Earlier this year, Kobalt revealed that it was investing $150m into its newly-relaunched recorded music division AWAL. It’s already putting that money to good use.
AWAL is a distribution and services company which allows independent artists to keep hold of their copyrights, while benefitting from sync, streaming, marketing and other support.
What’s the main criticism you hear about such companies versus the major labels? It goes a little something like this: ‘Good luck getting on US radio without the muscle of Universal, Sony or Warner.’
Today, AWAL has provided a strong answer to this critique – acquiring New York-based, multi-format radio promotion specialist, in2une Music.
Who are in2une? For one thing, they’re the company Chance The Rapper has deployed to plug his acclaimed music at US radio. (Chance, of course, remains the poster child for what independent artists can achieve without a label.)
Founded in 2007 by Dale Connone (pictured), in2une provides multi-format radio promotion to independent labels and artists, in addition to other services including playlisting, social & digital strategy and campus promotion.
Over its ten year history, in2une has enjoyed chart success with more than 400 songs from artists including Diplo, Marshmello, AJR, The Lumineers, Cheat Codes, Calvin Harris, Lindsey Stirling, Capital Cities and Major Lazer – notably for the latter’s global smash “Lean On”.
“Dale and his team have done an amazing job over the past ten years – their client success speaks for itself.”
Willard Ahdritz, Kobalt
in2une has also worked closely with AWAL artist Lauv. With over a billion streams, and currently sitting at No.1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artist chart, the US singer/songwriter is a key case study for Kobalt.
Despite being owned by Kobalt/AWAL, in2une says it will maintain its autonomy to serve both existing and prospective clients in the marketplace, regardless of whether they use AWAL’s other services.
“Dale and his team have done an amazing job over the past ten years – their client success speaks for itself,” said Kobalt Founder and CEO, Willard Ahdritz.
“AWAL is committed to providing the best services for our artists and this was a natural next step to bolster AWAL’s global marketing and promotion capabilities. In2une was the perfect addition.”
AWAL says it ‘will provide resources to in2une Music to build a more robust worldwide team to support global curation, social/digital strategy and campus/lifestyle marketing’.
“Investing in services for independent-minded artists, managers and labels has been the number one focus for us,” said CEO of AWAL, Lonny Olinick.
“With in2une’s unparalleled track record in radio promotion, we took an important step forward in cementing AWAL as a comprehensive alternative to the label system.
“The in2une team will be stronger than ever to serve existing and future clients. And AWAL artists will now have all the key services at their disposal to reach new fans around the globe, across different platforms, while owning their music and career.”
in2une CEO, Dale Connone said: “Having worked with Kobalt and AWAL for over four years, this is a natural evolution.
“We share the same vision for independent artists and the services business along with integrity and transparency. We look forward to contributing to the growth of in2une and AWAL as we continue to build the future model of our industry.
“I want to thank Willard Ahdritz, Lonny Olinick and Ron Cerrito for sharing their belief and passion in crafting this unique deal.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The current staff including CEO and Founder, Dale Connone, and Managing Partner, Ken Lucek, will continue to operate in2une Music.Music Business Worldwide