As I look back on the journey of our platform, Foundry (formerly Encore), I am amazed by the progress we've made. What began as a plan to expand marketing services in April 2022 has evolved into a robust platform with new features like catalog management, audio watermarking, and a complete rebranding. Our team has worked tirelessly to iterate, refine, and expand our services, providing artists with the tools they need to succeed throughout their careers.
As a quick testimonial...
Its been exciting to witness the organic growth of Foundry, with thousands of successful campaigns and over 300,000 fans utilizing our services without any external promotion. Our wait list offering serves as an alternative to traditional pre-save campaigns, which provide poor conversions and compromise user privacy. Through waitlisting, we have achieved outstanding engagement rates where fans have the ability to immediately stream your music when your campaign runs. Prominent industry players like Atlantic Records and The Orchard have successfully harnessed the power of our platform for their developing artists, serving as a testament to the profound impact and value our platform brings to the music industry. So where are we going next? Cataloging.
Catalog & Metadata Management
As Foundry continues to expand, we are actively planning to develop additional modules to cater to the evolving needs of artists throughout their careers. These modules will encompass various areas such as A&R, tour advancing, distribution, and more. Our next module is catalog management, which equips artists with a powerful toolset to effectively manage their music assets.
With our catalog management features, artists can easily upload their tracks, manage sound recording and composition splits, file metadata, attachments, and streaming services, among other functionalities. This comprehensive control over their music assets empowers artists to efficiently manage their catalog and streamline their production process.
File Management & Track Versioning
When uploading a track you have access to all the files that relate to that track. For example you can upload assets for the master, acapella, instrumental, and extended mix and manage the metadata for all of those related files in one place. You can then easily share specific files with users or even add them to collections to share many tracks at once. So, when that sync deal comes knocking and they only want the instrumental, no sweat! With Foundry, you've got all your files tracked and ready to share, making it a breeze to close that deal and rock that sync placement.
Cataloging on the platform also comes with track versioning, which is a game-changer for your production process. With track versioning, artists can easily create and manage multiple versions of a track, making it seamless to try out different arrangements, mixes, or edits without losing previous versions. This provides artists with flexibility in their production process, allowing them to fine-tune their music until it reaches its final state.
Shareable Track & Collection Links
Every file you upload on Foundry can be shared with others. With these shareable pages, you can manage various properties of the unique links, allowing you to customize the sharing experience according to your preferences. These properties include:
- Visibility: You can choose whether the shared link should be public or private..
- Track Settings: You can determine what metadata is displayed on the shared page, allowing you to customize the information that is shown alongside your music.
- Watermark: You can choose to embed a hidden message, also known as a watermark, into the audio file, providing an added layer of security and identification for your music.
- Expiration: You can specify when the shared link should become unavailable.
- Password: You can set up a password requirement for users to enter before they can access the shared link.
- User Access: You can specify the email addresses of users who should have access to the shared page.
In addition to these customization options, you also have access to an analytics tab that allows you to track and observe when your track was viewed, streamed, and downloaded, providing valuable insights into how your music is being engaged with by your contacts.
Safeguard your tracks from leaks with Foundry's watermarking technology. Our watermarks are inaudible and highly resistant to re-encoding attempts, ensuring maximum protection for your music. You have full control over which files are watermarked when you share your music, and you can easily track who has requested watermarked files.
To receive a download link, users simply need to enter their contact information. Foundry will then seamlessly add a hidden watermark within each file, embedding the contact information of the intended user. Worried about leaked tracks? No problem. Just upload the track to your watermarking dashboard, and Foundry will trace the leak and reveal any hidden messages embedded within the file. It's a powerful tool to help you identify and take action against unauthorized sharing of your music.
Marketing Campaign Improvements
With the rise of artist communities in Discord it was important for us to prioritize the development of native engagement tools built directly in to the platform. Foundry's latest update allows artists to empower their fans to join waitlist / contact list campaigns without the need to leave the Discord app. It's a convenient solution that enhances the overall experience for both artists and their dedicated fanbase.
To enable embeddable campaigns, it's a two step process:
- Install the Foundry Bot in to your artist server following the instructions laid out here
- Embed a campaign using a Discord "slash" command in your chat. For example
/foundry waitlist [landing-page-id]
We're excited to see how this affects engagement rates and streaming numbers for avid Discord artist communities!
Geo-restrict notification methods
In certain cases, you may need to limit certain notification methods to specific countries. This can be due to various reasons, such as having a highly targeted audience or wanting to avoid incurring high costs for text messaging in certain countries where the cost-per-message is significantly higher. With our updated campaign creation process, you now have the flexibility to choose which notification methods are displayed based on the location of the end-user. This allows you to precisely tailor your campaigns based on the geographical location of your audience.
Free Pre-save campaigns
As much as Foundry was conceived as an alternative to traditional pre-save campaigns, we recognize the significance of enabling artists to automatically add their music to their fans' libraries. As part of our continuous efforts to enhance our services, we are expanding our free pre-save integrations to encompass popular platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Napster.
The upgraded capabilities also include the option for fans to auto-follow artist profiles when they pre-save music, as well as the ability to send email alerts to notify fans when the music is automatically added to their library on the release day. We believe that pre-saves are a fundamental feature that should be accessible to all artists, and as a result, Foundry offers unlimited free pre-save campaigns to all artists during their promotional efforts.
We now offer the ability for artists to purchase multiple phone numbers from different countries. To facilitate this feature, Foundry utilizes phone pooling, which allows artists to add or remove phone numbers from their account as needed. Each phone pool has a messaging dashboard, where messages can be displayed and artists can manually send text messages to their fans. You can even disable in-bound messaging so that you are not billed for unnecessary messages sent from users that have access to your phone numbers.
In addition to the messaging capabilities, Foundry also handles regulatory compliance for phone numbers directly within the app. This ensures that artists are abiding by compliance laws and regulations of the countries where they own phone numbers. Phone numbers are available for purchase starting at $5 per month.
Organization & Workspace Architecture
We've made significant enhancements to platform architecture to accommodate the needs of growing teams and enterprise infrastructures. When you sign up for Foundry, an organization is automatically created, serving as a container for managing multiple workspaces. This allows for control and separation of concerns, specifically for catalog and marketing resources.
Take, for example, OWSLA, a record label. With Foundry, OWSLA can easily create separate workspaces for each artist signed to the label, such as Skrillex, providing them with their own dedicated workspace within the organization. This allows artists and their teams to independently upload, manage, and collaborate on their music assets with ease. It's a useful feature for artists, as it enables them to have complete autonomy and creative control within their dedicated workspace, while still benefiting from the overall support and resources of the organization. Which leads us to roles and permissions...
Role-based access control (RBAC)
Foundry gives you the flexibility to assign roles with customized access to different resources within your organization and workspace. This means you can tailor permissions and access levels for each contact based on their specific responsibilities. For example, you can assign a day-to-day manager full access to marketing tools in Foundry, while limiting catalog management to an admin publisher role. This allows for precise control over who can access and modify different aspects of your organization's workflow, promoting effective collaboration and data security.
Updates to our billing structure
Our goal is to cater to the needs of different artists, from independent musicians to enterprise-level users. The core of the pricing model is based on the Organization / Workspace structure described earlier, where licenses are assigned to each Workspace that is provisioned.
A license for Foundry costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year, and it comes with various benefits, including 10GB of free storage and no messaging fees.
Foundry also provides a free tier for artists who are just starting out or want to explore the platform without incurring any costs.
The pricing structure of Foundry aims to strike a balance between affordability for independent artists and scalability for enterprise customers. By consolidating various features and capabilities into one platform, Foundry aims to reduce the need for artists to pay for multiple sites and services, while providing a comprehensive solution for music catalog management, marketing campaigns, and more.
What's coming next?
Well hopefully, shorter blog posts and faster iterations on the product! Our focus is on shareable catalogs (where you can broker licenses directly through Foundry), on-demand bulk messaging, and workspace "inboxes" to receive catalog assets from your collaborators. Thanks for giving this post a read and subscribe to the newsletter if you're interested in future posts following the development and product updates of Foundry.