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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