For its tenth anniversary edition, Midemlab, Midem’s ever-pioneering startup competition, has lined up a stellar jury to assess tomorrow’s biggest music companies looking to follow in the footsteps of Soundcloud, Kickstarter, The Next Big Sound and many more. In this, the latest in a series of interviews with Midemlab 2017’s jury members, we speak to TC Pan, CEO & Founder at Ultimate Music China (right in above photo) and Cecil Kleine, Product Lead at The Next Web (TNW).
midemblog: What is the unique quality you will bring to the Midemlab jury?
TC Pan: With the background of leading innovative initiatives in MNC as well as multiple startup experiences, and being a western-educated Chinese person, I bring to the table broader perspective about what Innovation means.
Cecil Kleine: Coming from TNW, I think I can offer a unique perspective on startups and consumer media. I hope to utilise this in helping the Midemlab participants gain feedback and a chance to reach the TNW community.
> What are the best ways for a music startup to stand out today?
TC Pan: I believe the best ways must include:
1. Creating Value whether to users or to the industry.
2. Definitely not something ‘Me-Too’.
3. Scalability is key. Small and niche is sweet, but if it’s not scalable, then it means very little.
Cecil Kleine: That’s simple! Make something that people want to use, and do it in a big way. Disruption and newcomers are a part of the music industry, so make your product ambitious.
> What is your biggest concern about the music industry today? How can technology address that concern?
TC Pan: There are still far too many man-handled jobs. Still far too many overlaps between investment and work. For example, every DSP hosts and manages an almost the same music database. I hope technology can help more on automation and centralisation of repetitive work, and allow music industry people to spend more time and energy creating art and music.
Cecil Kleine: I think music can be more democratised. There are so many artists across the globe and I feel we’re still only scratching the surface as to what music consumption can become.
> What advice would you give to startups submitting for Midemlab 2017?
TC Pan: As I said, create value, be original and think scalable!
Cecil Kleine: Keep your pitch short and sweet. Let the product to all the convincing. It should be obvious, engaging and thought-provoking.
> If you had to create a startup in the music industry right now, what would it be?
TC Pan: That’s my secret (v_v)…
Cecil Kleine: The smartphone has been a huge driver for innovation, especially for music and how we listen, discover and buy it. I’d be very interested in exploring machine learning to create music! Who can make a world-famous version of Emily Howell?
Find out more about Midemlab — and submit your startup — here! But hurry: submissions close March 20…