Byta, the music sharing service for pre-releases and other use-cases where there is a need to share sound files privately, has picked up around $1.4 million in seed funding.

The round was led by the Canada Media Fund, with participation from of private investors. They include musician Scott Kannberg, one of the original members of 90s indie rock bank Pavement, who I’m told discovered Byta as a user of the service.

Launched as an MVP in 2015, today Byta describes itself as “the platform for music before it’s on streaming services”. The service lets anyone send and receive digital audio in a “clean, simple and secure way,” and is said to be used by bedroom artists to large record companies for sharing music files during the pre-release process and for collaboration, such as with bandmates, labels, promoters, writers, and DJs etc.

“Throughout the music ecosystem, everyone is privately sharing audio files and streams, long before tracks and albums are released on streaming services and pressed to vinyl,” explains Byta co-founder and CEO Marc Brown, who has worked in the music industry for 25 years.

“An artist’s music is their currency, and when recipients are not able to listen effortlessly, they will move on. The more time that is taken up by technical delays, the less time there is for listening. Though hard to believe, these simple tasks are difficult to accomplish efficiently on a desktop, and virtually impossible on mobile. Byta enables anyone in the music ecosystem to send and receive digital music in a clean, simple and secure way, on desktop and on mobile”.

With regards to use-cases, Brown says producers and artists of all sizes use Byta to quickly swap tracks in the studio, and that managers and larger labels use the platform to securely share high profile releases with key contacts across the music industry. “Byta is music’s first vertical SaaS, meaning our market is the whole music ecosystem,” he says.

To that end, Byta is competing most directly with generic file sharing services, such as WeTransfer and Dropbox), along with artist streaming platforms like Soundcloud.

Adds the Byta CEO: “Unlike our competitors, Byta is built specifically for music. Byta is the only platform which takes advantage of audio files unique properties: embedded metadata, audio quality and streamability”.

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