The various musings of Michael Hiles


Soundstr is disrupting live music performing rights licensing

One of the big areas of concern for touring musicians is actually getting paid their fair share of mandated statutory licensing. After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, Eron Bucciarelli-Tieger, the former drummer for the platinum selling band Hawthorne Heights, decided to do something about it.

He started a technology company called Soundstr.

Platinum Selling Drummer Disrupts

Eron is no stranger to technology, his father was a former Bell Labs engineer. After working on the model and prototype for several months, Eron decided it was time to launch his company. He was accepted into one of the more well-known Cincinnati region startup accelerators, The Brandery. During his time at The Brandery, Eron began putting together his company and business model.

After graduating, Eron was able to assemble an all-star team of co-founders. Working with regional tech business executive, Eric Fulkert, together they recruited Brian Penick.

Brian previously worked extensively in artist development and was known for his Musician’s Desk Reference book and platform.

The team was able to secure a nice-sized round of funding from CincyTech, a regional early stage venture capital firm.

Pulse Launches

With the approximately $1 million in hand, they started building the product called Pulse.

Pulse is an Android-based device that connects to the sound system in a live performance venue. It is able to capture the audio and using a proprietary system, it tags the necessary metadata information about the song with the time and date of performance. This provides the venue, promoter, and the artist with the necessary information to accurately compile data. This data can be used to audit the performing rights organization (PRO) and the distribution of funds paid by the promoter and venue to the artists.

This might not make the folks at BMI and ASCAP all that happy. But then again, the venues, promoters, and most of all, the artists haven’t been happy with the PROs since… well, the beginning of the music industry in America.

The venues and promoters must pay the statutory license fees, which are collected by the PRO. The PRO then distributes the funds to the artists, but the system has traditionally been rife with abuse and miscalculations for a myriad of reasons.

Soundstr is looking to change all of that with their inexpensive, effective solution set to ship in 2017.

Here’s to their success!


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