Thank You, mATERIA cOMMUNITY!

December 1, 2021

2021 and 2020 have been challenging years for Materia, and as its owner and founder, I wanted to address some key community concerns and changes, and shed light on what’s changing as we move towards the future.

A short History of Materia

Materia Community has been Materia Music’s foundation, and the starting point of one the biggest movements in video game music.

Since our debut album MATERIA, 26 albums have been released by Materia Community, representing 1,209 tracks, and the creative efforts of 975 producers, arrangers, performers, vocalists, instrumentalists, engineers, artists, illustrators, and other creators.

Yesterday, these albums were removed from distribution and bandcamp, following legal demands from various artists and contributors. We decided early on that the fairest approach was for Materia Community contributors to retain the copyrights to their works. In honoring the spirit of this approach, we agreed to remove albums featuring artists who requested their removal. This resulted in requests for all 26 albums to be taken offline permanently.


Goals and Transparency

Now, to address concerns regarding transparency: The goal of Materia Community albums was never profitability, unlike our separate label and music publishing operations. Nevertheless, Materia has directly collected and paid to artists $112,051.80 for sales and streams of Materia Community albums. Separately, over $50k has been disbursed to artists via Soundrop (and formerly, Loudr).

To date, Materia has earned and retained $14,747.90 (~13%) from Materia Community albums, which has helped offset the $99,713.54 of hard costs we invested in Materia Community project production expenses (art, mastering, licensing, promotion), physical manufacturing (CDs and books), and community personnel and contractors.

Our parent company Materia Music is the combined powers of our record labels, music publishing division, sheet music publisher, and storefront.

To date, Materia Music has paid over $6.4m to artists, composers, and rights-holders in royalties; $2.8m this year alone.

Since 2020, we have supported our artists during COVID hardships by investing over $1.5m via advances, project production, and other opportunities.

As of this writing, the money I have personally invested into Materia has not been recouped: My salary is $1 every two weeks, with no additional residuals.

When you stream or buy music from Materia, your payment goes directly to the artists, to the rest of Materia’s team, and to our mission in longevity for game music and its creators.

As Materia Community winds down, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to the leadership who supported, led, and sustained our community over the years, managed Facebook and Discord, ran projects, and provided community strategy, advice, and far more emotional labor than anyone signed up for.

In the interest of protecting those who have supported and worked for Materia, I am not including a list of names. In recent months, I have had members of my team receive harassment and I do not want harm to come to those I am so grateful for.

The Future

Many have asked me, what is next for Materia?

Materia as a company will continue to uphold its promises and contracts to its 1500+ artists, labels, vendors, and clients under contract.

Materia Collective’s labels and their 450 albums and 10k tracks will continue to be available as digital and physical releases. Materia Music Publishing will continue to manage publishing, royalties, and licenses for the 3k musical works in our catalogs. Materia Editions will continue to inspire cross-generational advocacy for professionally published video game sheet music via its catalog of 500+ arrangements. Materia Store will continue to fulfill thousands of video game music orders every month.

Many artists utilizing Materia’s services rely on our support to continue earning revenue and subsidizing their financial security while enjoying their passion for video game music. The company cannot simply shut down without endangering the artists who we support, and it will remain in place to continue our obligations.

Although I am proud of what we have accomplished up until this point, it is clear that its future lies under the stewardship of someone else. Materia cannot grow and thrive as long as I am here, and finding a team to replace me will be a top priority in 2022, so I can fully and completely step away from the company.

Please do not let my conduct affect your opinion of the artists and clients who continue on with Materia, our current and future team members, or indeed, the company Materia can become after I am able to permanently resign.

Until then, please don’t hesitate to contact me and my team at artists@materiamusic.com if you have questions regarding your catalog, the Dashboard, royalties, or anything else related to Materia.

Resources

Last, I would like to share resources for anyone who has been the subject of targeted harassment due to their connection with Materia. The following have been of great help to me, and people close to me.


Thank you,
Sebastian Wolff