Streaming panel calls for more innovation from DSPs and labels

Are the big music streaming services too similar to one another? And if so, how can they break out of that box to innovate and differentiate themselves? A panel at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Global online conference yesterday, had some ideas. Angel Gambino, partner at venture development firm Prehype and until recently chief commercial officer […]

AiR Show app wants to bring artists to fans’ homes using AR

Artists turning up in your living room to play a concert is awkward at the best of times – what if you run out of teabags or biscuits? – but impossible under current social distancing rules in many parts of the world. Cue a startup that wants to do it virtually. A company called Trick 3D has launched an […]

Startup Synaesthetic seeks artists for ‘immersive music’

We spotted Synaesthetic in October last year, as a startup promising to develop “a new musical medium, that is more engaging and practical; through classical music theory, cutting-edge AI, and neuroscience”. Nearly a year later, the company is showing off more of its plans for a product called ‘Lava’, and an artist-testing scheme called ‘Leap’ that goes […]

As Twitch Sings shuts down, Snapchat gets a karaoke game

Twitch recently announced that it was shutting down its karaoke game Twitch Sings, including removing all the archived broadcasts and clips using it. But where one karaoke game closes, another one pops up backed by a different digital platform. That game is called SingHeads, and the platform is Snapchat, which is an official partner. Released initially for […]

PlaylistSupply helps managers and artists research playlists

A new tool to help managers and artists research Spotify playlists appears to be picking up some steam. PlaylistSupply was launched by a manager, Noah Motion, as a way for his peers to search for Spotify playlists relevant to their artist’s genre (or other search keywords), see their public data, and find contacts – email addresses included – for […]

Apex Rides hopes to take on Peloton, and it’s licensing music

Where there’s a startup that’s gone public in a big IPO, there’ll be fledgling rivals hoping to follow the same path and compete with it. Such is the case with fitness firm Peloton. One of its latest rivals is called Apex Rides, with its own combination of a physical exercise bike, and digital workout classes available […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Mime takes the music business hyper-local

Made In Memphis Entertainment (Mime), launched in 2015, has a quietly radical idea at its core: ‘disruptive decentralisation’. It’s about creating a root-and-branch alternative to the traditional music business structure. And the company is starting local, in Memphis, Tennessee. At present, Mime’s family of companies includes Beatroot Music, the only Black-owned music distributor in the […]

Restream raises $50m to power multi-platform livestreams

Do you want to stream to YouTube, Twitch or Facebook? How about these and a couple of dozen more platforms simultaneously? That’s what the technology of a startup called Restream does, and investors are excited to the tune of a $50m Series A funding round for the company. Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners led the […]

Skrachy launches livestreaming app for DJs – royalties included

News of a livestreaming app for DJs can’t help but spark questions about royalties for the musicians whose work those DJs are using in their sets. Skrachy is a US startup which claims to have an answer for that: it will charge DJs membership fees, and pay royalties out from that. “A Skrachy membership equips DJs […]

Good Splits is a streaming royalty calculator for musicians

A new site called Good Splits is promising to help musicians “quickly and easily calculate royalties from aggregator services”. The idea being that they can not just see how much they’re earning, but also split the revenues between their collaborators with the minimum of spreadsheet-wrangling. “This app hides complicated accounting math inside a simple UI that lets […]

Techstars Music goes virtual and promises founder diversity

The Techstars Music accelerator has announced its plans for 2021, including the addition of Amazon Music as a new ‘member’ partner. The program will also run entirely virtually for the first time when it kicks off on 16 February 2021, including its selection process, which is underway now. Its managing director Bob Moczydlowsky is also […]

Music Ally Startup Files: SoundStorming opens up the creative process

SoundStorming could be a lot of things, and at a glance the platform appears to begin a trek up that unassailable summit of music-tech: A Social Network For Music. But co-founders Alícia Rius and Arnau Bosch are keen to explain that their aim is simple. “We want to get the fans on board earlier than […]

A tale of two synthetic reality startups: Hour One and Reface

We’re fascinated by the potential of ‘synthetic reality’, an area that brings together virtual reality, AI, ‘deepfakes’ and other technologies. Two more startups in the news this week offer some more sparks for thought on this score. Hour One is the first: a company that takes real people and turns them into virtual characters, with uses […]

Muse to bring Simulation Theory show to virtual reality

Muse’s live shows are famously spectacular when it comes to the staging, so it’s no surprise that the band’s new concert film is out of the ordinary too. Drawn from their ‘Simulation Theory’ tour in 2019, it will be released to IMAX cinemas on 17 August in full wraparound vision – yes, there’ll be lots of social distancing […]

Aloha by Elk wants to improve remote music collaboration

We’ve written about a blizzard of new livestreaming startups in recent months, but Aloha – which is the work of Swedish ‘audio operating system’ firm Elk – is a bit different. It’s described as “a virtual shared studio, rehearsal room, stage and or classroom with options to stream performances to audiences over social platforms” – so it’s a production […]

More speakers for Sandbox Summit Global including mxmtoon, Spotify & Twitch

Music Ally is excited to announce more speakers and networking details for our forthcoming Sandbox Summit Global event.    New Speakers mxmtoon, Artist (US) The Future of Playlists Lizzy Szabo, Editor, North America, Spotify (US) Genreless Playlists, The Future of Playlists Tracy Patrick Chan, Head of Music Product & Engineering, Twitch (US) Focus on Twitch […]

SoundGym launches ‘a gym for the ears’ of musicians

A startup called SoundGym has launched a service called ToneGym, which it describes as “a new ear-training web application that uses deep gamification and deliberate practice methods to help musicians train, learn, improve skills, and unleash their full potential”. Or, if you want the soundbite: “A gym for the ears”. The web-based service will offer daily […]

Clash Video short-video app signs up 200k users in its first week

It seems to be the season for TikTok alternatives to be staking their claims for young video creators. The latest example is a new app called Clash Video, which soft-launched last week for iPhones in the US. “We’re building the first Creator-Founded social network, empowering short form video creators through innovative monetization options, inclusive communities, and […]

ATC and Beggars Group team up for Driift online concerts firm

The founders of music management company ATC Management have launched a new firm called Driift, to produce and promote ticketed online concerts. The team has already worked on recent livestreams for Laura Marling (who sold 6,500 tickets for her recent Union Chapel concerts), Lianna La Havas and Dermot Kennedy (who Driift says sold more than […]

Shodement app aims to help independent artists build fanbases

UK firm Shodement has been building its ‘talent network’ since 2012, working on music projects and developing artists – the latter including investment, signing brand deals, booking live shows, managing releases and building fanbases. It also has a creative agency division working with big brands of all stripes, and runs events and festivals. Now it’s also in the […]

Music recording app Audiobridge launches equity crowdfunder

Audiobridge is one of the startups trying to do clever things in the cloud with the music recording process. Its iOS app enables musicians to work remotely on multi-track projects, recording and uploading tracks from their smartphones to sync them across the devices of their collaborators. The company is also raising money through an equity crowdfunding campaign, hoping to […]

Two more livestreaming startups: Gramrphone and LiveFrom

And still the new livestreaming startups keep coming: we have two more to tell you about today. Gramrphone was one of the six winners in the #NextStageChallenge hackathon earlier this year – Music Ally was a partner in that event. Its service helps artists to stream live from their digital audio workstation (DAW) via Gramrphone’s software, creating their […]

Liteboxer launches, already hailed as the ‘Peloton of boxing’

Liteboxer is the latest fitness startup that’s making music a key part of its service. It launched yesterday, with both TechCrunch and Engadget running with the ‘Peloton of boxing’ shorthand to describe the company’s offering. That means a combination of hardware and software: a free-standing machine with lights to guide your punches, which connects to a smartphone or tablet app […]

FanTracks and Bulldog DM are the latest livestream startups

To adapt the old cliché about buses: you wait ages for a music livestream startup to arrive, then two come at once! Except actually, the two are arriving just after what feels like another couple of dozen. Can FanTracks and Bulldog DM stand out from the crowd? FanTracks is launching with a prominent artist at […]

BoxVR developer FitXR raises $7.5m of Series A funding

If Music Ally’s news has packed a little more… punch recently, it might be because our editor’s lockdown-fitness activity is jabbing, hooking and upper-cutting thin air in virtual reality game BoxVR. Now the game’s developer, British startup FitXR, has raised $7.5m of Series A funding – specifically $6.3m from VC firms and a $1.2m innovation loan […]

Liam Payne set to launch ticketed livestreams on Veeps

Veeps! Another new livestreaming startup for artists? Actually, no, this one’s been around since 2017, and was founded by Benji and Joel Madden from rock band Good Charlotte. It’s a platform for ticketed livestreams, and the latest artist to sign up is a biggie: former One Direction star Liam Payne. He’s going to be launching […]

Livestreaming startup Yoop to open more ‘eSpace’ venues

We wrote about startup Yoop in May, as the latest entrant to 2020’s livestreaming-platform scramble. Its concept was an ‘eSpace’ virtual venue, which artists would be able to play ticketed live performances in. Now Yoop is expanding its activities: it’s creating eSpace venues in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and the UK, to complement its […]

Delic launches music collaboration / rights management platform

We’ve written about Delic before: it’s a service for musicians and rightsholders to manage, share and collaborate on music, which launched in beta last year, then raised £250k of funding early this year to prepare for launch. That launch happened yesterday. Musicians can sign up; collaborate with one another and manage those projects, including sharing the files; and also use […]

Music Ally Startup Files: SyncFloor aims to shake up the sync market

Kirt Debique met his SyncFloor co-founder Cestjon McFarland during a 20-year stint at Microsoft. Immersed in the Seattle music scene, he left the tech giant to start a label (Brick Lane records, named after his favourite part of London) when the music industry was struggling. “I spotted the bottom of the trough of the last […]

Grid app aims to help events return with social distancing

Concerts are returning in some countries as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease, but with a variety of social distancing measures. Grid is a new app that’s positioning itself as helping: not just music concerts, but other kinds of hospitality and events businesses too. The app can be used for mobile ticketing and checking in to events; to […]

Hamburg’s Music WorX accelerator seeks four music/tech startups

We’ve written regularly about music/tech accelerators and incubators like Techstars Music, Abbey Road Red and Marathon Artists Labs. Another one that’s well regarded is Music WorX in Hamburg, run by the publicly-funded Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft body. It’s kicking off a new cohort for 2020, with a three-month program for “teams who have not yet or […]

Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV opens up to students for free

Legendary producer Quincy Jones is opening up his Qwest TV educational platform to school pupils and music-college / university students around the world. They’ll have free access to more than 1,000 concerts, documentaries and pieces of archive footage covering the full gamut of genres. P eople wanting access can pre-register now, with the content to be accessible […]

Startup Show4Me expands into ticketed online concerts

Back in January, we wrote about Show4Me, which described itself as a “music interaction network”. It had raised $13.5m in funding and was offering acts a variety of tools such as music and concert crowdfunding campaigns, sales of music, D2F interaction and even a $1-per-year fan membership model. The company launched an online ticketing option in […]

Virtual reality concerts startup Wave raises $30m funding

It’s been a difficult couple of years for many virtual reality startups, with VR headset sales slower than expected, and in some cases funding drying up as investors lost their appetite for immersive content. There have been success stories though: musical VR game Beat Saber has sold more than 2m copies, with Facebook acquiring its developer last […]

Fan-funding startup Corite closes its seed funding round

Music Ally wrote about Swedish startup Corite when it launched last year as the latest way for artists to make money by selling off stakes in their songs to fans. In its first month of operation, it raised $24k in fan-funding for its first crop of artists. Now the company has been raising some funding of its own: a […]

Midemlab startups contest announces its 2020 winners

Solfeg·io, Super Hi-Fi, Audoo and Uptune have been named as the winners of this year’s Midemlab startups contest, held as part of the Midem music industry conference. Like the conference, Midemlab was an entirely-online affair, with the pitches of all 20 finalists broadcast this afternoon, followed by the announcement of the winners. Music Ally is […]

Dice boss on ‘20 things we’ve learned about livestreaming’

British mobile-ticketing firm Dice is one of the startups most affected by the Covid-19 impact, but the company has been pivoting during the pandemic to focus on livestreams. Now its CEO Phil Hutcheon has published an article about 20 things Dice has learned about music livestreaming, which we think has some practical, helpful advice for artists […]

Clubify launches subscription-based livestreaming service

The latest startup hoping to make a livestreaming splash is called Clubify, and its pitch to fans is “your favourite DJs, clubs and festivals live at home”. The UK-based startup’s focus is on electronic music, then, but also on charging for access rather than free streams. Its subscription membership will cost £14.90 a month or £149.90 […]

Former HTC CEO unveils 5G VR headset with its own virtual world

Peter Chou used to be the CEO of technology firm HTC. Now he’s launched a startup called XRSpace, and unveiled its first virtual reality headset, the XRSpace Mova. It’s lighter than many rivals, and is a ‘standalone’ headset like the Oculus Quest – which means it doesn’t need to be connected to a PC to run its […]

AiMi app uses AI to provide adaptive electronic music

Aimed at electronic music fans, a new app called AiMi is using AI technology to turn existing tracks from artists into adaptive experiences for listeners. The idea: listeners set the ‘energy’ rate they want, based on a scale of 1 to 10, and the app delivers a flow of continuous music to suit their requirements. AiMi uses […]

Intro: BPI and Music Ally’s Music & Tech Springboard Programme

There’s been a radical shift in the way we make, deliver and experience music over the last decade, driven by innovation and partnerships between the music and technology industries. Innovation isn’t just about the biggest tech companies though: the music industry has its arms open wide to talented music-tech startups of all kinds. That’s why […]

Startups explain the lessons they learned working with the music industry

In the Music & Tech Springboard series of videos we’ve produced with the BPI, we’ve heard from collecting societies, lawyers, advisors, accelerators and incubators, and labels about their advice for music/tech startups. But what about hearing from some startups themselves? That’s what this video does. A group of British startups who’ve all signed licensing deals […]

Music and technology industry advisors offer their tips for tech startups

Technology and music may be two separate industries, but there are a number of people whose jobs revolve around bridging the gap between the two: helping startups to understand the strategies and priorities of rights holders, and helping rightsholders to grasp the needs of startups. It’s not uncommon to find these advisors working with one […]

Music licensing: the basics that tech startups need to know

If a music-tech startup’s product or service involves making the actual music available, that company will need licences for the music. Understanding how licensing works is one of the first and most important things that these startups need to understand. At its simplest level, that also means understanding whether you need to be talking to […]

How can you get press coverage for your music/tech startup?

Like any industry, music has its own set of trade publications and websites that are pored over by executives and staff in the labels, publishers and collecting societies. Meanwhile, there’s also a thriving technology industry media covering startups of all kinds, music/tech included. Getting featured by key media, from news stories and founder profiles to […]

SendMusic launches app for professional music-files sharing

We first wrote about startup SendMusic in late 2018, when it emerged as a way to help musicians, producers and music industry colleagues to send big files to one another, including for promotional purposes. Now there’s an update: SendMusic has launched its official iOS app. “You can now send, receive, listen and reply all in one place… […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Radiant’s Spotify-powered DJ is an AI

Squeezing new uses from existing technology sparks creative revolutions. Dancing to recorded music was weird until someone who understood the crowd started to link the right songs together in the right place, and created the nightclub. (It’s probably best not to dwell on one of the main claimants of that innovation, mind…) Fast forward to […]

Social video editing app Trash adds features for musicians

We reported on the launch of Trash last June: an AI-powered video editing app launched by Hannah Donovan, formerly of Vine and This Is My Jam. Then, in January this year, her pitch won the startup showcase section of the NY:LON Connect conference in New York, with Donovan explaining that Trash had been licensing music for use in […]

Reveel launches music project-management platform in beta

Last October we reported on a startup called Reveel that was promising to help musicians to ensure they were credited correctly on all the songs they work on, through a ‘creator ID’ linked to each song or recording. Now Reveel has launched its actual platform (as opposed to just registrations for creator IDs) in beta. “Reveel is a collaborative […]

Finalists named for Midemlab 2020 startups contest

There will be no physical Midem conference this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the event will live on digitally – including its annual Midemlab startups contest. Yesterday, the 20 finalists for this year’s competition (disclosure: Music Ally is one of the selecting partners) were announced, narrowed down from 226 entrants this year. The Music […]

Techstars Music 2020 startups make their pitches (online)

The demo days of music/tech accelerator Techstars Music are usually a big draw in the physical world, with music industry execs and tech investors convening in Los Angeles to watch its startups pitch. By necessity, its 2020 demo day was different: streamed online with pre-recorded pitches. It was an impressive and varied selection of companies […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Fanaply’s limited-edition digital collectibles

In November 2019, WMG’s head of innovation, recorded music, Scott Cohen told Music Ally that he was interested in the ways that blockchain technology could create new value for the industry. One example: digitally-scarce collectibles that fans would buy and show off. Fast-forward six months, and one of the startups in the latest cohort for […]

#NextStageChallenge attracts applicants from 39 countries

We reported on the #NextStageChallenge last month: it’s an initiative that’s trying to round up developers for a hackathon and accelerator to tackle some of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for musicians. Music Ally is one of the companies collaborating on the challenge. We’ve now got an update on participation: 425 applicants from […]

Pandora founder Tim Westergren launches livestreaming service Sessions

Streaming service Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren stepped down as CEO and from its board of directors in June 2017. Since then, he’s been a venture partner at VC firm Khosla Ventures; joined the board of AI music startup Popgun; and founded a new company called Next Music. What’s that? Well, it’s the firm behind a new […]

Source3 founder raises $1.5m for Bonsai career-mentoring startup

Music Ally readers may be familiar with Patrick Sullivan, who co-founded video copyright protection company Source3 and sold it to Facebook in 2017. (That team had previously set up RightsFlow and sold it to YouTube in 2011.) Sullivan’s new venture is Bonsai which is designed to give individuals seeking career advice access to one-to-one video meetings online with […]

Startup Gotickety talks Example tie-up and streaming plans

We last covered Gotickety when it launched in September 2018, calling itself the “Candy Crush for the Music Industry” where users of the app play games in order to win meet and greets with musicians, personal video messages from stars as well as tickets/merchandise. The company has now revealed the results of a recent partnership with […]

Today’s positive coronavirus-related industry news (16 April)

There’s more news from the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund in the US, which has now secured contributions from collecting societies ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The fund is now past the $10m mark on the back of support from all quarters of the music industry. Meanwhile, in the UK another collecting society, PPL, is donating £700k to […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Ampled’s artist-owned ‘relationship platform’

As the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic drapes the world in uneasiness, many of our established economic systems are blinking under the cold light of community-centric scrutiny – including the music industry. The impact on streaming is still being debated, but the abrupt shutdown of the live music industry – and the disappearance of the income associated with it […]

#NextStageChallenge seeks tech solutions for music industry’s Covid-19 challenges

A group of European music companies and organisations are launching a two-week hackathon called #NextStageChallenge, which aims to find inventive solutions to some of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for musicians and the music industry. There’s a open call for submissions until 24 April, with the hackathon kicking off on 27 April […]

Startup Dirac raises $6m and adds Spotify veteran to board

We’ve covered a number of startups in the ‘audio tech’ sector in recent times: among them Accusonus (which raised $3.3m in November 2019); Sonarworks (which showed off a personalised audio app called SoundID in January); and Tunefork (whose app for people with hearing loss impressed at Midemlab 2019). Now there’s another one for the list: Swedish startup Dirac, which describes […]

Music Ally Report :: Q1 2020 Edition

Our main Music Ally report is getting bigger and going quarterly! This is the first edition of the new report including some of the new elements we’ve been planning, with more to be added in the Q2 report in early July. We couldn’t ignore the coronavirus pandemic, of course, so there’s a feature exploring some […]

AIMS API uses AI to mine catalogues of recorded music

The latest startup using artificial intelligence technology to make sense of large music catalogues is AIMS API, from the Czech Republic. The company describes itself as “an API service that searches and recommends music within your catalogue based on reference audio tracks”. The startup’s background is in the production music world: co-founder Martin Nedvěd ran production […]

Songstats is the latest startup providing music analytics

After past acquisitions of music analytics startups Next Big Sound (by Pandora), Semetric and Asaii (both by Apple) the industry once again has a clutch of independent dashboards competing to help artists, managers and labels make sense of their streaming and social stats. We’ve written regularly about the likes of Soundcharts and Chartmetric, but the […]

Side Door expands to include ticketing for livestream concerts

There are plenty of ways for artists to perform concerts at home and livestream them during the current period of social distancing and self-isolation, but not quite so many ways to charge fans to watch. One recently-launched option is a startup called Side Door. Its core business is (or rather: will be, once the lockdown […]

Startups battered by a coronavirus-driven ‘great unwinding’

The New York Times has published an interesting (if also bleak) article exploring the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic is presenting for tech startups in particular. It’s a good read, especially for people within the music industry who work with music-tech startups. One Silicon Valley exec who specialises in restructuring failed startups describes the current period as […]

Management firm ie:music launches ie:ventures to invest in startups

Yesterday, we reported on the launch of music-making app Endlesss. One of the British startup’s investors is music management company ie:music, through a new arm called ie:ventures. Director Stephen O’Reilly told us more about the new division, and why the company – whose artists include Robbie Williams, Passenger and Ladyhawke – is getting into startup […]

Music-making app Endlesss officially launches its iOS app

We wrote about music-making app startup (and extra-sibilant scourge of auto-correct systems) Endlesss several times in 2019: for example when the company pitched at and co-won the Midemlab startups contest last June, then when we interviewed CEO Tim Exile the following month. The company’s app has been available on an invitation-only basis since then, but today sees its official commercial launch […]

New York Times buys startup that turns articles into audio

It’s not just music streaming services who are excited about podcasts and long-form audio more generally. The New York Times just acquired a startup called Audm, which runs a “subscription-based audio app that offers listeners the world’s best longform journalism, read aloud word-for-word by celebrated audiobook narrators”. It launched in 2016, and aggregates articles from the NYT but […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Pex sees big music potential in UGC

For the last few years, LA-based startup Pex has been quietly scanning, fingerprinting and indexing every single piece of audio and video uploaded to open, public-facing platforms. It has accrued a whopping database of 20 billion data points, and – perhaps – know what’s happening on certain platforms better than the platform itself. Music Ally […]

Startup Landmrk launches ‘Virtual Tours’ feature for artists

We’ve written about British startup Landmrk regularly over the past couple of years: its platform enables artists (and other kinds of brands too) to create virtual ‘treasure hunts’ that encourage fans to explore the real world to find digital content. Obviously, there are some issues with the ‘explore the real world’ aspect right now, what […]

‘TikTok for musicians’ Jamiphy joins Y Combinator accelerator

We wrote about startup Jamiphy in August 2019 after we spotted its profile pop up on an investment website. It was billing itself as ‘TikTok for Musicians’ – an app where artists could “create short musical videos with others, and with AI musicians using any instrument or style”. The company has since launched its app in Indonesia, and now […]

Drop it like it’s Brots: startup swipes right on music discovery

Dating app Tinder’s swiping interface has long been applied to other kinds of apps and services, music included – we wrote about Next in 2014 and Fab·fm in 2016 as two examples. The latest startup to apply the functionality of Tinder to music is Brots. It’s an app where listeners play 30-second clips of new acts where they can swipe […]

BandPay raises $2m for its music collaborations management app

US-based BandPay is one of the startups trying to help musicians get paid for their work more efficiently. In its case, that takes the form of an app on which collaborators set milestones for their projects, with funds in escrow that are released when those milestones are hit. Now the company is getting a payment milestone of […]

Startup Rightsholder·io aims to streamline music clearance

Music Ally is long enough in the tooth to be skeptical whenever someone has a bright idea for launching a database offering “a clear and complete picture of who owns the rights to a song all in one place”. Those are the words of Atlanta-based startup Music Tech Works about its first product, Rightsholder·io, which is currently available […]

Music Ally Startup Files: MyPart’s new spin on AI music analysis

Israeli startup MyPart aims to use AI to turn the long tail of music catalogues into revenue streams that humans may have overlooked. In fact, the company wants to do more than analyse music and pull the needle from the haystack: it wants to pair the songs no human would consider with artists who never […]

I Heart Songwriting Club interview: ‘There is no ceiling to this!’

“I was having panic attacks. I was completely anxious and stuck, because I wasn’t doing the thing I wanted to do. I struggled to write songs: I judged every idea as boring and not good enough, and that stopped me writing altogether. Four songs a year was all I could manage at one point…” Australian […]

Loudly shows off AI tech to remix songs into different genres

German startup Loudly is taking the wrappers off its music-focused artificial intelligence technology, which it says can automatically remix tracks into different genres. The tech is being shown off on the company’s website with tracks by Becky G, Dillon Francis, Bien Monk and MØ. For example, Becky G’s track ‘Next To You’ has been remixed by the […]

Taki takes on Cameo to offer personalised celebrity videos

In June last year we wrote about a new startup called Cameo, which had raised a $50m funding round to continue building its business selling personalised video messages from celebrities. Now it has a new rival called Taki, which is doing the same thing. “Make a birthday extra special. Have a celeb announce a baby to […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Flutin, India’s new music discovery app

Indian startup Flutin has a bold, dual-pronged mission: to round up millions of music fans and serve them – for free – new music that they’ll love; and to provide artists with an easy-to-reach fanbase that’s eager to engage and even purchase. Dig a little deeper into the company, and there are some interesting lessons on how […]

AI music startup Boomy adds rap beats and TikTok distribution

Boomy is the startup that’s helping anyone (non-musicians included) to create AI-generated music, and then release it on streaming services. According to the company’s latest update, its users have created more than 370,000 original songs in the last year, with 70% of those people never having made a song before. The update also explains Boomy’s latest features, […]

Beatstravellers wants to blend travel and live music

The latest startup to mix music and tourism is London-based Beatstravellers. “A social marketplace creating unique vacation options in the travel and music market,” is how the company describes itself on investor database AngelList. It wants to add a tourism strand when people travel to a festival, to help music fans see a bit more of the surrounding […]

Mindfulness startup (and Spotify partner) Headspace raises $93m

Back in November 2016, Spotify launched its first ‘bundle’ subscription with another digital service: meditation and mindfulness firm Headspace. The bundle still exists, although according to Headspace it’s only available in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK. Since that bundle was announced, Headspace has continued to grow: its latest press release notes that its app has been […]

Michelle Phan’s music startup Thematic joins 500 Startups

We first wrote about Thematic in June 2018: it’s a startup founded by YouTuber (and all-round influencer) Michelle Phan, which specialised in licensing music for her fellow online stars’ videos. The pitch was “no membership fees, no licensing fees, no rev-shares” during its public beta, with all the music pre-cleared for use. According to a crowdfunding pitch from the […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Jambl, the music-making app for non-musicians

Music is different to other creative acts: there’s a palpable barrier to entry compared to, say, photography. Jambl aims to change that by making music-creation fun, simple and entertaining, but with a full industry vertical behind it. Can hits be made, remixed, identified, and fully exploited, all in one platform? Jambl, which recently received half […]

Concord and Queen drummer back audio tech startup Iris

It’s clearly the week for starry seed investors. Snafu Records has Abba’s Agnetha Fältskog but another new startup, Iris, can boast Queen drummer Roger Taylor as one of its early backers. Its promise: “a revolutionary new audio technology that heightens audio quality whilst simultaneously activating the brain”, which (if all goes well) will be integrated by […]

Music monitoring startup Audoo launches equity crowdfunding campaign

British music/tech startup Audoo has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign, in which it will attempt to raise $250k of funding at a valuation of £6m. CEO Ryan Edwards launched the campaign last night at the latest demo day of the Abbey Road Red incubator in London, which Audoo is currently part of. The company is focused on helping […]

Abbey Road Red startups have raised $40m of funding so far

Abbey Road Red, the music/tech incubator run by Abbey Road Studios in London, held its latest demo event last night, including an update on its portfolio. “We have now incubated 15 companies across all areas of the value chain, who together have raised $40m and are collectively worth $200m,” said Abbey Road boss Isabel Garvey, […]

Raised in Space has invested in five music-tech startups

In February 2019, Music Ally reported on a new investment fund being created by former BMG exec Zach Katz, working with manager Scooter Braun, cryptocurrency firm Ripple, and Something Gold boss Shara Senderoff. Raised In Space Enterprises would be looking to invest between $500k and $5m apiece in music/tech startups. In November last year, the fund led a […]

Musiculus music education startup launches its first apps

The latest startup hoping to use digital wizardry to help people learn to play instruments is Canadian firm Musiculus. The company has launched its first web apps (with native versions to come) as part of what it calls “the only all-in-one online music learning tool that will teach you a systematic approach to understand, learn, and […]

Music startup Voisey: ‘It’s not an application, it’s a movement’

Will the next TikTok – i.e. a social app craze – be about making music? Norwegian / British startup Voisey hopes so. Its app aims to combine early SoundCloud’s zealous userbase, early Hype Machine’s excitement of discovery; Snapchat’s intimacy; and TikTok’s front-facing camera appeal. Its songs are created in two ways: producers can upload short […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Voisey is the TikTok for music creation

If co-founder Olly Barnes’ infectious optimism is correct, Voisey is a phenomenon-in-waiting. It’s an app that has the potential to shake up how songs are made; tap into hitherto locked-away artistic talent; develop a new breed of pop star and pop songs; and maybe even bypass the traditional label system. Sounds too good to be […]

AI-music startup Never Before Heard Sounds joins Betaworks camp

In September 2019, startup studio Betaworks announced plans for an initiative called Audiocamp, promising to “invest in and mentor start-ups building on top of the latest advancements in NLP, or inventing new mobile, voice-enabled experiences and utilities, or engaging audiences in new ways of finding and supporting their next favorite audio programming, or developing new social listening […]

Delic raises £250k and preps release-management platform launch

Last year we wrote about UK-based startup Delic, and its plans to launch a “progressive asset and rights management platform for labels, management companies, and independent musicians” including blockchain technology. At the time, it was still working on that product. Now the company has raised £250k (around $325k) in a ‘pre-seed’ funding round led by Velocity EIS Technology […]

One-tap video app Trash wins NY:LON Connect startup showcase

One of the traditional highlights of the NY:LON Connect conference is the startup pitches session, and 2020’s event was no exception. New York startup Trash emerged as the winner in an audience vote for the best pitch, but fellow pitchers Super Hi-Fi, MyPart, Boomy and FeedForward won plenty of plaudits from attendees too. Music Ally […]

Tech, innovation and music: ‘Pick one little thing and go deep!’

“VR is shit! It’s shit but it doesn’t have to be. Certainly the hardware’s not all the way there yet, it’s quite bulky and if you put it on for an hour or so you’re going to get a pretty raging headache and neck ache. But the real problem is the content is shit. The […]

Midemlab startups contest reveals its jury for 2020

Earlier this month, we reported on changes to the Midemlab startups contest at Midem in June: a new ‘Live Music Experiences’ category to replace the existing ‘Experiential Technologies’ one. Music Ally, as before, is one of the selection partners for the contest, which means we’ll be one of three companies (alongside Plus 8 Equity and The Lynk) […]

Music discovery app Lüm adds virtual gifting feature

US startup Lüm launched a music discovery app in July 2019: the latest attempt at a smartphone app to help music fans find new artists to listen to. The company has since closed a $1.4m seed funding round, and says that it has “grown to over 15,000 fans, 22,000 artists and has over 60,000 tracks […]

Joué bags an NWA co-founder and sets sights on US expansion

We last wrote about French startup Joué in June 2019, when the company was one of the finalists in the Midemlab startups contest. It’s a hardware company that makes instruments, with its first (also called Joué) being a board-shaped device made out of wood and metal, with “magic modules” made of silicon slotting in to turn it into a […]

Sonarworks promises personalised sound with SoundID app

Audio-tech firm Sonarworks is hoping to make a splash at CES this week with a new product called SoundID. It’s an app for Android and iOS that promises “personalised audio perfected for each listener”, with its beta version available now. It’ll work by running users through a one-time ‘hearing test’ including their age, musical preferences and […]

Junior Programme Manager – Abbey Road Red – London

Job title: Junior Programme Manager Responsible to: Innovation Manager Department: Abbey Road Red Location of work: Abbey Road Studios   Music is Universal   Everyone is welcome to apply for our roles, and we are determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment because of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, […]

Midemlab startups competition seeks entrants for 2020

Will the number 13 be lucky for some music/tech startups? The annual Midemlab competition will be in its 13th year in 2020, and has just opened its call for entries. SoundCloud, Kickstarter, Songkick, The Echo Nest, Next Big Sound and Soundcharts are among the past participants in the contest, which is part of the Midem conference. […]

Music Ally Startup Files: Musiio talks AI-tagging

AI-music analysis startup Musiio has had a good 2019: it recently raised $1M in seed funding, is already working with a slew of clients, and is looking to raise money again in 2020. Musiio’s technology is a mixture of the advanced (AI that can listen to music) and the pragmatic (efficiently labelling catalogue). Right now, […]

Startup Qjam aims to popularise ‘digital signings’ from artists

With the decline of high-street record stores, not to mention the rise of smartphones, are artist-signing events dying out? Scribbled signatures may pale compared to selfies, but a startup called Qjam is aiming to give signings a new, digital spin. It’s launched an Android and iOS app that fans can use to stream live video of an […]

RoadNation is latest platform to help acts de-risk tours

Touting (scalping) is an ongoing problem for mega-acts, where demand far outstrips supply. The inverse, of course, is the case for smaller acts – where tours can lose them money and small venues are often sparsely attended. RoadNation is the latest platform aiming to help, by developing what it is terming a “direct to fan” touring […]

Music Ally’s Music/Tech Startup Files #1: Five Vectors

Gamer music fans want music that fits the exact gaming moment they’re experiencing, and they want to show off their fandom. Five Vectors’ tech scans and funnels music programmatically to those audiences, and helps fans pay for it in ways that make interaction meaningful and status-based, like being skins in Fortnite. The post Music Ally’s […]

Famous Media wants to create ‘TikTok with Tinder-style voting’

Take two trends: swipe-voting and short-videos. Mash them up, and what do you get? US startup Famous Media hopes you get a recipe for success. It’s working on an app called Famous for which its high-concept pitch is “TikTok with Tinder-style voting”. Its profile on investment site AngelList explains more. “Famous merges the youthful appeal of Instagram and TikTok […]

Portes aims to connect artists and fans while respecting privacy

Artists connecting with fans and rewarding superfans has been a trend in our industry for years. Doing that while respecting their digital privacy is… a somewhat-newer trend. Something that’s trying to walk this line is Portes, a new platform and app launched by startup OCL. The app is available on iOS, with Android to come. “Use […]

Capitol Gains: Capitol Records talks innovation, startups and music

In September, Music Ally spoke to three of Warner Music Group’s senior innovation and business-development execs, about how they work with startups and innovative technologies. That month, we also interviewed some music/tech startups, who gave some blunt, honest feedback on the challenges they have faced working with major labels in general. It’s a conversation that’s […]

Music Ally Report 425: AIs on the prize. What will Artificial Intelligence really mean for the music industry?

This report focuses on AI music – both in terms of artificial-intelligence systems that are creating original music, and AI-driven tools that human musicians are using for their own creative purposes. There’s lots to talk about. We’ve started by digging through the Music Ally archives to offer a timeline of modern AI music – starting with UK […]

ODD Ball set to help people make music: by bouncing it

Bobby Vee’s ‘Rubber Ball’ has been on our internal jukebox all morning so far – and now on yours, no need to thank us, it’s all part of the service – since spotting a new music/tech startup called ODD Studios. The London-based company is working on “products that allow everybody to experience the thrill and […]

Secretly Noord aims to shake up Nordic distribution market

There’s a new independent music distributor set to make waves in the Nordic region, and it includes some familiar faces for that part of the world. Secretly Noord is the result of a partnership between existing distributor Secretly Distribution and local group NoordRights. The new venture plans to offer distribution, marketing and technology tools to labels […]

Capitol Royale roundup: empowerment, hacks and A&R’s evolution

On Saturday and Sunday (November 16-17), Capitol Music Group held its 2nd annual music and tech festival, Capitol Royale, at its Los Angeles headquarters. The theme for this year was ‘Music on the Move’, with workshops, hackathons, panels, and social events revolving around the ever-changing landscape of music and innovation. Kicking off on Friday was […]

WMG’s Scott Cohen talks innovation: ‘What’s coming next, and what do we need to do?’

Ever since co-founding distributor The Orchard in 1997, Scott Cohen has been known as one of the music-industry executives with an intense curiosity about new technologies and their potential applications for musicians and rightsholders – even when (or perhaps, especially when) they are disruptive to current business models and ways of thinking.

 The post WMG’s Scott […]

Marathon Artists Labs set for its third startups accelerator

Independent music company Marathon Music Group is launching a third cohort of its Marathon Artists Labs startup accelerator. Due to kick off in the first quarter of 2020, its theme will be ‘music discovery’, following previous programs focused on ‘tools for artist managers’ and ‘music-related content monetisation’. Marathon says that it’s looking for six startups for the […]

Interactive AR music-player wins Abbey Road Red’s 2019 hackathon

17 teams of developers are getting well-earned rests today after taking part in the Abbey Road Red hackathon at London’s famous Abbey Road Studios over the weekend. The focus was ‘The Power of Immersion’ with augmented-reality technology to the fore, courtesy of strategic partner Facebook – with its Spark AR tools. Top prize in the […]

Startup Venu is launching a new D2C fan-loyalty platform

The latest startup hoping to apply the idea of loyalty schemes to music artists is Boston-based Venu. Its Android and iOS apps are billed as ‘coming soon’ on the company’s website, which sets out how it’ll work for artists and for fans. In the former case, artists will be able to post their news to […]

Audio-tech startup Accusonus raises $3.3m funding round

Greek startup Accusonus has raised a Series A funding round of $3.3m, which the five year-old company will use to continue developing its “human-friendly audio software”. That means tools that use machine-learning technology to process audio, within software used by musicians, podcasters and video creators alike. For example, its most-recent product is Rhythmiq, “an instantly playable virtual instrument” […]

Indian music-discovery app Flutin says it has 370k daily users

We’ve written a lot about the big music-streaming services in India like Gaana and JioSaavn, but this week brought news of an interesting-sounding music-discovery startup there. It’s called Flutin, and its schtick is building algorithmic playlists for users based on their musical preferences, activities, location and other data. The company says its app has been downloaded […]

Startup Pex can now scan Apple Podcasts for music clips

Pex isn’t a startup we’ve written much about for Music Ally thus far, but it’s one of the more interesting companies in the current music ecosystem – not just because of what it’s doing now, but for how its technology might be used in the future. The company’s business is “independent video and music analytics and […]

Synaesthetic to blend classical music, AI and AR technologies

Fans of music/tech startups that sound a little… out-there will enjoy Synaesthetic’s ambitions. “While listening to music is great, we have evolved to look for things we hear and want visually-enhanced musical experiences, like concerts and music videos,” is how the Boston-based company’s website explains its plans. “We are developing a new musical medium, that is […]

Five music/tech startups to pitch in Web Summit contest

Startup pitch contests at conferences around the world have become a useful window into new music/tech firms. The latest contest will take place at the Web Summit in Lisbon on 7 November. In a session dubbed the ‘Music Innovation Prize 2019’, five startups will be pitching to a jury of “industry heavyweights, influential investors, and big-name artists”. […]

Secret Chord Laboratories raises $315k for music-analysis tool

Algorithmic A&R continues to be a touchy subject in some quarters of the music industry, where there is distrust (and/or existential fears) of the prospect of big data encroaching onto the traditional territory of humans’ ears and guts. That’s even more the case when the algorithms are tracking not the momentum of an artist in […]

The Chainsmokers co-found blockchain-ticketing startup Yellowheart

If you ever want to feel sympathy for the challenges that music/tech journalists face, read our 2018 report that included an ‘A to Z of Blockchain Music Startups’ and see our valiant efforts to find different ways of writing ‘X is a blockchain ticketing startup promising to beat touting and enable tickets to be transferred legally’. There […]

Industry-connecting startup Rostr launches its service in beta

In February, Music Ally spotted plans by former Spotify global head of artist and industry partnerships Mark Williamson to launch a new startup called Rostr. It was tagged as “AngelList for the music industry” – a reference to the popular website cataloguing startups for investors. This week, Rostr has launched in beta. “The industry is really exciting […]

Replica raises $2.5m funding for its ‘expressive voiceovers’

Music Ally wrote about Australian startup Replica earlier this year, following its participation in the Techstars Music accelerator. The company is using AI to create ‘Replica voice actors on demand” – taking recordings of someone talking, and creating a ‘replica’ voice capable of reading any text fed to it. For musicians, the company pitched the tech as providing “the […]

Music-for-gaming startup Five Vectors raises $1m funding round

A startup hoping to forge more links between the music and esports industries has raised a $1m seed funding round. The company is Five Vectors, and its business is focused around working with artists to create original music tracks, which can then be licensed to esports teams and organisations. The company was co-founded by former Universal Music Central […]

Fan-funding startup Corite launches in beta with five artists

Music Ally reported on Swedish startup Corite in August. It was a new fan-funding platform founded by former UMG execs Mattias Tengblad and Emil Angervall, offering distribution to artists but also the option for fans to invest in their music, and take a share of royalties. Today, Corite is launching in ‘beta mode’ with five Swedish artists: Albin Johnsén, […]

Zen 8 app adds AI music to Instagram and Snapchat stories

As Music Ally has been covering the latest wave of AI-generated music startups, we’ve argued that one of the most interesting uses for this technology is social – a way to create background music for videos and other posts in apps like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. That’s one reason why the acquisition of AI-music startup Jukedeck by […]

Auxuman launches AI-generated album with five virtual artists

Startup Auxuman’s claim to have released ‘the first-ever fully AI-generated music album’ isn’t quite right: Endel has released a string of them in 2019, while Boomy is enabling anyone to release albums created by its AI (I’ve tried that already). Even so, Auxuman’s project is interesting. The album is called ‘Auxuman Vol.1’ and it features 10 tracks by […]

Audius takes on SoundCloud… but takedowns could get interesting

Music Ally first wrote about blockchain-music startup Audius just over a year ago, when the company raised a $5.5m funding round (a traditional one, not an ICO) for a platform described as ‘SoundCloud on the blockchain’. The following month, it revealed that its advisers included Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels; former Avicii manager Ash Pournouri; Pandora head of artist product Shamal Ranasinghe; […]

SingleServ app wants to help artists raise money for charities

Music Ally has seen a few music-streaming apps making promises like payouts “over 2x more than Spotify”, but there’s a twist in the case of SingleServ: the payouts are going to charities. Launched as an iPhone app, the company describes itself as a “cause-based streaming platform that allows musicians to directly fundraise for charities by using their […]

Startup studio Betaworks launches camp for ‘the future of audio’

Betaworks isn’t an ‘accelerator’ as such: it styles itself as a ’startup studio’ – meaning that besides running accelerators, it also builds new things in-house, and invests in external startups. GIF search-engine Giphy and mobile game Dots are two of its hits so far. Now it’s focusing on audio with its latest startup ‘camp’ program, […]

Musiio reveals its first commercial client: Audio Network

We’ve written a few times about music/tech startup Musiio this year: the company uses artificial-intelligence (AI) technology to analyse catalogues of music, for purposes including search, metadata-tagging and playlisting. Now the company has announced its first commercial client: Audio Network, the production-music firm acquired by Entertainment One earlier this year (with eOne now in the process of […]

Russian startup Fluent launches its adaptive-music app

The idea of adaptive-music apps, where music adapts in real-time to what you’re doing, has been around for a long time – from the heyday of British startup RjDj to 2019’s LifeScore. Now there’s another startup exploring the potential: Moscow-based Fluent, which has launched its “immersive music” app for iPhone. Its pitch: “Spotify plays static files. AI generates bland, soulless […]

Warner Music Group talks startups, technology and investment

In Music Ally’s latest analysis report, we take a look at the three major labels’ strategies around music/tech startups and investment. The full report is for Music Ally subscribers only, but you can sign up for a free trial, which includes access to the latest report. An extract from it follows, focusing on Warner Music […]

Big Ear Games sees more potential for music-learning apps

The intersection of mobile gaming and music education is a category Music Ally has been tracking since 2011, when a Finnish startup called Ovelin started to get attention for a music-learning game called WildChords. It later rebranded as Yousician, and as of summer 2019 has generated more than 100m downloads of its apps. Now history might […]

Report 424: Music/Tech Startups in 2019

Our focus is on music/tech startups, and their interaction with the music industry. Screenwriter William Goldman’s famous line about Hollywood – ”Nobody knows anything” – applies just as well to the task of spotting successful music/tech startups. But what Music Ally does know is that whenever we’ve been curious about startups in the present, it’s given us […]

Startup Resonoo is putting AI to work on spotting hit songs

Back in May 2018, Music Ally spotted a new startup called OptimiseLab, which was building “AI technology to analyse, improve, and compose music”. Initially, it was focusing on the first of those: a tool that “accurately predicts music popularity scores and provides customised advice on song improvement”. 15 months on, and OptimiseLab has just rebranded to Resonoo, […]

Jamiphy says it’ll be ‘TikTok for musicians’ – including AIs

Startup Jamiphy’s website is currently deliberately enigmatic: simply showing a logo and a screenshot of a mobile app with a musician playing guitar, and a string of emojis that look like feedback from people watching a video livestream. The company’s profile on investment site AngelList fleshes that out a bit though: Jamiphy is based in San Francisco, and […]

Production-music startup Soundstripe raises $2m

It feels like a matter of months since we were writing about Nashville production-music startup Soundstripe raising a $4m funding round… mainly because it IS just a matter of months. That round in May 2019 is now being followed by another $2m of investment, from Craft Ventures. That’s a good score for Soundstripe: the VC firm is run […]

Vampr shoots past $100k in its equity-crowdfunding campaign

Startup Vampr has been around since 2016, as one of the startups hoping to create a ‘LinkedIn for musicians’ industry-focused social network. It has since raised $900k of funding from angel investors and industry executives, but in 2019 the company is turning to the crowd for more money. Vampr has launched an equity-crowdfunding campaign this week using […]

Startup Kena·ai is creating an AI ‘personal music teacher’

Music Ally has written a fair bit about artificial intelligence (AI) technology being used to generate music. What about teaching humans to play music? That’s the goal of a new San Francisco startup called Kena·ai. The company is developing what it describes as “an Artificial-Intelligence personal music teacher” capable of “giving real-time feedback on practice sessions, […]

Startup Audoo adds more industry veterans to its advisory board

Audoo is one of the startups trying to ensure musicians get paid the royalties due to them – in its case, by developing tech to monitor music usage with a device placed in gyms, cafes and other public venues that feeds information back to collecting societies on what tracks have been played. Now the company is […]

Techstars Music 2020 kicks off: ‘We will look at everything!’

“We want to invest in a game where the playing of the game includes all the roles of the music business, and the output of the game is real music and real pop stars. I’ve been trying to make this investment for three years. I feel it’s inevitable…” If that startup exists, Bob Moczydlowsky, MD […]

Super Hi-Fi wants to revamp music-streaming with AI… inspired by radio

Of all the startup demos I’ve been given over the last decade working for Music Ally, Super Hi-Fi’s is the first that involves listening to Seal’s 1990s hit ‘Crazy’ being mixed into classic jazz cut ‘Monk’s Dream’ by Thelonious Monk. Oh, and it’s an AI doing the mixing, not a human. Super Hi-Fi isn’t an […]

Swedish startup Corite launches fan-funding platform for artists

PledgeMusic may have collapsed, but there are other fan-funding startups emerging in its wake. The latest is from Sweden and is called Corite, and it’s one of the growing number of platforms that aim to get fans to invest in songs, and get a share of royalties back in return. “A record label ruled by fans,” […]

Earbuds is a startup for sharing celebrities’ music playlists

Once upon a time, there were some interesting startups whose business was based mainly on curated playlists. One of them, Tunigo, was bought by Spotify, and was an important driver for that company’s move into playlisting. Another of them, Songza, was bought by Google, and had an impact within that company’s music services too. But […]

9128 is a streaming service focused on ambient/electronic music

One of the interesting industry questions in 2019 concerns the outlook for niche music-streaming services: for example those focused on specific categories like classical, jazz or metal, which are often seen as being under-served by the big global streaming services. Now add ambient/electronic music to the list. There’s a new service called 9128, which is the […]

VRJam launches crowdfunding campaign for its AR/VR music tech

Music Ally wrote about startup VRJam in April, when it was trying to raise $500k of seed funding for a technology offering live ‘XR’ streams of music performances in virtual AND augmented reality. Now the company has officially launched its equity-crowdfunding campaign. Now the target is £250k (around $304k) which the company plans to use “to […]

Boomy talks AI music: ‘We want to make music that’s meaningful’

“Our goal was never to make music that was good! Maybe someday we will, and people will say it’s good. But our goal is to make music that’s meaningful. That’s a different kind of thing…” Alex Mitchell is the CEO of Boomy, one of the youngest startups exploring the idea of… well, I would say […]

Can startup Endlesss become the TikTok of music-making?

“I wonder whether we’re experiencing the death of content. Or rather, the fall of content and the rise of relationships. The value of content as a leanback experience that’s measured in ‘attention’ diminishes, and what increases is the measure of response: replies, interaction, engagement…” Don’t worry: Tim Exile, the CEO of British music-making-app startup Endlesss, […]

Boomy will help people upload AI-made music to streaming services

Boomy is one of the startups exploring AI-generated music, and launched in beta earlier this year. Now it’s emerging from that beta period, with test users having already created more than 100k songs using its technology. The general public is now being invited to sign in at Boomy’s website and start creating songs. “Our data shows […]

PledgeMusic and Dot Blockchain founder reveals NewsHero venture

Benji Rogers was co-founder of crowdfunding website PledgeMusic, although he left (to set up startup Dot Blockchain) before things went downhill with the company’s finances. After returning in an advisory capacity earlier this year to try to help PledgeMusic out of its hole, Rogers has now unveiled his own new venture – NewsHero – and […]

Mubert pitches AI generative music for B2B background usage

Music Ally first wrote about Mubert in February: it was one of the latest clutch of startups working on technology to create generative/adaptive music using AI. It already has a consumer app that people can use to generate a stream of AI music, which over time promises to get tuned to their preferences. Mubert is also exploring another line of business, […]

Concert-sound startup Mixhalo raises $10.7m funding round

Mixhalo is one of the music/tech startups that was actually founded by professional musicians: violinist Ann Marie Simpson-Einziger and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger. The startup claims to be “democratising audio at live events” by streaming top-notch audio to people’s smartphones. “Build onstage VIP seating or offer an audio upgrade in the nosebleeds,” as its pitch puts […]

BeatDapp and Renaissance part of 500 Startups’ latest batch

500 Startups is one of the most famous startup accelerators, based in San Francisco and now into its 25th program. This time round, there are two music/tech startups in the mix: BeatDapp and Renaissance. BeatDapp is one of the new clutch of startups (see also: Midemlab-winner Legitary) trying to help labels keep better track of their streaming […]

Startup Popgun shows how it’s taught an AI to sing

Australian AI-music startup Popgun has made a habit of showing its progress by publishing YouTube videos showing how its AI has learned to compose and play music. And now to sing it too. “For the past year we have been teaching an AI to sing. Using text and midi as input, we generate vocal tracks […]

UMG and WMG execs talk startups and innovation at Sonar+D

Behind the music industry’s fiercely competitive public face hides a wider spirit of digital collaboration, according to Tuhin Roy, the executive who leads Universal Music’s efforts to support early-stage digital music companies. Roy was speaking at the Sónar+D conference in Barcelona alongside Warner Music’s Tiago Teixeira Correia, on a panel that gave a rare glimpse into the […]

ROCCR aims to restore crowdfunding’s reputation after PledgeMusic troubles

The well-documented troubles of crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic have left a number of artists out of pocket and waiting to find out if the company will be rescued by a buyer. One of those affected was British band Jesus Jones, who’d been using the platform for pre-orders for their latest album ‘Voyages’. Now one of the […]

Cyanite aims to use AI to analyse songs’ emotional qualities

German music/tech startup Groovecat has launched a new product called Cyanite, whose pitch is “making emotions within songs visible with artificial intelligence”. It’s a tool based partly on data from the company’s existing Music Moments app, with CEO Markus Schwarzer explaining that the aim is to “offer the music and advertising industry the possibility to find […]

Meditation app Calm raises $27m more funding at $1bn valuation

We’ve written about meditation startup Calm several times this year: for example when it raised an $88m funding round in February (an announcement that made us wonder whether Spotify would be doing more with meditation), and when it was the exclusive distribution partner for a new album by artist Moby the following month. Now there’s some more news – […]

Startup Popgun is launching an AI-mastering tool called Gloss

We know Australian startup Popgun best for its demos showing how the company’s AI learned to compose and play music (watch the video here if you need a catchup). However, it’s also been working on something else: a new service called Gloss, which is firmly in Landr’s territory of AI-powered music mastering. “Gloss uses AI to make […]

Capital in Music to explore finance for local music rights

The co-founder of Norwegian music firm Arctic Rights Management has announced plans for a new project called Capital in Music. Erik Brataas will be taking a six-month leave from his position at Arctic Rights to lead the initiative. “Capital in Music is a project founded by five different companies in the space of music, finance […]

Cameo raises $50m for its celebrity-shoutouts app

Startup Cameo has an app that lets people pay between $5 and $3k to get personalised video messages from celebrities, including Snoop Dogg – also an investor in the company. Now Cameo has raised a $50m funding round to continue building a business that it claims is currently generating around 300k transactions a month, with the company […]

Former This Is My Jam exec launches AI video-editing app Trash

The Guardian’s piece on the launch of a new app called Trash mentions that it’s from the ‘ex-head of Vine’, but Music Ally also remembers Hannah Donovan as the co-founder of music-discovery site This Is My Jam back in the day. Her new venture isn’t specifically about music, but it could certainly be useful for musicians. Trash […]

Replica will help artists ‘license their own voices at scale’

Earlier this year, Australian startup Replica was announced as one of the latest cohort for accelerator Techstars Music: a company using AI “to create the next generation of games, films, music, and other media” providing “millions of ‘Replica’ voice actors on demand”. Now the company has been explaining more about what it does, and how it might be […]

AI-music startup Endel releases five new ‘Relax’ albums

Earlier this year, AI-music startup Endel revealed plans to release AI-generated albums through a distribution deal with Warner Music Group. And it definitely *is* a distribution deal: headlines about Endel becoming the first AI to ‘sign to a label’ were wide of the mark. Five albums came out earlier this year: ‘Clear Night’, ‘Rainy Night’, ‘Cloudy Afternoon’, […]

Mobile music-video creation app Voisey raises funding round

Voisey is a music-making app that gets people to sing or rap over pre-produced beats, then create one-minute videos (including split-screen duets) to share with friends. Think Smule’s Sing! Karaoke meets TikTok. Voisey soft-launched in Norway in December 2018, then in the UK in January 2019, with plans to debut in the US this summer. The […]

Roxi, formerly Electric Jukebox, still planning US launch

British music-streaming / hardware startup Electric Jukebox was announced in October 2015, and launched in November 2016 in its home country – although it postponed its planned debut in the US citing Spotify’s songwriter lawsuits as the reason. Then, in August 2017, the company revealed a new product called Roxi and suggested that it would go public in 2018. Fast forward […]

VC Mary Meeker publishes her 2019 Internet Trends report

US venture-capital exec Mary Meeker has, for many years now, published an annual slide deck on ‘Internet Trends’. Despite their famous length – this year’s, which was published yesterday, is 333 slides long – the reports are pored over by startups and fellow VCs alike, as an annual state-of-tech roundup of trends and stats. There isn’t […]

Redpill VR and Sensorium raise $70m for VR music concerts

Music and virtual reality? It’s a creatively-exciting crossover, but commercially it has yet to make a significant impact, with the clutch of music-VR startups’ prospects tied closely to the (slower than the hype predicted) growth of VR-headset ownership. Music game Beat Saber’s million-plus sales are a bright spot, but otherwise there’s a strong sense that […]

Universal Music inks strategic deal with AI startup Super Hi-Fi

Music Ally first wrote about startup Super Hi-Fi in September 2018, when it announced a partnership with The Associated Press “to transform AP’s daily global news content into audio-based stories that can be seamlessly embedded into any digital music service partner”. The company’s focus is on “the space between the songs” on streaming services, with technology […]

Midemlab 2019: experiential technologies startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest is taking place at Midem today, and the fourth and final category was for experiential technologies startups. The jury for this category included Google’s Christian Behrendt; TheLynk’s Yvan Boudillet; Station F’s Marine Wetzel; Kuack Media Group’s Juan Francisco Saavedra Plata; and GP Bullhound’s Alon Kuperman. The post Midemlab 2019: experiential technologies startup […]

Midemlab 2019: music marketing and data/analytics startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest is taking place at Midem today, and the third category was for marketing and data/analytics startups. The jury for this category included Music Ally’s Paul Brindley; OneRagtime’s Stéphanie Hospital; Warner Music’s Tiago Correia; Q&A’s Suzy Ryoo; France Digitale’s Nicolas Brien; and Soundcharts’ David Weiszfeld. The post Midemlab 2019: music marketing and data/analytics […]

Midemlab 2019: Music distribution and discovery pitches

The second pitch session in this year’s Midemlab startups contest focused on music distribution and discovery startups. Disclosure: Music Ally was involved in choosing the finalists for this year’s contest. The jury for this session included Bluenove co-founder Martin Duval; Recochoku CTO Mikio Inari; Capitol Music Group VP of business development Ching-Ching Chen; Deezer’s Alexander […]

Midemlab 2019: music creation and education startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest has become a key part of the annual Midem conference in Cannes. Today, this year’s finalists in four categories are pitching their technology and business models to panels of jurors, as well as the Midem audience. Music Ally is here – disclosure: we’re a partner for Midemlab, helping to choose the finalists […]

Delic rights-management startup prepares for autumn beta launch

Back in November 2016, Music Ally got wind of a new startup called SuperRational in the UK, which was aiming to launch a blockchain-powered crowdfunding platform for music. We were a little early to the party, but SuperRational has been in touch to alert us to its new brand – Delic – and its plans to launch in beta […]

Startup Oben is making ‘personal artificial intelligences’

Have you heard the acronym ‘PAI’ yet? It’s one to remember, standing for Personal Artificial Intelligences: digital avatars based on real people, with AI technology powering their interactions with humans. Gizmodo has an interesting profile of a startup called Oben which is working on this technology. “This startup, with its 100 plus employees, is betting that in the future, […]

Amplify will be the next platform for fans to invest in artists

There are already a number of companies making it possible for fans and high-wealth individuals to invest in musicians, from the familiar crowdfunding platforms like Patreon to the likes of Royalty Exchange. The latest startup falling into the latter category is Amplify, which is planning to launch a private beta of its service this summer. “Amplify […]

Spotify’s Soundtrap cloud-studio moves into podcast creation

Soundtrap is the cloud music-studio startup that Spotify acquired in November 2017. Since then, the tool has continued to develop, including partnerships with schools and collaborations between emerging artists. Now it’s also part of Spotify’s push into podcasts, with the launch of something called Soundtrap for Storytellers. Spotify is describing it as “a cloud-based one-stop shop […]

Soundstripe raises $4m for video music-licensing business

Nashville-based startup Soundstripe is a production library that licenses its catalogue to video producers of all levels, from YouTubers to advertising firms and filmmakers. The company says it has issued more than 2m of its ‘micro-licences’ since it was founded in 2016. Now it has raised $4m of Series A funding to continue growing the business, adding […]

Midem reveals finalists for its 2019 Midemlab startups contest

The 20 startups that will be pitching as part of the Midemlab startups contest in Cannes this June have been revealed. The contest saw 177 startups apply, with the final 20 chosen by Music Ally and Bluenove. In the music creation and education category, the finalist are Big Ear Games, Endlesss, Jambl, Muzeek and Lonofi. For […]

Audzilla app will blend fans’ concert videos with HD audio

Here’s a startup so new, its website isn’t quite up and running yet. However, Los Angeles-based Audzilla does sound interesting from its just-added profile on investment site AngelList. “Audzilla is a music technology that allows fans to create one of a kind fan generated videos at live events by streaming the high definition audio from the soundboard […]

Japanese white-label ticketing startup Zaiko raises funding

There’s a new startup hoping to make an impact on the Japanese concert-ticketing market. Zaiko has just raised its first round of seed funding according to IQ, and is rolling out its white-label service, which will help promoters, venues and artists to sell tickets directly to fans. The funding came from investors including VC firm North Base Media […]

Curve Royalty Systems launches new music-accounting platform

British startup Curve Royalty Systems has launched a new ‘enterprise-level royalty processing’ service, which is already being used by independent labels Hospital Records and Cooking Vinyl, among other clients. The company was co-founded by Richard Leach, former digital sales and strategy director at distributor ADA; Tom Allen, former digital distribution manager at Essential; and Ray Bush, who […]

Project Wave app aims to blend private messaging with music

Music Ally cooled on the idea of ‘music messaging’ startups some time ago: there were a bunch of them, and sustainable business models/consumer interest was thin on the ground. But the intersection of music and messaging in other ways – streaming services integrating with Facebook Messenger, for example – is very interesting. Can Project Wave change our […]

Requestify is the latest spin on social, digital jukeboxes

The US in particular has seen several ‘digital jukebox’ startups in the last decade: often focused around people requesting songs from a smartphone app to play in the bar/space where they’re hanging out. Requestify, from Norway, is interesting because it’s doing more than just that. So yes, it’s a “fully app-driven social jukebox designed to […]

MicTurn takes the idea of open-mic concerts online

If you’ve ever been to an ‘open-mic’ concert, you’ll know how they work: musicians turn up with their instruments, sign up to take part and then wait their turn to play a few songs. Now there’s a startup trying to do that in the online world. It’s called MicTurn. “Choose from a list of online venues, […]

Jam Session app hopes to spark social co-listening

Music Ally has seen a few startups try to make ‘co-listening’ a thing in our history, from Turntable and the original incarnation of Soundrop a few years ago to the radio-like Stationhead now. Next to try is a US startup called Jam Session, which is currently in beta. It’ll be an app that “lets you listen […]

Former Facebook Portal designer working on Renaissance startup

Sometimes we spot a new music/tech startup on investment site AngelList with not much information on what it’s doing, but the people involved will make us prick our ears up. Renaissance is the latest example. The US startup has an interesting tagline – “What happened in 1300AD will happen again, soon” – and it’s listed in […]

Startup VRJam seeks $500k funding for VR/AR performance tech

British startup VRJam is seeking $500k of seed funding to continue developing its technology for live ‘XR’ streams of music and other entertainment performances in virtual and augmented reality. The company, which emerged from stealth mode at the London Music Conference last year, is offering 5% of equity in return for the desired seed funding, which it […]

Troy Carter co-founds new artist-focused company Q&A

From being Lady Gaga’s manager and an investor in startups to Spotify’s boss of creator services, Troy Carter has been a prominent figure in the music industry’s digital evolution in recent years. Now he’s returning with a new company called Q&A, co-founded with J. Erving and Suzy Ryoo (who previously worked with Carter at investment […]

Drake invests in another esports startup, Players’ Lounge

We know Drake likes Fortnite: he’s one of the highest-profile musicians to play (and stream video of it) online, with gaming star Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins. And we know Drake likes investing in the games world: in October 2018 he chipped in to a funding round for esports startup 100 Thieves, along with artist-manager Scooter Braun. Now Drake […]

Warner Music leads funding round for hardware startup Artiphon

Artiphon is one of the startups exploring the potential to create new musical instruments with a digital twist. It raised $1.3m in a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to make its first device, the Instrument 1.The $399 device is a MIDI controller designed to work like a guitar, piano and/or drum machine. A few years on, […]

Endel has a distribution partnership with WMG, not a ‘deal’

The news that a series of albums generated by the technology of startup Endel are being released through Warner Music is spreading far and wide. There are some clarifications being made about how the relationship has been presented, though. It’s not a ‘record deal’, for example: it’s a distribution partnership. Journalist Cherie Hu has done some […]

Tuner app will build on Spotify to offer ‘the new radio’

There’s a little bit of confusion around the name of this new app: its profile on investment site AngelList refers to it as Tuner, while its website refers to it as Brassroots. We’ll surmise that a rebranding is underway, although from what to what we’re still unsure about – it’s also possible that Tuner is the company name and […]

AI-music startup Boomy is ‘the magic instant music robot’

We wrote about AI-music-creation startup Boomy in January, after spotting its profile on an investment website. The company then opened up its private beta-test earlier this month, enabling people to play with its system to “generate beautiful, creative songs in seconds with artificial intelligence”. Now founder Alex Mitchell has published a blog post explaining a bit more […]

Crush app wants to help superfans keep up with fave artists

There’s a long line of standalone apps that tried to help people discover music and artists, and/or offered social features around that. It’s hard to think of any that became sustainable businesses, but the better ideas *did* ultimately become part of music-streaming services’ core features. That’s why Music Ally is always keen to explore new […]

Almost Tangible wants to make audiobooks more immersive

Yesterday, Music Ally was at the Quantum conference in London. It’s a one-day event within the London Book Fair with a focus partly on new technologies and trends. One of the companies speaking was a startup called Almost Tangible which, in the light of Spotify’s push into non-music content, we found interesting. The company is trying to […]

Fan-messaging startup I Am Pop raises €2m in funding

I Am Pop is one of the startups trying to help musicians and music brands make better use of messaging apps in their marketing. It’s already working with artists signed to labels including Sony Music, Warner Music, AWAL and PIAS, and now the company has a new €2m funding round to help grow its business. I […]

AI-music startup Boomy opens up its private beta

In January, we discovered a new startup trying to use artificial intelligence to create music: Boomy. It was touting technology to “generate beautiful, creative songs in seconds with artificial intelligence – for your fans, your friends, your business, or just for you” with the promise of a web-based private beta, and mobile apps to follow. Yesterday, Boomy opened […]

Midemlab startups contest opens call for entries in 2019

Music/tech startups are being invited to apply for this year’s Midemlab competition, which will see its final pitch sessions take place at the Midem conference in Cannes this June. Deezer and Japanese service Recochoku are the official partners for this year’s event, with jury members from companies including Google, Sony Music, The Orchard and Warner […]

Report 421 :: AI on the Prize

Artificial intelligence is a hot ticket in the music industry and is spinning off in a variety of exciting new directions. It is being used to create music but also to power recommendations, to better understand the contexts of listening and to patch the leaks in the hull of metadata. It is, therefore, the Swiss […]

Classical-music accompaniment startup Antescofo raises $4.5m

Music Ally first encountered French startup Antescofo in 2016, when the company was a finalist in the Midemlab startups competition. It was touting technology that would let amateur musicians playing at home be accompanied by a full orchestra. The company went on to launch its app, called Metronaut, to do exactly that. Now Antescofo has announced a $4.5m […]

Loop Media to launch short-form video-streaming service

A new US startup called Loop Media plans to launch a video-streaming service focusing on short-form content, including music videos. The company will also focus on film trailers, game trailers and TV clips, with plans to make all this content available in public spaces, as well as on people’s smartphones. “Loop plans to link in-home […]

Abbey Road Red seeks more diversity in startup founders

Abbey Road Studios wants to recruit more teams with women founders to its Abbey Road Red startup accelerator, according to the studios’ MD Isabel Garvey. “We are acutely aware that we have no female founders, and very few women in our founder teams, and we are trying to be a little more diverse,” said Garvey, […]

Siri co-founder Tom Gruber talks about his new AI-music startup LifeScore

“I think we’re looking at a new way of doing music, which is a collaboration between human expertise, human taste, and human raw talent in creating music and recording it, with the machine’s ability to combine those things and generate music all day long. And make it sound like a human made it.” “Just imagine […]

Podcasting startup Himalaya Media raises $100m funding round

It’s the week for big podcasting news. Spotify has made waves with its acquisitions of Gimlet Media and Anchor, but other podcasting firms are also capitalising on current interest in the medium. US startup Himalaya Media, for example, has raised $100m in funding to push its podcast-listening app and distribution platform. The app launched in […]

Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?

Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016. Investor interest […]

Gimme Radio launches crowdfunding and plans country expansion

Metal-focused streaming-radio startup Gimme Radio is raising money, but through equity-crowdfunding rather than turning to VC firms. The company has launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform SeedInvest. It’s trying to raise $1.5m with a minimum amount of $500 per investor, and if it succeeds, Gimme Radio would be valued at $6m. The campaign also offers […]

Music/tech startup Musiio raises $1m seed-funding round

Singapore-based music/tech startup Musiio has raised $1m in seed fundingfrom investors including Wavemaker Partners, Exponential Creativity Ventures and other angel investors. The startup uses artificial-intelligence technology to analyse catalogues of music for a range of clients. As its CEO Hazel Savage explained at the recent NY:LON Connect conference, the company can power automated search through […]

Startup Steereo pays Uber / Lyft drivers to promote music

We know that in-car radio has historically been a key source of music discovery. And we also know that rideshare services (Uber and Lyft included) are very-popular ways to get around cities. Startup Steereo is bringing those two ideas together, with a music-promotion service based around paying drivers to play new music to their passengers. […]

Report 420: #2019Goals. The music industry’s key challenges this year… and how we can tackle them

Welcome to the first Music Ally Report of 2019. We’re taking a look at some of the key challenges that lie ahead for our industry this year – and how they might be tackled. From diversity to startups via fake music and taking a bite out of radio, we hope it’s a constructive take on […]

Artist-collab platform HitRecord raises $6.4m funding round

We wrote about startup HitRecord for the first time last October, when it launched a project with artist Logic. He was the highest-profile musician so far to take advantage of HitRecord’s platform for creative collaborations: posting the bones of a new track and inviting fans to flesh it out with their own contributions – with […]

Community takes on SuperPhone with text-marketing for celebs

We’ve been writing about text-marketing startup SuperPhone since 2016, when musician Ryan Leslie raised $1.5m to build a tool for artists to communicate with fans via SMS. Now it’s got some competition from a startup called Community, discovered by Wired when actor and investor Ashton Kutcher promoted it to his fans. “I miss having a […]

ClicknClear wins startup pitch contest at NY:LON Connect conference

Five music/tech startups pitched their wares at the NY:LON Connect conference this afternoon in London: Amadeus Code, Musiio, Rootnote, Scored and ClicknClear. The audience voted on which was their favourite, and ClicknClear prevailed. An achievement more impressive because of the high quality of all the pitches, and the technology they showcased. Here’s our roundup of each […]

ClicknClear gets approval from International Cheer Union

We first wrote about British startup ClicknClear last year (when it was known as Clickamix) with its plans to license music for use in performance sports like cheerleading, figure skating and gymnastics. The company has since started working with more than 100 music rightsholders, including Universal Music Publishing, Warner Music and BMG. Now ClicknClear has […]

AR tech firm Ubiquity6 buys music/tech startup Wavy

Wavy is a music/tech startup that we have to admit slipped through our net: an iPhone app using augmented-reality technology to create ‘experiences’ around music tracks. The idea was that it would collaborate with musicians on AR videos, which fans could then use to create their own clips for sharing. Anyway, Wavy has now been […]

Ex-Facebook man founds startup to ‘structure the world’s audio’

It’s very early days for San Francisco-based startup Wavecut: its website isn’t up and running yet, and its profile on investment site AngelList (which is how we found it) merely says that the company is “structuring the world’s audio”. Oh, and that its CEO is Dave Goldblatt, a former product operations specialist at Facebook and […]

VC firms predict that startup valuations may fall this year

One of the aspects of the music industry’s return to growth is the willingness of music companies (and, indeed, individual artists) to invest in music/tech startups. With that in mind, a feature in the New York Times interviewing venture-capital firms about the investment market makes for interesting reading. Its proposition is that the startup-funding market […]

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