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The sheet music publishing industry is worth more than $1 billion.
Yet when working with traditional publishers, composers hardly see any of that money. Models put revenue for publishers as high as 95 percent with only 5 percent slated for composers.
Jennifer Rosenblatt and Kurt Knecht say the trend is pushing composers toward self-publishing as an option, which is why they co-founded MusicSpoke in 2014. Since then, the platform offers more than 1,000 scores and has sold more than 85,000 units of sheet music from self-published composers.
MusicSpoke keeps 30 percent of the sheet music sales, which is significantly lower than traditional publishing fees the sheet music industry, Rosenblatt and Knecht said. The company has grown at an average annual rate of about 260 percent and has raised about $120,000 in investment capital to date.
After spending a decade in Lincoln, Nebraska, Rosenblatt and Knecht set up shop in Kansas City in July 2016. The pair thought their business’ new home would be a better place to grow MusicSpoke.
“We are delighted to be growing in KC,” Rosenblatt said. “We love the support for the arts and entrepreneurship KC provides. We are looking to hire and grow the team next year.”
Later in 2017, MusicSpoke is expected to launch the Icon Series, which involves a collection of scores curated by the industry’s influential conductors, Rosenblatt said. The firm’s tests show that sheet music promoted by an influencer can sell up to 400 percent better than top-selling scores that are not promoted.
Rosenblatt is a 2017 Pipeline Fellow, has participated in ScaleUP KC! and is a part of the Sprint Mentor Network.