Finding the Right Track: SphereTrax Simplifies High-Quality Soundtrack Search, Empowering Composers and Musicians

By David Thompson

Jun 11, 2024 11:52 PM EDT

Finding the Right Track: SphereTrax Simplifies High-Quality Soundtrack Search, Empowering Composers and Musicians(SphereTrax) (Credit: Getty Image)

What's that one song, the one that can make you feel alive? That fills you with euphoria and expectation? What about that break-up song, the one that pulls at your heartstrings and makes you blink away the tears? The song that takes you back 20 years like it was only minutes ago. Music has that power. What would "Jaws," "Rocky," and "Dirty Dancing" be without the sounds that are nearly as important as the plot? Music and sound are everything in entertainment.

Twenty years ago, finding the right track to elicit those emotions in a movie, on a television show, or even in a commercial was laborious. It required wading through shelves and shelves of music, of looking through manual binders of CDs categorized simply by genre. It meant picking sub-par music and sounds because you had a deadline. Even today, much of the music is digitized, but it is only sortable on a macro-level. There are huge gaps in quality and authenticity. Even if content creators do find a great track, the licensing process is bureaucratic and difficult. The people who are most often short-changed are the composers and musicians who don't get paid well or in a timely manner.

Today, there is a new standout solution that is a win/win/win for all the creative stakeholders, producing quality music, sounds, entertainment, and marketing. Founder Sefi Carmel, a prolific and highly-esteemed composer who has worked with David Bowie and Ridley Scott, created SphereTrax, an ecosystem that benefits everyone: composers, directors, editors, post-producers, and creative agencies will soon benefit the hundreds of millions of independent/amateur content creators as well.

SphereTrax Smashes the Competition 

SphereTrax's current and planned features are setting a pretty high standard, a bar that is going to elevate the sounds and music that are used in creative content. "SphereTrax allows creative professionals, brands and broadcasters to find the perfect track for their next project in seconds with our immersive, AI-powered, end-to-end music licensing platform," Carmel notes. 

In the early 2000s, online services and platforms emerged to address the manual processes of music curation and production. However, these platforms still present challenges, such as a "needle in the haystack" search experience, where users have to sift through vast lists of hundreds and thousands of tracks with limited filtering options. This often leads to settling for tracks that are suitable but not necessarily perfect due to time constraints and looming deadlines.

As both a composer and observer of the industry, Carmel and his fellow composers experienced a number of pain points even with modernized platforms, including inadequate compensation, delayed payments, and a lack of income visibility. His comprehensive understanding of the challenges led to the inception and continued development of SphereTrax where he is creating a solution that addresses the needs of both content creators and composers.

Carmel shares, "The idea was to create an ecosystem, a community where the composers would be championed as the most important asset, and they would get paid fairly, they would get treated respectfully."

The SphereTrax Difference

They have onboarded over 450 artists into their community, and the platform has over 10,000 tracks available since its soft launch in May of 2023. While over 60,000 tracks have been submitted, the curators for SphereTrax are focused on selecting the highest quality, "most authentic tracks out there," ensuring that its catalog stands out for its excellence and lack of filler content. "Feedback from music supervisors and industry professionals has been overwhelmingly positive," notes Carmel. 

Authenticity is another core value of SphereTrax. "If you're working on a project and you need Middle Eastern music, you might find music from composers from any background who have just downloaded a sample pack off Splice. With SphereTrax, we want to connect projects with composers who have cultural or regional expertise rather than having to rely on generic, inauthentic tracks. We want to connect projects with composers who have cultural or regional expertise, rather than having to rely on generic tracks. By ethically sourcing music and prioritizing the importance of creators, we are hoping to create a community where composers feel valued and respected."

The SphereTrax User Experience

"Traditionally, finding tracks was a cumbersome search experience. Additionally, customers' license terms depend on usage, length, purpose and region, which usually leads to time-consuming, resource intensive periods to negotiate a price. SphereTrax solves all those problems."

Users can search for their sound needs at a very granular level. While traditional platforms rely on list-based, binary tagging systems, SphereTrax introduces "Search. with Feeling" faders. These faders allow users to dial up desired emotions, providing a much more nuanced search experience. 

Additionally, SphereTrax's weighted tagging system enables precise control over attributes like happiness or whimsicality, setting it apart as a leader in music discovery and selection.

Carmel adds, "Our competitions' solutions are list-based, text-based processes, and with our search tools, you say, 'Find me a happier track, and you just dial up the happiness. I've listened to how people describe music when they're looking for a track. They use emotional terms. They say, 'That track's good, but I need something a little happier, or I need something more ominous or with more tension. The competition doesn't have varying degrees of happiness. And we have weighted tagging. For example we have degrees of happiness. Users can dial a level 37 down to a 22."

Carmel explains that with SphereTrax, you can narrow down your search even further. "I want the results to have a Brazilian flavor, and I want them to have some piano in them. No, I want less piano and more Brazilian. We have all kinds of shades of gray." CMO Rupert Bootes adds, "We have 150 different faders you can granulate your search by, offering unprecedented accuracy when trying to find the right track. While some fine-tuned searches may only yield 15 song results, you know that they will all fill your criteria, and it is likely that any one of them will work in your project. Getting down to these 15 results in seconds is a vast improvement over scouring seemingly endless lists for hours and hours on more traditional platforms."

The streamlined licensing is also special. It can be done in five clicks. Users can select the track, add the track to their basket, go to check out, click where they are located, choose how it will be shared and how much of the track will be used, and the platform generates a price. Users can then check out ecommerce style via Stripe. "The moment they pay, the composers get paid. This is unheard of in our industry. The composers get the majority of the income, more than 50%, and they get paid immediately." Competitors, on the other hand, traditionally pay composers only 15–30%, and they only get paid quarterly.

The Future and Potential of SphereTrax

The team continues to add to the search capabilities. "Soon, users will be able to say, 'I want a happy song, but it needs to have a sense of longing, and it needs to have lyrics that are about a breakup. We are providing them with the needle that is in the haystack in seconds."

Likewise, investors are taking notice as well, listing the company as one of the TechRound 100's most promising startups of 2023. They also have had tracks placed in high-profile ad campaigns for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Bacardi, a feature film and a 52-part animated series. 

SphereTrax's potential is evident with its strategic partnerships. The first of which is a coveted collaboration with Dolby. The licensing platform is the only one to offer pre-cleared commercial tracks mixed in Dolby Atmos, the gold standard for audio mixing. SphereTrax has collaborated with Dolby on several other events, including a platform showcase at their Soho headquarters and an upcoming Webinar where artists can learn more about mixing in Dolby Atmos.

SphereTrax also recently penned milestone deals with the BBC and TikTok—reaching blanket agreements that will allow the prolific broadcaster and social media giant's users to access SphereTrax's catalogue of tracks for all their music needs, signifying a tremendous opportunity for revenue generation. As we know, the right sync placement or TikTok viral moment can boost a track and its artist to unfathomable new heights, such as Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill,' which saw a phenomenal amount of renewed interest in 2022 thanks to a successful TV placement and subsequent social media movement.

Additionally, SphereTrax recently partnered with The Cannes Film Festival in hosting the inaugural Cannes Gala—providing over 2 hours of music for the exclusive red-carpet event. The Gala, celebrating the future of cinema, was held in May during the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and SphereTrax' contributions have not gone unnoticed amongst the film industry's most influential contributors.

Music's emotional resonance shapes our deepest memories and encapsulates some of our most profound experiences. SphereTrax provides a platform where content creators can search and find precise and perfect sounds, aka the needle, in a haystack of high-quality, authentic, culturally rich tracks. Led by founder and composer Sefi Carmel, SphereTrax champions composers, offering them fair and timely compensation; add to that its innovative, in-depth search features, streamlined licensing process, and strategic partnerships. SphereTrax has set a new, very high standard that redefines the future of placing music in media.

Visit SphereTrax today and learn more.

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