Los Angeles Business Journal

Startup Launches to License Film Scores

By Natalie Jarvey Friday, January 11, 2013

Los Angeles has become a hotbed for music startups in recent months, and now another company is making its debut.

Score Revolution launched Friday as an online catalogue for licensing original film scores.

Movie makers looking to score their films can search Score Revolution’s database of tracks, request quotes for the price of licensing that music, and download the music directly from the website. The music could also be used for commercials, video games and movie trailers.

The company, which has eight employees in its Hollywood Boulevard office, currently has more than 10,000 tracks available from more than 165 composers, including James Horner and Hans Zimmer.

Score Revolution uses technology from Danish company Syntonetic that allows people to upload music to the Score Revolution catalogue and then use acoustic analysis to search for new music with a similar sound or mood.

Ian Hierons, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, said Score Revolution is meant to make the process of finding and licensing music more streamlined.

“It’s not just about getting the music, it’s also about understanding who owns the music,” he said. “With film music, you sometimes have to contact two or three people to find out who owns the rights to that track or song. It’s a complicated and time consuming process.”

Score Revolution is able to sell this music by partnering directly with the rights holders – everyone from independent composers to movie studios. Scores can cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars depending on the popularity of the piece. Score Revolution will share its profits with the rights holders in a revenue split.

Other music startups in Los Angeles tend to fall into categories of music education or music discovery. Chromatik in Santa Monica, for example, launched a collaboration platform last year that allows members of, say, an orchestra to send sheet music and recordings to one another for critique. Meanwhile, BeastMode.FM streams new music posted to blogs for free on its website.

But one thing that Score Revolution has in common with many of L.A.’s music startups is music industry experience.

Hierons has worked in the film soundtrack industry for more than 20 years and was previously an executive at soundtrack label Milan Records. His co-founders, Seth Kaplan and Christine Russell, are the founders of Evolution Music Partners, a talent agency that represents many film composers.

Hierons said he first noticed a hole in the music licensing marketplace while he was still working in the soundtrack industry.

“One of the things I constantly saw with film music and soundtracks was that we’d have requests from people who wanted to use the music in other ways,” he said. “From the other side, the people who actually own the music had these wonderful pieces of music just sitting on the shelves. Why not just put those two people together?”