Medallion is a platform for artists to have a dedicated digital hub for promoting album releases, tour dates and merch drops, as well as selling digital collectibles and sharing exclusive content to foster deeper connections with fans. The company announced today that it closed $13.7 million in Series A funding, co-led by Dragonfly and Lightspeed Faction.
Musicians are increasingly searching for direct ownership in their own communities and avoiding third-party platforms where interactions with fans are complex to manage. From a fan perspective, although there are plenty of ways to follow and connect with artists, these online interactions can be minimal.
“While streaming has opened up access to music and social media and created new channels for direct distribution, the full potential of direct artist-to-fan connections has not been realized,” Matt Jones, co-founder and CEO of Medallion said. “Medallion’s artist-centric approach and emphasis on digitally native fan experiences is helping usher in a new, transformative period for artists.”
With this impressive chunk of cash in tow, Medallion wants to address what many artists believe to be a major gap in the music industry: lack of control regarding the online relationship with fans and an inability to directly connect. It plans to use the new capital to introduce new early access opportunities like listening to pre-released music and offering presale tickets, among other member benefits like “video premieres or new updates,” the company explained. Artists will soon also be able to sell new exclusive and limited-edition digital collectibles/NFTs like poster bundles and trading cards.
Medallion recently introduced a new revenue opportunity for artists in the U.K., Australia and Germany—”Digital Deluxe,” which allows artists to sell a digital version of a music album with an embedded music player and downloadable audio, imagery and video. Artists can also sell physical items through an integration with Shopify.
Medallion is free for artists to use but takes a percentage of all sales on the platform, yet didn’t disclose how much. It is built on the blockchain, and users can sign in with email or a wallet provider– Rainbow, Coinbase and WalletConnect.
Additionally, Medallion is a white-label platform, meaning artists can customize their digital space with their own color theme, background and more. When fans set up an account, they claim a unique digital collectible or membership card of sorts called a “Medallion” that grants them free access to the community. For instance, Greta Van Fleet’s symbol is a spinning, 3D golden ring.
Artists communicate with fans through social media posts, while fans can reply in the comments. Some artists even request submissions from their community, like concert footage and photos, to share with the community and further boost fan participation.
There are currently 20 artists using Medallion to power their fan communities, including Jungle, Greta Van Fleet, Illenium, Disclosure, Tiga, Mt Joy, Tycho, My Morning Jacket, Girl in Red, and Sigur Rós, among others
“We have been partnering very closely with a small number of select artists to help test and refine our core product features over the past year. Even though the platform isn’t open to every artist yet, we’re continuing to invest in our technology and platform so that we can eventually scale across the industry. At this time, we primarily work with independent-minded artists who are among the top 10,000 artists on streaming platforms and have a highly engaged fanbase,” Jones said.
The company plans to expand the platform availability to a few hundred more artists in 2024. It won’t be widely available until 2025 or later.
Medallion was co-founded by Jones, Mark McIntyre (CTO), Josephine Yu (CPO), Jesse Bellin (VP of Operations), Adam Ray (CFO and General Counsel), Ash Pampati (VP of GTM) and Tom Milway (VP of Design) who are all veterans across the tech, e-commerce and music industries, with experience at Songkick, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Grailed, Warner Music Group and Live Nation.
Other investors in the round include Coinbase Ventures, Infinite Capital, J17, The Chernin Group, Third Prime, and Zeal Capital, alongside music industry investors Bill Silva Entertainment, Black Squirrel, Foundations Artist Management, Method, and TAG Music. Medallion is also backed by top artists Jungle, Mt. Joy, Guy Lawrence (Disclosure) and Tiga.
The company has raised $22 million to date.
“Artists are starting to understand they are not just content creators but brands themselves, and as a result are building multimodal businesses that go beyond simply music and content,” Rob Hadick, general partner at Dragonfly, said in a statement.