Plano Music Marketing Startup
MAX Raises $6M in Funding

The goal of the Music Audience Exchange is to pair musicians with big brands for advertising campaigns.

Nathan Hanks

Music Audience Exchange gives brands a new way to connect with an audience and musicians a way to get airtime.

The goal of MAX is to pair musicians with big brands for advertising campaigns in an effort to appeal to customers who want to support brands who understand them, and to also make ads more fresh.

The 3-year-old Plano-based company announced it raised $6 million in funding recently. 

Co-founder and CEO of MAX, Nathan Hanks, told the Dallas Morning News that in most cases, bands do not get paid for their work, and he thinks that this can help consumers fall in love with brands again, plus help artists in promoting their careers.

“In the music industry today, you make your money through piles of pennies.”
Nathan Harris

“Back in the day, you had a song on the radio and the goal was to sell a $17 CD,” Hanks told the Morning News. “In the music industry today, you make your money through piles of pennies.”

MAX uses a database of more than 2.4 million artists, 765 music genres, and 200 consumer attributes, such as likes and dislikes, and hobbies and talents, to find the perfect match. The brands work with an artist who’s featured in music-driven ads on Pandora, YouTube, Facebook, and other streaming or social media sites. 

“An artist can go to our site and register, get a link that can be shared via e-mail or social [media] with their fans,” Hanks told Xconomy. “People take the survey. The band gets a detailed report on their audience and the types of brands that make sense for them and we get valuable data for brand-artist matching.”

Dr Pepper and Jack Daniel’s have both used the MAX platform to promote artists such as Aaron Watson, NEEDTOBREATHE, and Leela James, according to a release. Ford has also used it to target specific consumer segments for its regional dealer groups. 

Hanks was previously co-founder and president of digital marketing company, ReachLocal, which he helped grow to 24,000 clients across 15 countries and over $500 million in annual revenue, according to a release. George Howard, former president of indie label Rykodisc, and a copyright and music licensing expert is also part of the co-founding team.


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Photo illustration: Nathan Hanks and logo courtesy MAX; background artishokcs via istockphoto.

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