Rumblefish released an application programming interface giving software developers a pipeline to integrate licensed music and soundtracks into mobile and Web applications through its FriendlyMusic portal found on the company's new Web site Tuesday.
Brand advertisers looking to crowdsource ads from sites such as YouTube or Zooppa, a user-generated advertising community with more than 100,000 members who set music to videos, can feel more comfortable with licensed tunes. The API launched in private beta with a handful of companies in the second quarter of 2011. There are 400,000 available songs for film, TV, advertising, video games, and social media.
The biggest challenge for brands integrating user-generated content into video or television ads remains licensing music, explains Rumblefish Founder and CEO Paul Anthony. The API allows brands, members of social sites, and ad agencies to license music directly through Rumblefish for $1.99 per song per video.
While the music industry has put up a few roadblocks when it comes to licensing music, Rumblefish acquired the appropriate rights from the holders, Anthony explains. "It's a big deal to offer a song for a video at this low price and guarantee the license forever," he said. "It takes work to make it this easy."
About 4 million songs licensed from Rumblefish's music catalog appear in user-generated videos, slide shows, presentations and games. New content partnerships have expanded the company's music catalog during the past year from 35,000 to more than 400,000 songs. Last year, the company inked a deal with YouTube to provide consumers with a tool to find and license the soundtracks for online videos. Now through the API, the music licensing company extends that service to other companies.
One of those partners, Kaiser Permanente, has worked with Rumblefish for several years to give employees across the company access to a custom version of FriendlyMusic's platform to brand the company with licensed music. The first version launched in beta about three years ago. Dozens of KP employees tested the first and the second versions, but Scott Power, KP's senior brand strategist spearheading the infamous "Thrive" campaign, expects hundreds to tap into the third.
KP's marketers and advertising departments, as well as event planners, have access to about 300 preapproved songs spanning numerous genres and six brand attributes. The latest version of the "Thrive" campaign focuses on music. "The brand sounds like confidence," Power said, pointing to some of the radio spots that now talk about how music makes people feel better.
Power said the IT group has also begun to use the music for a variety of services such as on-hold music for the telephone system. The group estimates saving about $300,000 during the next five years by licensing music from Rumblefish.
The next phase of the "Thrive" campaign will look at bringing doctors into the fray, many of whom play musical instruments. While it's not clear whether doctors will produce a musical CD, Power said one thing's for certain -- the campaign's theme continues to emphasize how KP and music heals the mind, the body and the soul.