QA with Ryan Fuhrman (TomatoShark)

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1.  Tell us about the vision behind creating Tomatoshark and the company behind it

TomatoShark was created to facilitate direct sync licensing between artists and buyers. We offer free to create sync licensing stores for musicians, and pre-cleared, click through licensing that’s priced in advance for our buyers.

We want to make music buyers’ jobs easier. Having prices done in advance rather than negotiated per use helps with budgeting. Giving Indie musicians an online space to create a licensing store and offer click through licensing offers convenience and speed, helping with deadlines.

We want to help musicians by offering a licensing store that’s free to create and run. Since the only fee we take is a 30% commision on sales, we’re not asking musicians for money they don’t have yet, and there’s no pressure from creating a store or keeping it open. Musicians on our platform hold onto 100% of their copyrights, and are not bound to our platform whatsoever. We’re a non-exclusive, non-binding service, stores can be created and closed at anytime, for any reason. Lastly, by automating licensing, we help musicians save time that can then be spent creating new music.

2.  What differentiates Tomatoshark from other solutions for buyers and sellers of music for projects?

TomatoShark is one of several online platforms for Sync Licensing; a benefit of all of them is that they provide music buyers with a much faster way to license music than the traditional phone calls, emails, and fax machines negotiations.

We’re unique in that we don’t curate our catalog. The TomatoShark Sync Licensing catalog is user generated, and open to any kind of music. This opens up our platform to obscure, cutting edge, and under represented music, and also doesn’t impose our taste on our buyers’ options. In this way, we function like other successful online markets, such as ebay, etsy, airbnb, and Craigslist. Curation on TomatoShark happens within the individually run, artist controlled stores.

And, because TomatoShark allows anyone to join and is non-exclusive, we’re positioned to become a common link to see on artists’ SoundCloud, Twitter, and BandCamp pages, finally making it possible to license music easily even when you’ve discovered it outside of a pre-cleared catalog.

On that note, we’ve recently created the TomatoShark facebook app, which music owners can use to embed a sync licensing store right in their facebook artist page. Buyers will now have the convenience of licensing tracks from artists right on facebook, and artists will be able to present their catalog for sync on the most trafficked web platform in the world.

3.  How does Tomatoshark work with the people that use music in ads, TV, film and interactive?c

We offer click through, pre-priced licensing from indie musicians that is flexible, easy to use, and only takes a minute to secure. As we grow, more and more we’ll help buyers license music at the source, when and where they discover music, rather than inside of a catalog.

4.  How does Tomatoshark work with people that make and sell music?

We offer free to create sync licensing web-stores that can exist as stand-alone shops, as a part of our full catalog, and on a facebook page. Anyone with original music can use our automated licensing tools and impartial licensing contracts.

Artists set their own prices and curate their stores however they want. Our contract is non-exclusive and can be ended at anytime; there is no minimum amount of time an artist must stay on our platform. They maintain 100% of their copyrights, and the only cost of our service is a 30% commission on sales. As we grow, more and more we’ll help artists license music directly to buyers in the industry.

5. How do deals work for buyers?

Buyers select the terms they need and can see the price, agree to our licensing contract, then pay the amount they were shown previously. They are then free to use the track in their project, as per the terms they chose, and will always have the ability to download the track from our platform.

6.  For Sellers?

Sellers sign a non-exclusive sub-licensing deal with us, upload tracks they own 100% of master and composition copyright to, set pricing and add meta-data, then publish their stores. We support track uploading from your desktop, dropbox, and SoundCloud. Afterwards, sellers are free to change pricing or modify their catalog as they wish.

Once sellers have created a store, they can download our facebook app to embed their store in a facebook page. We also offer an embeddable, red, “license my music” button that can be added to personal webpages and blogs.

7.  What services are you adding in the next year?

Our platform is still in beta. The next year will be spent adding depth to our licensing options, creating a versatile account for buyers, and significantly improving our site design, including our open marketplace and artist stores. We’ll also be dedicating resources to direct marketing, working to bring artists we admire to our platform.

8. How do people work with you?

Anyone with original music they own the rights to can create a seller’s account at tomatoshark.com.

For developers or businesses that are interested in working with us, email us at support@tomatoshark.com

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