’t have the revenue advantages of the more complicated, traditional licensing models that adjust charges (often upward) based on who a user is and the context in which a download is used.

AudioMicro charges less per track than competitors such as Beatsuite, where for non-broadcast use copies start at $20 and move into the hundreds of dollars. Jupiter Media’s eStockMusic sells music tracks for roughly $2 per download minute.

Founder Ryan Born bootstrapped AudioMicro until DFJ chipped in with the $500,000 Series A round, which will help the firm grow to four employees from three and improve its SEO, he said. The site has some 25,000 music and sound effect tracks ready for download, according to Born, and gets roughly 300 submissions from musicians each day. Musicians and AudioMicro split revenue from track downloads evenly, and for submissions distributed exclusively by the company musicians get a 60 percent return. But AudioMicro isn’t making its user metrics public, and only a growth in downloads will show if its pricing gambit works.

By Brigid Gaffikin

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  1. Micro stock music is an emerging market, it’s not a saturated or crowded market as you claim. The link you provided in the first paragraph is to a personal use music site that has nothing to do with commercial music licensing in any manner. The fact remains that the high end of licensing will always exist. What makes this model unique is that it takes a crowd sourced approach and makes the licensing process simple and available to the masses. Would you pay $100 for a song for a personal use video? Would you pay $1? It’s a pretty easy decision to make. Customers enter the market at a particular price point. Anything above that price point they either do not purchase, or in the case of music, they steal. The micro stock music attempts to bridge that gap. Only time will tell if the model works as a long term sustainable play, but it seems to be worth a shot.

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  2. [...] The Series A round of funding was led by DFJ Frontier.  Through the funding, Scott Lenet, a managing director at DFJ will be joining the AudioMicro board of directors.  Although the amount of funding was not disclosed in the press release, GigaOm reports that it was at about $500,000. [...]

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