5 music startups you need to hear about

Technology is nothing new on the music scene.

When it comes to computing, there was Napster, then iTunes, and then a plethora of companies followed suit, making their mark on the industry.

London is home to many of the most exciting names in music tech and we broke bread with some of them to discuss how music and those around it are transforming the sector like never before.

Nadav Poraz – WhoSampled

WhoSampled is a website and database of information about sample-based music.

Nadav_Poraz_4WhoSampled allows user to explore direct connections between music in a range of genres. You can explore ‘the DNA of music’ by seeing which songs make up other tracks and have created the music we hear every day.

Now that the majority of the music industry’s revenues comes from digital platforms, it’s much easier for music startups to find legitimate ways to create new products and services.

What challenges do you see music tech facing in the near future?

The biggest challenge for music startups in the near future is probably differentiation – there are so many new startups out there offering similar services that it’s hard to stand out and create something truly unique and valuable in this space.

What are the next steps for WhoSampled?

We will be bringing our own flavour of music discovery to more devices and platforms, as well as expanding and deepening the scope of music information we include in our service. We’ve got many exciting developments in the pipeline so watch this space!


Hannah Donovan – This Is My Jam

This Is My Jam is a allows you to share that one song you are loving.

They provide an environment for music lovers to share and personalise their favourite music, discover new music from others with similar taste, and listen to playlists of their or others’ ‘jams’.

Online music seems to be entering a period of consolidation, with giant, well-funded incumbents battling it out for supremacy.

What challenges do you see music tech facing in the near future?

As streaming continues its push for dominance, we may see increased consumer interest in services that help with expression of musical identity and portability of music taste, collections, and playlists independent of a particular streaming service.

What are the next steps for This Is My Jam?

We’re currently building ‘the song graph’. This functionality is based on the 1.6M jams that the community has carefully handpicked since launch. Because of the intensity of preference associated with this unit of data, a “jam”, we have extremely interesting connections between people and songs. We’ll be lighting that graph up later this year and making it visible to the world.

Richard Cohen – LoveLive

LoveLive is a source of music content and associated services for brands, broadcasters, channels, digital platforms and labels.

RichardCohen1They provide live streams and exclusive content from artists, with a catalogue of live music and live streams. They also provide social media management and distribution of content among their many services.

What challenges do you see music tech facing in the near future?

Key challenges to my mind revolve around rights and the associated complexity of clearing artist, master recording and myriad publishers (including sync), across international territories, platforms and revenue models.

What are the next steps for LoveLive?

Lovelive has solved complicated problems for all constituents in the live music value chain since inception and historically done so one-to-one. We are now taking transformative steps by launching our LPlatform, automating many of these otherwise mechanical complexities, allowing for genuine scale and a business model which serves many-to-many.

Brittney Bean – Songdrop

Songdrop allows users to create playlists with songs from all different services.

bean-headshot-1Never again will anyone have to jump between Soundcloud, YouTube or any other music service to listen to all their favourite music online for free. Songdrop compiles online music in one place for users to browse.

The biggest challenges in the near future are around finding sustainable business models that benefit both rights holders and the tech companies.

What challenges do you see music tech facing in the near future?

Advertising is still just barely propping a lot of companies up and the price points for subscription models is still too high for a lot of consumers, so there’s still a lot of space for interesting new models to bubble up.

What are the next steps for Songdrop?

We’re looking at how other forms of media have been monetising and working out how we can use that to make cool stuff that also makes money. We’ve got both new consumer and b2b products in development.

Ben Perreau – Synkio

Synkio is a network for music professionals who are ready to license the right music for projects.

ben2They are trying to simplify the process of licensing songs for TV productions, films and the like. They put those who want to license and create music with those who need it for their projects, making it easier for both sides to get what they want.

Music startups get lumped into those that require licenses from rights holders to function – this can make the rest of us look expensive to run.

What challenges do you see music tech facing in the near future?

Many music businesses, like Songkick and This Is My Jam aren’t required to pay a certain amount of their revenue back to music rights holders. This misconception tends to make people more sceptical of the potential of many music startups when in fact music remains, and always will be, one of the most powerful and loved cultural phenomenon around.

What are the next steps for Synkio?

We’re already working with some of the biggest advertising agencies in London, New York, Sydney, Los Angeles, Singapore and Mumbai – but our goal is to continue to help more producers at film & TV, games and advertising businesses find great music for their productions more often.

This article originated from an event held by TableCrowd, where like-minded people can meet and network over a meal.