The music industry is not an exception, it got influenced by technology as well. Innovators are developing MusicTech to find new ways music can be created and performed. And startups try to automate everything that can be automated, eliminating pain points for artists. The digital era also gave a lot of opportunities for followers and admirers to interact with their favourite artists and music bands. Technology continues to change the music industry and the term MusicTech is widely used now. And today we will look at key startups and ideas that may revolutionize the industry.
If we look back at the history, we would definitely pay attention to the iTunes creation in 2004, the rise of giants like Spotify and Soundcloud, which helped transform streaming culture into a digital global community. And now, in 2018, innovation in the technology industry is booming with AI, machine learning, advanced robotics, voice recognition, big data, etc. These new trends give endless possibilities to artists and audience and today’s article is about that!
Global music innovation disrupted fields such as experiential music robotics, playlisting, artist rights, music distribution data management, etc. Right now there are several music tech hubs in the world and let me proudly say, that Barcelona is one of them! In this list of booming music tech startups you will find several ones that are based in Barcelona:
BMAT – one of the Barcelona-based startups that were born out of the desire to bring artists the recognition and reimbursement they deserve, that’s become problematized by the fragmented nature of how music is shared, distributed and owned in the modern age.
Today, BMAT monitors channels such as television, radio, music venues and digital services to produce reporting and metadata on songs being played, and who owns the rights to those songs. BMAT cited Barcelona as the perfect combination of a source of tech talent, and a European music hub, providing fertile ground for their disruptive data-driven startup. GDPR is now in play, putting the spotlight on how our data is used and managed. Startups like BMAT are evidence of companies rising to meet the need for more egalitarian and more thorough data management across the industry.
MonkingMe was founded in Barcelona with the aim of taking advantage of the virality of the free music streaming, whilst also empowering artists through real income sources, merchandising and concerts. Founders chose Barcelona thanks to the strong startup infrastructure: from government funding for tech companies to co-working spaces. Basically, they said that Barcelona is the Silicon Valley of Europe for them. Their model represents a movement towards streaming services orientated towards artists. They help bands get paid when their music gets played. They allow people to download and share songs freely and legally, as well as track their favourite artists news, merchandising and concert tickets by geolocation.
Barcelona-based Conductr offers DJs and live musicians a personalisable Ableton and Traktor controller. The key here is a fully mobile-oriented modular environment, and customization: performers can customize modules to their particular needs on devices like iPads via a simple and accessible user interface.
Acqustic – one more MusicTech startup that is based in Barcelona. It was founded with the idea of making live concerts more accessible. Now, their platform boasts over 500 musicians, and connects them to those seeking live music events, parties or festivals.
Sonosuite was also founded in Barcelona and it offers an all-in-one solution that helps artists to manage digital distribution services, without the need for an external supplier to effectively monetize their output. Whilst MusicTech has traditionally focussed on fan and listener experiences, companies like Sonosuite represent a drive in the MusicTech movement to help artists navigate the complex and often inequitable terrain of the streaming age, along with the principal question it provokes: how can artists actually make money from their music in this context.
Instead of replacing humans, Popgun is used to complement people’s talents. The company’s AI is called Alice, which listens to a user’s playing and attempts to provide melodies that effectively accompany the music.
This UK startup is developing another compelling artificial intelligence application. Their goal is evolving music from a static, one-directional interaction to one of dynamic co-creation. For example, AI music can remix your favorite song for you in any style you want. Let’s say that this evening you would like to hear the gentle version of the song, but tomorrow morning a rousing beat to get you excited for the day ahead. AI Music will provide its first public demo this year to display its ability to alter songs based on the preferences of the listener.
Streaming has become the primary music revenue driver, both changing the manner in which people consume content and radically altering the way the industry and artists deliver songs to the world. One of the many startups involved in streaming is Voise, a company describing itself as a “blockchain powered anonymous decentralized platform” aiming to provide a streaming and downloading platform where artists can monetize their work. Its “collaborative P2P marketplace” allows artists to set a price for their songs as well as provide free sample tracks to gain support from users to reach their career goals.
AIVA is a French startup that is focused on artificial intelligence composing emotional soundtrack music of the future.
MXX is an UK based startup, world’s first AI engine which atomises and re-constructs stereo music. The MXX technology is the only artificially intelligent music editor that can work on the stereo file alone, without the need for stems, and can adapt the narrative to fit a brief just like a music editor would.
Voice Magix is a Barcelona-based startup that offers a solution to automate synchronisation between lyrics and recorded singing voice. Their product is a software based on artificial intelligence that accepts as inputs the voice and the text and extracts the time information for each word.
Fans compete to find music first and spread it around the world. Laylo aims to bring the sense of community back to music. They have created the first technology that tracks how music spreads, regardless of platform. Through this technology, they offer a gamified music experience for the best fans.
Licd is a commercial music licencing for social video. Lickd is a new and innovative tech startup that aims to disrupt the music licensing industry for good by creating the world’s first pre-cleared, commercial music licensing solution for online video creators.
Muso.AI is the LinkedIn for Music. They resolve all credit disputes by being an efficient and verified source of truth, capturing song metadata.
Enhancia is a growing team fueled by a common passion of music. Enhancia is about expressing your creativity. The company designs innovative music equipment to enhance the way people can interact with instruments. They developed a connected ring which allows you to control sound effects through simple hand gestures.
Soundcharts is a company that provides market intelligence for the entire music industry. Music professionals, for example, artists, managers, labels, publishers, distributors, agents, festivals, brands and agencies can now access global music data: social, charts, playlist & airplay in an all-in-one dashboard.
Primephonic was founded as a direct response to the urgent challenges and opportunities existing within the classical music industry. They exist as a 100% classical music download store in high definition and digital streaming platform. Their ambition is to reach the under-served classical music listener with an extensive classical music catalog, high quality audio, and industry-leading search technology while solving the streaming audio value gap negatively affecting artists and labels today.
Haawk is a technology company that develops a suite of copyright management and monetization solutions for the global independent music industry.
Blokur is a startup company building a blockchain-based platform for the management and monetization of creative rights, with a mission to complete the potential of the internet for the creator.
Amper is an artificial intelligence composer, performer, and producer that empowers you to instantly create and customize original music for your content. The music you make with Amper is always unique and broadcast-ready, and comes with a royalty-free, global, and perpetual-use license. Amper helps you further your creative vision and, ultimately, make better content, faster.
WAV Media is a MusicTech startup with the mission of empowering music creators through an artist-first commitment. By combining innovative technology with a network of aligned industry partners, labels, and advisors, WAV Media offers real benefits to advance artists on their journey. Through the WAV app, artists can create unique, interactive experiences and video content that allow them to reach more of the right fans. Fans, in return, harness the power in defining who’s next in music.
Ritual is the most curated production music library in the world. All of their tracks are available for royalty free licensing. Their library consists of content from 70+ elite music producers with credits on over 100 million albums sold, working alongside artists like Sia, Lorde, M83, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kesha, The Naked and Famous, Tegan and Sara and countless more. They also create custom content on demand, allowing clients to collaborate with the unparalleled collective talent.
Tunedly is a virtual recording studio, connecting songwriters to world-class session musicians to create professional music online. In addition, they help career minded songwriters to monetize their music and educate beginner songwriters about the craft of songwriting in a fun, interactive way.
Mixteka is a virtual DJ solution for weddings. Users invite friends and guests to recommend music, then easily create the perfect music plan for all parts of the wedding. Their mobile music player app provides offline playback of high-quality files, with DJ mix transitions and optional prerecorded emcee announcements. With a catalog of millions of songs and curation to help with finding the perfect song for the cake cutting or bouquet toss, you can create the perfect personalized plan for your event.
MusicNow is a live video streaming service for musicians. It allows them to stream concerts using smartphones with: high quality of sound; multi-camera & 360 streaming; and synchronization streams from the audience with an official stream.
Soundstr creates transparency around real-world music usage. Their technology aims to build a more sustainable music industry and help songwriters receive compensation when their music is used in a commercial setting.
FUGA is an industry-leading technology and services company for international rightsholders. Connected to over 260 digital service providers worldwide, the FUGA system manages close to 3 million tracks, with up to 2.5 million deliveries being performed every month.
Ambie is a smarter way for businesses to manage their background music. By combining music experts with smart and simple tech, they help hundreds of businesses around the world increase efficiency while creating the perfect atmosphere, using music.
At Ambie, they take care of the entire music process – their specialists curate the soundtrack, their smart player controls the music on-site, and through their app, you can monitor and manage the music from any device, anywhere in the world.
Songlink is an automated matching algorithm that helps both artists and fans share music across all the music streaming platforms. With Songlink, you can share music better and more efficiently without worrying about which music streaming platform your friends, family or fans use. Their services find each song and album on every streaming platform, so you can share one link and allow everyone to listen.
Utopia introduces an open platform that translates the world of music data into a form that everyone can understand and benefit from. Utopia wants to help everyone from PROs to Publishers, Artists to A&R by creating new revenue streams, consolidating data and decluttering the admin. They are working on licensing of music with the idea that it would be streamlined and dynamically approved, ensuring the correct revenue goes to the right people. Also, they are making it happen that digestible, detailed insights on an artists fan base and performances would at the touch of a button. And many more! Check their website to figure out how these guys want to revolutionalize the Music Industry.
And here you may find several MusicTech Magazines that may help you stay up to date with the industry evolution:
As we can see companies from all over the world work on MusicTech projects to change the way we as individuals, artists, listeners and innovators interact with music. The small collection of MusicTech companies mentioned here represent just some of the ways startups are making waves in this fast-paced industry. If you know other ones that deserve to be mentioned here, feel free to share them in the comments section below!
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