Songlorious platform brings income to musicians amid the pandemic

Ellen Hodges & Omayya Atout, Founders of Songlorious, joins Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous to discuss the platforms' collaboration with musicians.

Video Transcript

- Want to switch things up now and talk a little music. The pandemic has been devastating, especially for musicians who have not been able to perform during this time. But a husband and wife from Tennessee are trying to help with their startup called Songlorious. So this is an online marketplace where musicians can make money by writing and performing customized songs based on a customer's request, everything from birthday jingles to marriage proposals. Take a look at this.

[MUSIC] [INAUDIBLE] She may not be my blood. [INAUDIBLE] is like my very own angel from above.


- [LAUGHS] She's laughing.

- [LAUGHS] Yes, I will!

- Dummy.

- He got the job done with his customized song there. Joining me now are the founders of Songlorious, Ellen Hodges, and Omayya Atout. Thanks, guys, for being with us. This is a really great, novel idea. You're calling it Uber for musicians. Tell me why you came up with this idea.

ELLEN HODGES: So Omayya and I went to a wedding for a friend, and they had asked us to write a personalized song for their first dance. And the reaction at that wedding was just amazing. So we thought, you know, during the pandemic, when we were both working other jobs, we decided to set up a website and just give this a try, you know, doing this for other people. And the reaction has just been amazing. And then, you know, musicians started reaching out to us looking for work to see if they could join our team, and it really just grew from there.

OMAYYA ATOUT: So I know you guys launched in June in the middle of this pandemic. Omayya, tell me, how many requests for songs have you gotten, and how many musicians have you been able to get to work for you?

OMAYYA ATOUT: Yeah, it's been crazy. We've had about 6,000 orders so far since we started. We have over 100 artists, and it's just been a crazy growth. It's been amazing.

- So how much does a musician get paid? I guess they get paid per song. How much are they getting?

OMAYYA ATOUT: Yeah, so they get paid per song. It depends on the length of the song. So they get paid between $25 for a very short 30-second song, up to $120, depending on what the order is. So it really depends, but they get to pick and choose what they want to do when they want to do it. So it's all up to them, how much they want to make, how much work they want to take on.

- So I'm curious, from sort of an intellectual property standpoint, who owns the song, right? If somebody has requested that it be written specifically for them and the musician writes it, who owns those rights?

ELLEN HODGES: So it's very-- was important to us from the beginning that the musician themselves retains the rights to their songs. That's very important to them. It's important to us.

That way, you know, if they write something that they love, they can kind of, you know, keep that in their repertoire for themselves. But, you know, the customer has a personal license to use that song, to, you know, share with their friends, listen to it on their phones, et cetera. They can also purchase a commercial license. If the customer does want to use that song to promote their business or use it in a short film they're making or something, they do have that option. And in that case, the artist still owns the rights to the song, but the customer has the commercial license for it.

- OK. So you guys have really thought this thing through. So I take it you're going to keep this going post-pandemic, then.

ELLEN HODGES: Oh, absolutely.


- Can you tell me if there has been any super unique request or maybe wacky requests that you've gotten from somebody for a song?

OMAYYA ATOUT: Yeah, I mean, we get all kinds of wacky requests. We had somebody make a song-- I mean, we have people make songs for their pets all the time. This was specifically one for his dog. He just really loves his dog, and I thought it was beautiful. We've had a mother create songs for her two sons, one to eat his dinner and to mow the lawn, so just like, getting on their cases about it. So she made a song.

- You know what, yeah, whatever it takes, right. All right, Ellen Hodges, Omayya Atout. It's called Songlorious, pretty innovative, especially during these times. Best of luck with it.

- (BOTH) Thank you so much.