What are Midemlab jury members looking for in music startups today? We asked Sirena Bergman, Freelance Journalist (Mashable/Vice/The Guardian/The Independent);
Juan Francisco Saavedra Plata, Co-Founder/CEO, Kuack Media Group; and
Matthias Strobel, President, Music Tech Germany. Hold on for top music tech insights!
midemblog: What is the unique quality you will bring to the Midemlab jury?
Sirena Bergman: Years of experience reporting on entrepreneurship and small businesses who are trying, succeeding or failing at starting a company in the tech space.
Juan Francisco Saavedra Plata: 18 years of entrepreneurship experience in emerging markets. Know how to monetise digital content trough mobile operators.
Matthias Strobel: I founded a music-tech startup myself, and went through all the ups and downs in the process of getting it off the ground. Through my work as consultant in the creative industries and the establishment of MusicTech Germany, I have built a strong network of global innovators, which even stretches beyond music and technology.
> What are the best ways for a music startup to stand out today?
S.B: By offering a genuinely innovative product that solves a problem.
JFSP: Innovation. Watch your costs, keep it lean using technology. Find a solution or an improvement to an existing problem or need.
M.S: Taking the evolvement of emerging technologies into consideration, the startups who will be standing out will be the ones who have a strong and passionate team with a complementary skillset, able to swiftly adjust to the ever-changing music ecosystem.
> What is your biggest concern about the music industry today? How can technology address that concern?
S.B: Lack of innovation. By thinking more laterally.
JFSP: Free Music. There’s no free lunch! There is a new generation that believe that music is free. Technology is the only way to make the industry big again, innovation and new business models are needed.
MS: One of the biggest issues I have with the music industry is the current copyright system and licensing of music. Right now, it is non-transparent, unfair and hinders innovation from which the music industry and artists would actually benefit from. If the music industry would start linking rights information and metadata from authors and artists in a global reference database for exploitation, all information about commercial content would be available and digital revenues could be distributed fairly to the original artists and authors. It would also allow the creation of new licensing models, which would make it easier for startups to build new products or services which would eventually open up new revenue opportunities for artists and the music industry too.
> What advice would you give to startups submitting for Midemlab?
S.B: Make sure you anticipate every question and have answers ready.
JFSP: Are you sure your proposal will help someone? Will solve a problem? Can be sustained?
M.S: Use as few slides as possible and know your pitch by heart. The less you have to think about what to say, the more you can concentrate on your stage presence. Have an easy to understand business model and don’t say that you have no competitors.
> If you decided to create a startup in the music industry right now, what would it be?
S.B: I’m not telling you that!
JFSP: Services using new technologies like blockchain among others. There is a huge opprtunity in that area.
M.S: A company that provides cross-sector services for artists to engage with fans. Incentivising their support in order to motivate them to spread the word for their favorite artist on all channels and platforms where they are active.