A South Australian startup has created the answer to the music industry’s biggest problem, a simple platform that collates and sorts the thousands of music tracks that record labels and DJs receive each day.
Called Musio, this app sits on the desktop of a computer, tablet or smartphone and when logged in has tracks listed according to the users profile, needs and interests.
It’s the brainchild of Mal Chia and Oli Young and stemmed from solving a problem Chia experienced in his own DJing years.
"I would always have a sense of guilt when I see my inbox pile up with all these promos and it would just pile up and up and up and I would just be like ‘well I can't listen to all these’ and just delete them,” he said. “I just felt so guilty about that.”
On reflection he shutters to think of all the great artists he missed out on just because his inbox became too full.
“I just didn’t have time to listen to them because of the whole process of getting the email, finding the download link, logging in to an ftp site - or whatever it is - download the track, adding it to itunes, listen to it and if I was going to play it that weekend then ripping it,” Chia recalls. “There are so many different steps there that it just became too hard."
“I like being competitive in this space. Competitors give you validation.” Oli Young
So in mid-2013 he teamed up with Young for an intensive start up weekend workshop to develop the idea. Young, who has 15 years of programming experience, found the solution was out there but in small elements from different platforms.
He describes Musio as taking the dating profiling of Ok Cupid for matching artists to industry, Spotify for suggesting music people would like and LinkedIn for building networks.
After completing a detailed profile a user is allocated music tracks in an inbox and the app suggests artists the user may also find interesting.
For musicians it ensures their music is being targeted to the right DJ or label and not lost in an inbox somewhere.
It also has a networking capability that helps the industry discover which musicians are gaining popularity.
“You match two people up to go out on a date,” says Young. “This date just happens to be ‘listen to this track.’”
The concept sounds so simple that the pair were sure someone else would have thought of it, but their own market research discovered they were
unique. The fact that stumped Young.
“This actually challenged me because I like being competitive in this space,” he said. “Competitors give you validation.”
Undeterred, Musio has been in development since late November 2013 and will have a soft launch this coming May. Chia and Young are looking for an international audience but they are focusing on one genre of music at a time.
They will begin targeting international record labels and DJs involved with Electronic Dance Music to register with the app because these musicians and this industry is already technology focused. They will then roll out to hip-hop then rock.
The pricing model for Musio is a mix of freemium and subscription.
For DJs and record labels it is free to receive music tracks. However for artists it is a grading subscription of $5 to $10 a month to send tracks to music industry contacts. While revenue streams from the app is important it is not the sole focus of Musio.
"If we can participate in finding the next great artist and then moving this music genre forward - that's exactly what we want to do,” says Young.