Have you ever found yourself bopping along to a tune, only to realize that you’re actually jamming to a commercial? If so, you may have a Miami-based startup to thank.
Wynwood-based SoStereo is a marketplace platform that connects artists and record labels with brands in need of music. It’s far from the Muzak of old. In fact, SoStereo boasts Grammy Award-winning artists on its platform.
The masterminds behind SoStereo are co-founders Salo Sterental and Beto Azout [pictured above]. Sterental, a native Miamian, first met Azout while they were studying at Berklee College of Music. They would eventually become roommates and started producing music together.
Their first big break would be from Hallandale Beach-based Zumba, which licensed the duo’s music for their workout classes. After collaborating for a while, the Zumba crew came to Sterental and Azout with a problem: licensing music from major artists was very expensive.
“We pitched them the idea of using indie, emerging artists,” Sterental told Refresh Miami. He and Azout discovered a Colombian artist and it was a hit. “There was a groundswell of people going to the Zumba instructors and asking what that music was,” he said.
Word quickly got back to headquarters that they were onto something. Zumba then did a collaboration with the artist that netted approximately 10 million views in the first couple of months.
“It was our first aha moment,” explained Sterental. “If you make it easy for a big brand to work with an indie artist and you remove the barriers to entry, there’s a big opportunity to create a win/win where the brand can create an impactful campaign for a tenth of the cost and the artists can make money and launch their careers.”
After graduating from Berklee, the duo would go their separate ways: Sterental worked as an independent music writer and producer, and Azout landed a gig at BMG. But all roads lead back to working together – in Miami.
“We realized that there’s an opportunity for technology to be a gateway to connect brands and artists in an accessible and seamless manner,” said Sterental. They built a beta version of their platform in 2016 and created what is known today as SoStereo in 2017. SoStereo raised a seed round led by Miami’s Fuel Venture Capital in 2018.
“The Miami tech space is over indexing on music,” asserted Sterental. He noted that all major music labels have an office here. Sterental said that he sees more and more artists targeting Miami as a top destination, thanks to the growing US Hispanic market and the rise of crossover hits like “Despacito.”
SoStereo currently has 15 employees, most of whom are remote but with a cluster in Miami. Sterental expects to grow the team in the near future to meet the increased demand of its rapidly-scaling customer base.
Take a listen to the upcoming season of SoStero’s podcast, “What About the Music,” which is currently available on Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music.
READ MORE ON REFRESH MIAMI:
- Tired of the same old music? MuzicSwipe can help you discover new artists
- NFT platform OneOf announces expansion into sports and lifestyle verticals, plus partnership with Warner Music Group
- Musicasa’s live music experiences spark ‘joyful human connection’ while helping artists build fan bases