There’s no doubt that tech and innovation are the cornerstones of any evolving industry in modern time – the music industry being no exception.
Newly launched platform Releese is aiming to streamline core music industry business practices by making it possible all of a creator’s needs from managing your operations and distribution to marketing, monetization and analytics.
For artists feeling like creative control of their craft is slipping out of their hands, Releese provides a complete suite of tools that command productivity, efficiency and transparency.
In conversation with Earmilk, Releese CEO Maxence Pepin delves into his own journey in the music industry, what inspired the creation of Releese and how the platform can help artists around the world.
Before delving into the launch of Releese, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to speak with me! My name is Maxence, and throughout my time in the music industry, I’ve had the opportunity to grow as an artist, A&R, label manager, music marketer and most recently as an entrepreneur.
I’ve had the privilege of working for TropiKult, Strange Fruits, The Falling Apple, ChillYourMind, I’ve owned my own record label named Hinky and I have been making music under the Midsplit alias since 2017.
What specifically about the music industry compelled you to take action and build Releese?
I was brought on the ChillYourMind team by the founder, Pavle, who wanted to turn his successful YouTube channel and young label into an indie powerhouse for Chill Dance music. I was bringing experience in management and marketing to the table as well as a much-needed pair of hands to execute many ideas that were already being planned out.
After hiring multiple people to scale the operations, I was shocked by the number of platforms we needed to sign up for in order to get things done. A platform for pre-saves, a platform for distribution, a platform for royalty collection, a platform to manage work, a platform to keep things organized and it was getting frustratingly expensive. In that moment of frustration, I got an “Aha!” moment, what I built this platform? A one stop shop to manage everything.
Considering we were well organized, had flexibility on our spending and already had good knowledge of the music industry, I thought of Creators who are new to the industry and struggle to grasp everything. That’s when I truly got focused and decided to start building.
There seem to be a multitude of functions that can benefit professionals from all sectors of music. What would you say are the most universal?
Releese was made to help creators and record labels manage their business from a single place. So far, our most loved and universal tools have been our distribution platform as well as our marketing suite. The tools which we are pushing the most at the moment are our collaboration and project management systems, they were built to bring transparency and efficiency to a notoriously opaque and complex industry. With automatically shared analytics, real-time messaging, and cross-team collaboration, I believe Releese can become the golden standard for music business management.
With established brands like Trap City and NCS already utilizing the platform, what would you say is the main difference between how they would use Releese and how a smaller, indie artist would?
We’ve been surprised time and time again by how our users utilize our toolbox, and this is something I have only noticed recently: Our biggest teams and individual users use Releese essentially the same way, the only difference is catalog size. With everything on the platform being organized into projects, shared with collaborators, the value is present if you put out music once a month or once a day. Having your data communicate and being accessible from one place is another feature which has been a game changer for our users.
For the naysayers, some would say Releese is essentially monopolizing the release process by putting it all under your umbrella. What’s your response to that?
I would argue that if majors, distributors, publishers and marketing platforms worked together, the need for an all-in-one solution wouldn’t exist, and we would have no users. We stand for independence, creative freedom, and we believe that artists should have control over their data, and we provide this for them at an affordable price. You can take down your content from our platform at any time, without needing to ask for support, so the risk of being a release-process monopoly isn’t really present in my opinion.
Where/how do you see Releese evolving in the next decade?
I see Releese as being the go-to platform for music business management, the SalesForce of the music industry. We have features in development that will help bring even more transparency, efficiency and collaboration to our platform. I think we’re on the right path to achieve our goal. Who knows, maybe we’ll even build a DAW?
What is the #1 lesson you’ve learned from launch, to date?
If you truly care about your customers, they will tell you what to build.
Find out more about Releese.