Back in September 2014, video rights management company ZEFR acquired social-marketing startup Engodo in an effort to expand into other platforms beyond YouTube. Now, the previously video-only company is making good on that promise. ZEFR has teamed up with music distribution platform SoundCloud to help develop the audio site’s copyright filing and advertising options.
ZEFR and SoundCloud will work together to determine how the music platform’s creators share content. This partnership will help SoundCloud develop a self-described “new creative ecosystem” to benefit all users. A ZEFR release didn’t clarify what this will look like for SoundCloud, but Jacob Kastrenakes from The Verge has his own idea.
Kastrenakes believes that SoundCloud, like YouTube, will primarily use ZEFR for identifying copyrighted content and allowing its owners to run ads on the infringing content (even if it was illegally uploaded). SoundCloud already has its own program for copyright owners and music labels to claim content as their own and issue takedown requests (again, much like YouTube has with its ContentID system). For that reason, Kastrenakes believes the music platform will use ZEFR’s technology to focus on monetization.
This ad-focused structure could certainly be the case, as SoundCloud co-founder and CEO Alexander Ljung stated that through ZEFR partnership, his company is aiming to become “a mature platform for labels and advertisers.” “Working with ZEFR, SoundCloud is taking another step to becoming the powerhouse player in the digital audio business,” Ljung explained.
“SoundCloud is a vibrant platform where the fans are sharing content and finding the right ways to use that fan activity for the benefit of SoundCloud, its music label partners, and publishers,” added Zach James, the co-founder of ZEFR. “We are excited to use our technology and expertise to help make SoundCloud a go-to platform for content creators and advertisers.”
Since rebranding in 2012 and selling its MovieClips YouTube channel, ZEFR has seen some impressive growth in the rights management area. The company landed $30 million in funding in February 2014, and works with brands like Lionsgate and Adidas. ZEFR currently has offices in Boston, New York, Chicago, Provo, and Venice Beach, California.