Jarett Hines is the co-founder and CEO of Music Tech Works, a parent company that creates user-friendly technology that can help simplify the idea of music licensing. Along with his co-founder and chief technology officer Bryson Nobles, Hines created righsholder.io in 2019.
The pair met while Hines was at New York University earning his MBA. At that time, Hines was managing artists who were looking to get a recording and publishing deal with a songwriter Nobles worked with.
“It was a challenge to get all the paperwork together to kind of go back over the years and find out who owns what,” Hines said. ”[Nobles’] company SongSplits [featured] technology that actually helped with that. So we met at a show, started talking, and I ended up using his app to then pull all that data together that I needed to get the deals done. We kept in touch.”
Over time, Hines expressed his interest in Nobles’ company and later became involved with SongSplits. From there, the two continued to work together in the music technology industry for the past decade.
Rightsholder.io is the first product of Music Tech Works, and is a copyright research platform with a database of over 60 million songs that gives clear publishing and master recording ownership information.
The co-founders originally created the platform to service music supervisors, people who needed to find out who owns songs in order to license them for television shows, advertisements, and more. For their proof-of-concept, they started out with a catalog of 10 million songs.
“Through the years, dealing with [and] meeting different publishers, foreign rights organizations, and music labels … we ended up building up our database to somewhere north of 175 million unique songs, and with that amount of data, we get to see different patterns and attract enterprises that we’re interested in seeing,” Hines said. “We can help them understand who the owners of songs are on their platforms.”
Rightsholder.io is very research-oriented, with the main goal of making the ownership data easily accessible. One can search songs individually or even in groups.
“I think there’s some excitement around the time savings that people can get from using our product,” Hines said. “So on a research side, you don’t have to go to four or five different performing rights organizations or other websites to try and piece together the ownership. You just come to our site, find this information and then quickly move forward to your next task.”
The ongoing pandemic has impacted lots of businesses, especially those owned by people of color. Fortunately, COVID-19 didn’t hinder the growth of rightsholder.io. In 2020, Nobles and Hines were raising capital from investors in Atlanta around the same time that there was an increase in demand on streaming platforms.
In the future, Hines looks forward to continuing to grow rightsholder.io and creating new applications under Music Tech Works.
“Our vision for the future is that we’re just continuing to build out more applications to help more people or businesses understand who owns these rights, and help make the different licenses [that] make that business flow faster,” Hines said.