Sparta: Facilitating distribution for independent artists

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Az Cohen let his passion for music guide his career in the industry. Mostly recently appointed a Billboard hip hop power player for 2021, Cohen began his foray into music as a jazz player, studying music theory in college. This track would ultimately lead Cohen to artist management and production, working with artists like Post Malone and the late 6 Dogs. Eventually, an internship at 300 led to the construction of Cohen 300’s A&R research department. “Now, almost seven years later, I continue to oversee this department,” Cohen expresses, “along with a handful of artists. incredible with whom I had the chance to sign and to be able to work! “

300’s success as a label is undeniable, with their roster including Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug and Gunna some of the biggest names in hip-hop. The future is just as bright. With the label’s launch of Sparta Distribution, Cohen enters a crowded arena with a market disruptor: “We don’t charge any upfront, or recurring fees to keep music on DSPs like some competitors. I feel confident stepping into a cluttered space knowing that we are committed to art and artist above all else and bring a product that is powered by a company with deep experience in the space and the best technology in the market. to best serve our artists. “

As distribution deals get messy and complicated at times, keeping their hands tied and restricting their ability to share their music with the world, Sparta’s philosophy follows its parent company: to create a space for creatives to truly change their lives. . “We’re not necessarily a distributor for every artist, but if you aspire to be the world’s greatest artist and want to do things differently, we’re the place for that,” Cohen said. “We want to empower creatives, executives and labels around the world by giving them more than just a complete platform to share their gift with the world. “

“We believe deeply in our approach and methodologies at 300,” Cohen concludes. “Thanks to Sparta, we can share them with more artists and deepen our roots in the independent community by making the best technology more widely available. Sparta offers a simple alternative to the 300 higher contact offers while allowing us to empower the artists we work with by providing the necessary tools, resources and information to help them maximize their efforts in creating their art and creating it. building a global brand. ”

With 300’s success as a label, why venture into the distribution space?

We felt it was important to find new ways to better engage, nurture and serve the independent community. 300 always sounds like independence is a viable alternative to building a career, and we’ve learned over the years that being independent doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. We want to help more artists achieve this and distribution is the perfect channel to do so.

What problems have you all seen in the market and how do you plan to solve them with Sparta Distribution?

As a research A&R, I always hear about artists, managers and labels who think they’ve been sold a fake invoice from their distributor. They have a hard time finding someone on the phone, responding to an email, or worse yet, the delivery technology just isn’t working as promised.

With Sparta, we’ve built a product that works as advertised. We wanted to bring a more human touch to the customer support side while being one of the distributors, if not the fastest, in terms of delivery in the market. A lot of distribution companies are run by tech-savvy people, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but we felt there had to be an opportunity for us, as real music and music people. artists, to approach the game from a different angle.

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Sparta bridges the gap in distribution models and shares the same philosophy that feeds 300 with a broader spectrum of the independent artist community.

How does being in the thick of it on the label side make the team uniquely capable of launching a distribution service?

As musicians we know how important it is to be sure that when you download your song [for distribution], it will end up on the right profiles, at the right time, as you have configured. With Sparta, we guarantee that confidence to our artists because we have built our platform in partnership with AudioSalad, who, frankly, has built a top notch technology suite. This confidence in the technology behind Sparta allows them to focus on much more important aspects of their careers: music, marketing and development. We’ve also built an extremely robust analysis suite that provides artists with a deep understanding of track and catalog performance, giving them access to the same kind of information we rely on when working on 300 projects.

What educational elements, if any, does Sparta bring to help artists stay smart in their careers?

Apart from the full suite of powerful analysis tools, we are building a knowledge base to answer some of the most common questions we receive in terms of best practices with DSP, pitch, video optimization music, creation and other aspects of being a successful independent artist / manager / executive / label to maximize artist releases on the platform.

Distribution is a very busy space. What will Sparta bring to the proverbial table in terms of craftsmanship, but also, what other aspects of your model will set you apart from a DistroKid, for example?

We want Sparta to be more than just a distribution service with the best technology and the best speed to market. Sparta loves and respects what it takes to make art, and our user-friendly platform provides all the tools you need to build brands and understand the process, not just push a button. We have set the bar high for what comes out of Sparta. Our organized approach ensures that when our partners see that we are distributing a specific independent artist, there will be a guaranteed level of quality and thoughtfulness.

Over time, this will create more opportunities for artists going through the pipes. There is always room for someone with incredible technology, alongside the desire to provide better and more human service, to compete in the distribution space.

Finally, who is Sparta for? What type of artist would disseminate through you?

Sparta is for anyone who knows there are no shortcuts. We want to help artists who really want to work hard to achieve their vision and dreams of being big. We exist to power entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and anyone passionate about building businesses differently. Whether they’re doing hip-hop or indie rock, in a bedroom or commercial studio, if they aspire to be big, we’re here to make sure they have the tools to do it. We exist to serve the independent community and are excited to continue to build our reputation for quality, speed, transparency and education.


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