Sandbox Issue 206: Appetite for Consumption

Lead: The album exclusive is pretty much dead. But in its place has come the growing demand from DSPs for bespoke and unique content. They all want to be serviced with something their rivals don’t have – but this is a huge time (and cost) drain on artists and labels. On top of this are […]

Marathon Artists LABs 2018: startups target music monetisation (sponsored feature)

Independent music company Marathon Artists launched its LABs accelerator in 2016, bringing together a group of six music/tech startups to work with its label, management and publishing arms, as well as a group of external mentors. This year, LABs has returned, with partners including Domino, Audiotube, Tileyard Studios and Music Ally, and a theme of […]

Indie labels and tech: ‘We’re not going to start building our own blockchain…’

How can independent labels make the most of disruptive new technologies, from blockchain and AI to virtual and augmented reality? A session at the Midem conference last week explored the issue. The panel included Jason Reed, head of digital at Domino; Becky Brook, business development consultant at Jaak; and Luke Dzierzek, CEO at Scored. The […]

Midemlab 2018 pitches: Experiential music technology startups

20 music/tech startups are finalists in this year’s Midemlab contest at the Midem conference in Cannes. This afternoon’s last session saw the experiential technologies startups showing off their products and platforms. The judging panel included Danielle Kayembe, CEO at Greyfire Impact; Ismail Elshareef, SVP of fan experience and open platform at Ticketmaster; Marwan Elfitesse, startup […]

Midemlab 2018 pitches: Marketing and data / analytics startups

20 music/tech startups are finalists in this year’s Midemlab contest at the Midem conference in Cannes. This afternoon’s second session saw the marketing and data/analytics startups pitching their wares. The judging panel included Eleonore Oudea, venture capital associate at Kima Ventures; Kate Russell, technology journalist from the BBC; David Weiszfeld, CEO of Soundcharts; and Music […]

Midemlab 2018 pitches: Music discovery and distribution

20 music/tech startups are finalists in this year’s Midemlab contest at the Midem conference in Cannes. This morning’s first session saw the music discovery and distribution startups showing off their products and platforms. The judging panel included Colleen Theis, COO at The Orchard; Christina Cassala; freelance business journalist; Scott Sellwood; head of commercial music publishing […]

Midemlab 2018 pitches: Music creation and education startups

20 music/tech startups are finalists in this year’s Midemlab contest at the Midem conference in Cannes. This morning’s first session saw the music creation and education startups pitching their wares. The judging panel included Joanna Kirk, MD of Starther and co-founder of Startup Sesame; Robb McDaniels, CEO of Beatport; Sirena Bergman, freelance journalist; Guillaume Quelet, […]

Sandbox Issue 205: Merchandising and Swift Sales

Lead: In part two of our online and social media merchandise special, we go beyond Instagram to look at the wide variety of tools and platforms opening up here, how to best deploy them and where they can be used to make artist/fan relationships watertight. Technology, data, personalisation and lyrics are all helping change the […]

Peex wants fans to create their own five-channel mixes of gigs

Unsatisfied with the sound levels at a concert? A new startup called Peex says it’ll offer fans the chance to customise the audio in real-time. The company’s technology takes an audio feed from the soundboard at a concert, then separates it into five ‘stems’ (e.g. the different instruments) which are then transmitted to audience members, synchronised with […]

Ticketfly co-founder’s blockchain startup Tari reveals plans – including ticketing

In early April, Music Ally was first to report on a new startup from ticketing firm Ticketfly’s co-founder Dan Teree. Codenamed Big Neon, it was slated to be a “highly scalable, mobile-centric event ticketing platform” using blockchain technology. Now the company has been officially announced, but with a new name – Tari – and a wider […]

OptimiseLab uses AI to predict ‘music popularity scores’

Another day, another AI/music startup – this one hailing from Toronto and called OptimiseLab. It’s using the slogan ‘538 for music’ – a reference (we think) to well-known statistical-analysis blog FiveThirtyEight, run by data-journalist Nate Silver. “We are building patent pending AI technology to analyse, improve, and compose music,” explains OptimiseLab’s profile on investment site AngelList. “Our first […]

Live Music Loyalty wants to create a ‘concert community’

The latest startup trying to create a business out of gig-goers social-media habits is Live Music Loyalty. The New Jersey-based company has launched a free iOS app billed as a “concert photo community” that encourages people to share their gig photos, mark their upcoming concerts, and follow artist profiles. There are also rewards and rankings […]

Blockchain music startup Opus is ‘ready to conquer’ in May

Music Ally is in the process of compiling a list of current blockchain-music startups, and at the time of writing we’re up to 31. One of them is Opus, which has been developing an “open-source decentralised music-sharing platform” with a demo based on the Ethereum blockchain and peer-to-peer technology IPFS. The company is one of […]

Classical streaming service Grammofy returns – using Spotify

Grammofy was a classical music-focused subscription-streaming service that launched in May 2016 in the UK and Germany, but then shut down in November 2017. At the time, the company said that despite “continued growth and vigorous efforts” it hadn’t been able to “build the necessary mid-term financial solidity to fund the man-hours needed to continue […]

DeepMusic Alexa skill serves up AI-generated songs

Amid all the industry conversation about how smart speakers will affect the way people listen to music, the assumption has been that the music in question will be made by humans. Here’s a new Alexa skill to make you think, though. It’s called DeepMusic, and has just launched for Alexa-powered devices like the Echo speakers. […]

Qwant Music is a dedicated search-engine for music

There’s already a couple of powerful search engines for music: they’re called Google and YouTube, and they’ve sparked the odd controversy, as Music Ally readers will know. But is there room for a *dedicated* music search engine? Startup Quant hopes so: it’s launching Quant Music at SXSW this week with the ambition of becoming “the […]

Clickamix sees $670m opportunity in sports music-licensing

A $670m pot of music-licensing revenue that hasn’t been tapped? That’s the kind of claim that gets rightsholders’ interest, although there’s a natural scepticism too when the goldmine is being quantified by a company whose business is focused on tapping that revenue stream. Still, Clickamix is definitely worth investigating: it wants to work with publishers, […]

Launching Stationhead–The First ‘Stories’ Format for the Music Industry

A year ago, Music Ally ran the first-ever interview on New York startup Stationhead as the company emerged from stealth mode. Since that first interview, publications including Billboard, TechCrunch and Forbes have followed up with positive takes on the potential of Stationhead’s app. This week, its team is going through the final stages of design tweaks and […]

Check out the Music Ally digital sessions at by:Larm 2018

The by:Larm festival and conference is always a highlight of the year for Music Ally, and we’re delighted to be heading back to Oslo this week for the 2018 event. We’re also running five panel sessions and a couple of insights talks during the conference, covering some of the digital topics close to our heart […]

Report claims 46% of ICOs from 2017 are already defunct

Fears that the mania for blockchain startups and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a bubble will hardly be assuaged by a new report published by news site Bitcoin.com. “Tokendata, one of the more comprehensive ICO trackers, lists 902 crowdsales which took place last year,” it explained. “Of these, 142 failed at the funding stage and […]

Healthy startup life: ‘Read more books and less tweets’

When Alex Kennedy founded his own startup, he was excited about the potential. What he didn’t realise was that the ride would be an emotional and financial rollercoaster. The post Healthy startup life: ‘Read more books and less tweets’ appeared first on Music Ally. Source: Music ally

Musiio and Mubert are the latest AI-focused music startups

The fact that ‘AI music’ can mean several, very different things is well illustrated by the latest pair of startups exploring strains of artificial intelligence tech applied to music. Musiio’s focus is on using AI to analyse large catalogues of music. “The tools we provide allow you as a business to process more data than […]

Like app resembles Musical.ly but with more AR features – and ‘BOOM’ effects

We can’t resist an app pitch that includes the phrase “revolutionary 4D magic coming” with a man in a cape flying out of a smartphone screen. The app is called Like, and it’s the latest social music/video app that is showing the first shoots of becoming a Musical.ly-sized craze. At its heart it’s still a […]

Chamillionaire launches Convoz video-messaging app

Having conversations through the medium of 15-second video clips, which may or may not include ending up getting a video back from Snoop Dogg and/or Chamillionaire? There’s an app for that! It’s called Convoz, and the latter artist is actually its founder. Chamillionaire describes the app as “the place where you go to talk to […]

Lino raises $20m funding round to build a ‘crypto YouTube’

Lino wants to build “a decentralised autonomous content economy, where content value can be recognised efficiently and all contributors can be incentivised directly and effectively to promote long-term economic growth”. Not bad for something named after your carpet, eh? Lino is the latest startup hoping to tap blockchain technology in an attempt to eat at […]

Gareth Emery of blockchain music startup Choon: ‘We’re committed to radical transparency’

We’ve seen a few blockchain-music startups in our time, but Choon is the first one named after what you might shout at the DJ when feeling over-excited and emotional in a club. That’s a world that the startup’s founder Gareth Emery knows well, mind. His career has seen him crack the top 10 twice in […]

Kieron Donoghue talks ‘streaming-only’ label Humble Angel Records

In late January, former Playlists.net and Warner Music Group executive Kieron Donoghue launched his new venture, a ‘streaming-first’ independent label called Humble Angel Records. He promised royalty payout rates for artists ‘at least double’ the average of those offered by major labels – paid on a monthly basis, using startup Stem’s platform – as well […]

Abbey Road Red incubator adds two more startups… and a new boss

Abbey Road Studios in London has announced that HumTap and Lickd will be the next two companies to join its Abbey Road Red startup incubator, under the wing of a new boss for the program. Karim Fanous, formerly head of research and insight at Music Ally (that’s us!) is taking over from Jon Eades, who […]

‘Shapeshifting’ startup AI Music closing £5m funding round

British artificial-intelligence music/tech startup AI Music is raising £5m of funding, as it prepares to launch its first product. The company has developed technology capable of “shapeshifting” songs, using AI to remix tracks on the fly. “We’re raising £5m, and we have a lead investor that’s happy to take the whole thing,” said CEO Siavash […]

Online audio-mastering startup CloudBounce to launch ICO

Drag’n’drop audio-mastering startup CloudBounce is joining the blockchain bandwagon, with plans to launch an initial coin offering (ICO). The company, which competes with services like Landr, announced its plans tonight at the Abbey Road Red incubator’s demo event in London. “We’re doing the next step in building a better community and better and faster audio-processing […]

Music and tech startups: where is the innovation in 2018?

What kind of partner does the music industry make for music/tech startups in 2018? There have certainly been bumps in the past, from venture capitalists swearing never to invest again in startups requiring music rights, to shutdown firms blaming rightsholders for their business failure. Yet for their part, rightsholders argue that their focus is rightly […]

20 music/tech startups we’ll be watching in 2018

Here at Music Ally, we covered a lot of new music/tech startups for the first time in 2017. We’ve now chosen 20 of them that we think have the potential to make an impact in 2018 and beyond, from analytics to artificial intelligence, and from blockchain tech to radio monitoring. The post 20 music/tech startups […]

How to spot the next music/tech giant (#SlushMusic)

2017 has been a fascinating year for digital music, from the growth in paid streaming to a wave of new accelerators and initiatives to help talented music startups get up and running. A pair of sessions at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki this morning provided some insights into the music/tech world. Raine Group partner […]

Evolving exit strategies for music startups (#SlushMusic)

We’ll be blunt: for many music startups, the ‘exit’ is either shutting down when nobody wants their product or service, or an ‘acquihire’ of their team and/or tech by a bigger fish without the kind of valuation that gets investors salivating. Might there be bigger and better exits ahead? A panel at the Slush Music […]

Canary app could offer a new mobile spin on scrobbling

Last.fm’s days as a music-streaming powerhouse may be behind it, but its idea of ‘scrobbling’ music – keeping track on the songs and artists you listen to – remains useful. Now a new startup called Canary looks like it’s exploring the idea with more of a mobile focus. Its app is currently available in beta […]

Chinese startup Nusic to launch mobile game for mix-sharing

We raise our eyebrows wearily whenever we see a new startup touting itself, as Nusic does, as an ‘Instagram for Music’. But the slogan for the Chinese firm’s profile on investment site AngelList actually sells it short: the company appears to be working on something much more interesting than just a ‘share photos with music […]

Social stars launch their own video-streaming service

There’s a new video-streaming service in town, called Zeus, but its founders are social-media stars rather than tech entrepreneurs or media companies. Zeus is due to launch in early 2018, co-founded by Andrew ‘King Bach’ Bachelor, Amanda Cerny and DeStorm Power. According to Variety, the service will focus on categories including comedy, beauty, fashion and […]

Metal streaming service Gimme Radio launches new iOS app

We’ve been wondering about the potential for single-genre streaming services for a while now, with classical (through companies like Primephonic and Grammofy – one of the first areas to explore the idea. Now it’s time for metal to have a go, with streaming service Gimme Radio launching its first mobile app this week. Pitched as […]

Hookd rebrands as Lickd and adds Hospital Records catalogue

We reported on the launch of Hookd in September: the British startup is launching a ‘pre-cleared, commercial music licensing solution for online video creators’. Basically a way for YouTubers to license labels’ tracks for use in their videos for as little as £6. In the weeks since, there’s been a change: Hookd is now known […]

Blockchain ticketing startup Aventus to test its tech in the UK

Ed Sheeran’s manager may loathe online ticket-touting, but could blockchain technology be part of the solution in stamping it out? Startup Aventus Systems hopes so: it has announced a partnership with music D2C firm Townsend Music to test its blockchain-ticketing technology in the UK. That tech “mirrors the creation, transfer, and sale of tickets throughout […]

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