Atlanta-based The Blueprint Group, a full-service talent, artist management and distribution company representing names like G-Eazy, T.I. and Lil Nas X, recently partnered with Tsū Inc., a private, venture-backed social commerce venture that launched in 2019. The collaboration is the first of its kind bringing $5 million in equity payments to artists, independent musicians and other content creators who most actively support the service.
The Blueprint Group’s new investment in “Social that Pays,” according to Tsū CEO Greg Fell, is an effort to grow the company’s creator community and place them at the center of the platform to develop a self-sustaining, creative ecosystem. For indie music artists, this means that they can expand their media presence and embrace tools to generate a new source of income, which is growing increasingly important as in-person events are not returning to full capacity in the immediate future.
Tsū recently reached a new valuation of $100 million and will soon announce a full consumer launch. In support of creators during the pandemic, the company is increasing its standard 50% award rate to 100% based on revenue minus expenses. The profits are generated by a “Support Me” button for creator content within the app.
“Tsū and The Blueprint Group have a shared commitment to content creators and artists,” Fell says. “The partnership will not only boost Tsū’s mission to cultivate great content and expand its creator community, [but] it will provide a much needed outlet for their artists, athletes, and celebrities to publish and get fairly compensated for their valuable content in the social media space.”
Norwalk, Connecticut-based Tsū is flipping the traditional economics of social media by creating a “social universe” in which every user is an influencer who benefits from the content that they generate. The service promotes quality content by providing users with a free suite of creation and publishing tools powered by analytics and AI technology.
According to the company website, content creators earn dividends, or a payout rate of up to 50% from advertising revenue for creating and sharing content. The platform also features a marketplace that provides creators with personalized storefronts in which to sell merchandise and collect a payout rate of up to 50% of affiliate commissions. All ad revenue and affiliate commission profits that a creator generates are directed daily into his or her Tsū bank account.
Fell says that social commerce is a powerful way for artists to supplement their lost income while the Tsū storefront poses a powerful opportunity for them to influence the products of their favorite brands. Authenticity is key, he adds, and the app offers multiple engagement points of fan engagement including posts, live streaming, commerce and Tsū Live, the company’s 24-hour television network that invites emerging artists to showcase their talents to a global audience.
The new partnership follows The Blueprint Group’s launch of the distribution arm called Distro. Music executives Ryan Haslam and Billy Jones now oversee daily operations for Tsū along with The Blueprint Group executive team. Music mogul Cortez Bryant is co-CEO of The Blueprint Group with Gee Roberson, known for managing artists including Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Kanye West. While The Blueprint Group team has always prioritized innovation, strategic partnerships and brand alignment among clients, Cortez says that the new partnership allows the company to expand its legacy beyond in-house clients to other artists, content creators, comedians, entrepreneurs and athletes.
“I think that it’s about time, says Music mogul Cortez Bryant who is co-CEO of The Blueprint Group with Gee Roberson, who managed artists including Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Kanye West. “I feel like content creators have been giving away their content for years now, and it’s about time that these creators are able to share in the wealth and not just make other people rich by using their platforms.”
Bryant says a groundbreaking feature will soon be released within the Tsū app. In partnership with a major retailer, app users will be able to recommend products to friends on the platform in exchange for a share of revenue from product sales. As Tsū grows more competitive with established social media services, some artists may soon make it a regular stream of income, even after they take back the stage.
Source: Andrea Zarczynski