Change is coming and the music industry knows it. How we find music, listen to it, share it, track it, and play it is all being redefined by technology. In order to stay at the top of the game, music labels know they need to facilitate innovation to be one step ahead of the market.
Saturday and Sunday Dec 01-02, Capitol Royale hosted by Capitol Records featured a creativity and innovation marathon that streamed live on Twitch. With a hackathon, ideas conference, start-up exhibition and activities at the intersection of music, tech and culture, the event brought together individuals from across disciplines that at the end of the day, all work in the same vertical- music biz.
Music is a cross-platform common denominator. From live events, streaming, gaming and entertainment to subtle app “swoosh” sounds that form brand associations and recognition- music and sound narrates almost all aspects of our commercial, and not to mention, personal lives.
To get music to where it is, it takes everyone from developers, hackers, musicians and business professionals, to name just a few of the people involved. What happens when these individuals all come together? We get start-ups like these that feature the next generation of music entertainment:
This start-up monetizes remixes through a subscription platform for content creators and remix artists. It allows independent artists to earn passive income through shared royalties of remixes and mashups. Content creators upload original audio while remixers create new derivative works and publish them to iTunes and Spotify.
Using a fantasy sports-like model to turn the discovery of new artists into a game, Upnext is a gamified platform for new artists to engage with fans, and for fans to be rewarded to engage with up-and-coming artists. “We now have a platform that drives exposure for up and coming artists and measures their performance,” said Ayinde Arnett, Co-founder of Upnext.
Players select up-and-coming artists for their virtual record label, compete with other users based on artists streaming social and live event metrics and receive rewards for good performance.
“You get to run your own virtual record” if you can predict the next Drake and Taylor Swift, you win ,” said Arnett. They use in app purchases to augment the experience, and data sales and artist promos as revenue streams.
“We are in the game of music discovery,” said Arnett.
Pronounced “awesome-mix”, this start-up was inspired by the need of a way to expedite the music workflow. The solution, an automated audio mixing and mastering program that provides professional quality mixes with a tool that’s simple, time and cost effective.
OSMix simplifies the technical aspects of mixing and mastering to accelerate audio production, while preserving creativity. Artists and audio engineers import raw recordings, select an Instagram-like musical filter, adjust as desired, and export a radio-ready track. There is also an advanced tab option for professional mixers/ musicians.
Revenue is generated via a subscription based service.
Steereo’s new music distribution, marketing and analytics platform is powered by rideshare drivers.
“We are a new radio for rideshare,” said Anna Kavanagh, Co-founder at Steereo. Streaming services have disrupted the way we find new music, and it’s expensive for new artists to be feature, she said. With Steereo, drivers are incentivized to play new music to riders, artists receive insights and feedback based on how riders are interacting with the tracks, and riders are exposed to new music.
Fanbox is a curated subscription box for artists. The start-up works with YouTubers, gamers, influencers and more to offer personal engagement, supplemented with “do good” products that support causes the artist or influencer cares about.
They offer several types of boxes:
Favorite things – artist subscription box
VIP upgrade/ album launch
Festival – delivers credentials/ festival survival kit
Private label – for companies/ organizations
Legends- artists and sports influencers.
Client works with Fanbox to curate the box and to drive traffic to the site. Fanbox provides turnkey services including sales platform, product procurement and fulfillment, and customer service and accounting.
Co-founder Javier Hasbun has created “Crowdfunding and investment platforms that allow anyone to be a partner for their next show.” Music bonds facilitate live performances, powered by music fans.
Music bonds has two primary platforms: Weeshing and Fanarchy. Weeshing engages event producers who use the platform to identify opportunities to host pre-funded, fan backed performances. Fanarchy dis-intermediates the promoter, instead directly engaging the artists to crowdfund shows through refundable tickets and doubling the margin per ticket for Music Bonds.
As social media becomes a tool for fans to interact directly with music and artists, the demand has grown for more ways for fans to engage. The above start-ups indicate successful business models growing around this demand, and also a changing eco-system for music labels and artists.
Capitol Records with the Universal Music Group aren’t the only labels to support innovation in music and tech. Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment among others are also paving the way for the next wave of music apps and entertainment.