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Courtesy of Trac

Music tech startup Trac, which helps independent artists distribute songs, merchandise and NFTs, has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Nigerian investment firm Zrosk.

Launched in 2020 by founder Cardin Campbell, a former marketing tech executive at Peloton and Expedia, Trac pitches itself as a one-stop shop for musicians to monetize and manage their careers. The Santa Monica-based company allows artists to upload songs and get them distributed on major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. It also lets artists design and sell merchandise like shirts, hats and hoodies through websites that the platform builds for them.

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For many musicians, the democratization of music production and distribution carried the promise of reaching multitudes of eager fans at the touch of an upload button.

Yet with over 40,000 new tracks being uploaded each day, creating a virtually infinite selection of music available on most streaming platforms, breaking through as an artist has in some ways become more difficult than ever, especially on the global stage.

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On Wednesday morning's earnings call, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek stressed his firm's focus: "Our primary strategy," he said, "is growth, rather than maximizing revenue." Three times he underscored that the long-term trend of "linear to on-demand" will continue to help Spotify grow, and that the tailwind may even "be accelerated" by the coronavirus.

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