Breaking The Business: Dre Scott Introduces Us To SoundLog

We recently tapped in with LA-based songwriter, producer, and now startup founder, Dre Scott. Dre graduated from USC’s Thornton School of Music in 2019 and this year launched SoundLog.io, a Catalog Management & Intelligence company designed for songwriters, producers, and their teams. We asked him a few questions about SoundLog and what’s going on with him right now.

So what is SoundLog?

The quick pitch is SoundLog is an online platform that allows songwriters, producers and their teams (management, publishers) to track their placements, but it does a lot more than that. Independent producers who license beats on sites like Beatstars can use it to keep track of their sold beats on their own and know when it’s time to re-negotiate license agreements. Managers who have a lot of writers and producers on their roster can use it to easily organize all of their music and documents. Ideally songwriters and producers will use it to vouch for themselves when negotiating splits and publishing contracts. If they can point to their catalog on SoundLog to prove what their work is worth, I think we’re in store for a lot more fair contracts and that bodes better for the entire industry.

The feature I’m personally most excited about is our recent addition of Spotify Audio Features to tracks. This is where the “Catalog Intelligence” term I like to use comes from. With those, users can see some really insightful musical data about their songs that comes straight from Spotify. This includes metrics like “danceability”, “energy”, “valence” (happiness), and a lot more, which writers and producers can use to inform their creative process. Noticing that your R&B beats between 70-80 BPM are selling better than others or that you’re getting more placements when you write Pop in C# Minor? Then make more of those and increase your chances of continued success.

I could go on, but that’s the general overview of where we’re at right now.

Where did the idea for SoundLog come from?

It originated from my personal experiences selling songs and beats online. I started selling online for the first time last year and was so frustrated that there wasn’t a good way for me to keep track of how those songs were doing. I was especially bummed that if they were basic licenses (10k/20k stream limits), I knew that I should get paid again for another lease once the artist exceeded those limits. Unfortunately, the convention in the industry now for independents managing their own assets is that it’s just too much of a hassle to keep track of licenses. So, producers are rarely following up on them and are missing out on money they’re rightfully owed.

About the data analytics you mentioned earlier, would you say you’re trying to make the statistically perfect song?

Although I’d love to hear what that song would sound like, that’s not what we’re trying to do. It’s not about removing humanity from the creation process at all, just about informing it. We know that music is subjective and by no means want to take the art away from it, but if you’re looking to improve your commercial success or sell more beats, there are data driven ways to do that. I’ve been asked this a few times actually, and I love to use the sports analogy that at the end of the day a baseball player still has to swing the bat, but if they know what pitches are better to swing at, then that’s what they should swing at. Funny enough, this is assuming both baseball players and songwriters are looking for a “hit” in this equation.

The other thing I’ll say about this is that I think optimizing your process for success and efficiency has the potential to bring up the skill level of everyone around you. To use another sports reference, I think the Steph Curry of today is partly a result of Shane Battier shooting practically only corner 3’s in 2013. Battier knew that this was the most efficient shot on the court because it’s a foot closer than other three pointers and he also knew that he wasn’t as good at creating open inside shots for himself as he once was, so he used this data to figure out what his best playing style would be. A few years later, Steph was absolutely unleashing from beyond the arc to bring the Warriors their first title in 40 years. Yes, Steph is an absurdly talented shooter, but I think the Battier story really let Steph shoot tons of three’s with little hesitation because the league started to accept that style of play more.

Long story short, I’m very curious to see what the music industry’s Steph Curry will look like in 5-10 years if we can get some widespread adoption of good data today.

So what do you ultimately want SoundLog to be? More of a data tool?

My big dream is that it can eventually be a one-stop-shop for your entire back office needs as a writer, producer, or publisher and can handle everything from splits, to royalty collection, and potentially even distribution. So, not a data tool specifically, but I definitely want it to be a major aspect of the platform.

What’s been the hardest part about making SoundLog so far?

For me it’s been not getting too excited about what’s next. There’s always another great feature we can add and something down the road that will help our users more, but for now I need to make sure I’m focusing on our current offerings and how those can be most effective.

What’s next for SoundLog?

We actually just got into this accelerator program through the entrepreneurship school at USC, so I’m hoping we can go far in that process. I’m excited to be able to use it as a way to iron out all the details of our offerings and really validate our value proposition. Outside of that it’s all about getting some more users on board right now and proving its value so that we can get some momentum and continue to improve the tool.

Ok rapid fire round:
Do you use SoundLog?

Haha, next question.

Any music coming out soon?

Potentially. I’m sitting on like 40/50 songs from last summer that I’m still trying to figure out the best plan of action for. I’m trying to not get impatient and release them myself, but there’s a couple I do want to get out there sooner than later. Rumor has it I also could have some cuts coming in the near future, but can never say that definitively.

Favorite Writer of All Time:

Gahhhhh gunna have to go with Louis Bell

DAW of choice?

Ableton

Favorite producer tag?

Right now it’s between Jetson, Daytrip and Kenny Beats for me

Sports Teams?

Jets, Mets, Knicks, USC

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