According to a report by Music Business Worldwide, Warner secretly launched its own digital distribution platform for self-releasing artists – becoming a competitor for the likes of Tunecore, CD Baby, Ditto, Distrokid and Universal’s Spinnup.
It's called Level Music and it was launched in beta version earlier this year. It’s live online now, and it promises artists the chance to release their music "everywhere for free".
The Level site explains:
We believe in building a product that gives lasting value to artists. Therefore during this beta period, Level is free of charge as we gather feedback to build a platform that best serves our artist community. We will keep you updated on any changes to the free beta, future product offerings and features well in advance.
Actually MBW writes that Level Music actually does appear to reserve the right to charge its artists a commission based on their digital income. Indeed the website's dedicated article says:
MBW managed to sign up as a beta artist earlier and downloaded the mandatory contract presented to us.
Level Music tells artists they are entitled to 100% of net receipts from their music – minus an 8% commission fee retained by the platform (in addition to taxes, fees or other sales charges).
Moreover, MBW investigated more in depth and explains:
Level Music is not overtly owned by Warner Music Group, but the link between the two parties is pretty cast-iron. According to the legal terms and conditions on the site, Level Music is owned by a UK company called Radar Scope Ltd. MBW checked Companies House to see who’s behind Radar Scope… and its directors are all senior Warner US and UK executives.
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