Great to interview Björn Ulvaeus, a big hit across many generations, about his latest startup venture, Auddly, and his upcoming plans in general for ABBA and beyond.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m opening Mamma Mia the Party at the O2 in London in September and in Berlin in December. I’m also engaged in an avatar project with ABBA. We’re going to release new songs in the autumn. That plus a number of other projects.

Why did you get involved with this project? 

When Niclas explained it to me a few years ago I could see the potential immediately. I’m a songwriter and though Benny Andersson and I worked together, just the two of us, I can imagine what it’s like today when there may be 15 writers on the same song. You’re in a creative bubble and the last thing you want to think about is who did what and how do we split this song. Auddly solves that and makes sure that there will be no conflicts down the road because of bad input data. The truth is registered when the song is written. I know that my royalties arrive late if they arrive at all and often go through several middle men. In the future song writers will be paid from source once a week!

Will you be using blockchain based technology to store and track all the relevant data or something else for Auddly?

We are not using Blockchain at this time but we might do in the future. Our focus is to get correct authoritative pre registration music metadata sourced from creators.

How did the partnership with IMRO come about?

Thru our collaborations with CISAC, PRS and other PRO’s we got in contact with IMRO. (See more about it below).

How much of a tech/gadget person are you, is there anything invented now that you wish you could have used in your previous recordings?

We used absolutely all new gadgets we could lay our hands on in the 70s. Benny had the first Mini Moog. Our last ABBA album was recorded on the first digital multitrack machine (3M). Yes, almost everything that’s around today I wish we could have used back then!

If you could go back in time to the 1970s would you have done anything differently when recording your music then?

There’s the odd song I wouldn’t have recorded, I won’t tell you which ones. Otherwise I think we did pretty good.

[Here’s one of our favourites then]

When we founded our first company in 2000, we had a Swedish mentor (Eric Forsmark) who moved to Ireland to help us grow the business. Why do you think Swedes are good entrepreneurs?

I don’t know. Politics in Sweden have certainly never been particularly entrepreneur friendly.

Do you have a single favourite recording that you have made during the ABBA years, if so, why/why not?

I have several from different periods. We tried to develop, from album to album.

How can people find out more about Auddly and your work?

Auddly is available at the app stores and on auddly.com.

For more about the partnership with IMRO see below

IMRO Partner with Swedish Tech Start-up Auddly

The Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO) announces a new partnership with song data hub Auddly

Auddly, a Swedish start-up co-founded by former ABBA co-frontman Björn Ulvaeus and leading international songwriter/producer Max Martin, is an app and web-based tool that helps with the collection of music metadata to ensure the correct allocation of royalties owed to songwriters, publishers and performers.

The partnership will enable IMRO songwriter, composer and publisher members, to capture their song and composition data, including agreement on share splits at the point of creation, using a new tool powered by the Stockholm based tech start-up. Auddly users who are songwriters or publisher members of IMRO can verify their membership status and their unique international identification number (IPI/CAE number) at the point of registering on the Auddly platform.

Auddly’s aim is to facilitate the registration of more accurate data from the outset which will assist IMRO with royalty distributions to its members around the world.  Auddly itself does not distribute royalties or deal with individual copyright issues.


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