If you're at SXSW, stop by and cheer on the 6 music tech startups presenting this weekend March 8-9 at the SXSW Accelerator pitch event in Startup Village at the Downtown Austin Hilton. Here's a preview by Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
Before each year’s SXSW, experts from various fields anoints a new generation of SXSW Accelerator winners out of a pool of finalists chosen from the crop of startups looking to make a big impression to the music and technology industries.
BalconyTV launched in 2006 as a video art experiment that morphed into shooting some musicians on the balcony which set the stage for BalconyTV's worldwide presence. The Orchard yesterday announced the acquisition of BalconyTV and say they'll continue to help it grow and expand its reach while connecting it to their own "discovery, audience development and marketing" efforts.
Spotify paid $100-$125 million to acquire The Echo Nest with up to 90% of the figure being equity in Spotify, sources tell TechCrunch. Based on the higher valuation, sources peg $15 million split between founders Brian Whitman and Tristan Jehan, and CEO Jim Lucchese, $20 million for employee cash earn outs over 4 years for 70 others employees and $90 million in deferred payments.
Reaction To The Deal & What's Next
The Echo Nest has partnered with Y Combinator backed AirPair help developers connect to its API, the company announced the morning. Connecting APIs to create more interesting products and services is at the core of The Echo Nest's mission both in its own product development and as sponsor of many Muisc Hack Days.
Mixcloud is a web radio platform that, though open to all genres of music as well as radio shows, built to 10 million listeners primarily off electronic music mixes by djs. Based in London, the bootstrapped startup has a relatively small audience in the States that seems likely to grow given Mixcloud's expansion to the U.S. with an office in New York. What is also likely, given their partnership with Vice Media and their recent launch of branded channels, is that they'll be growing their branded content as well.
(UPDATED) Audium, the YouTube monetization platform for indie artists and rightsholders, has secured $2 million in Series A funding from within the music industry. Artists Jason Mraz and Jimmy Buffett, promoter and manager Bill Silva and Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph, Anti- and Bad Religion led a round that also includes TuneSat CEO Scott Schreer, Barnes & Noble CTO David Willen, Jonathan Siegal and the GSO Business Group.
By Eliot Van Buskirk of Evolver.fm.
The music business is about to get its own alternative currency, called Songcoin.
The alternative currency phenomenon is real, as weird as that might feel to those of us who would never consider shelling out cash for points to buy special pixels for that Farmville game we never really got around to playing. Bitcoin, despite the issues mentioned below, shows that alternative currencies can become quite real to certain people, which can then make them real enough in general, causing them to take on a value of their own outside the traditional financial system.
Nana is a social music platform that allows iPhone app users to record, post and collaborate on short tracks. In the past Nana has held offline meetups for users to get to know each other. Recently they expanded the idea to hold a collaborative music festival bringing together performers and Nana users to make music together. And to complete the circle they shared all 4.5 hours via TwitCasting
Shazam launched the first version of its redesigned app earlier this month. But today the company shared the full set of new features, along with how it hopes "to become a destination experience and content platform for artists, shows and brands,” according to CEO Rich Riley.
Expect more deals like the one just announced with Warner Music Group, as Shazam implements a more content driven strategy and music marketers experience the app as both as a predictor and driver of significant music sales.
Yesterday SFX Entertainment [SFXE] announced an agreement to purchase React Presents, a major Midwest event and festival producer. The deal includes Chicago's Spring Awakening Music Festival and Northern Wisconsin-based Summer Set Music & Camping Festival. As SFXE continues its clearly defined path the public stock continues to test new lows though it's back up today.
Music tech is a global phenomenon and, as Hypebot readers well know, it is in no way limited to streaming music services like Deezer or Earbits. This month Visionist launched an English language edition of the Finnish Music Startups collective's newsletter. The collective is a free-to-join organization intended, at least in part, to raise the profile of Finnish music tech startups. Currently 37 startups are listed on their page in English and they represent a wide range of approaches and products.
Sometimes the hardest part about starting your career is knowing where to start. It's easy to get into the mentality of not being good enough to play with the big boys, but the truth is, everyone starts somewhere. One of the greatest ways to up your game is to learn from those around you. Chelsea Ira brings us a few of her own strategies you can begin learning today on MusicThinkTank.com
Selfies are now a hallmark of social media that arguably represents a democratization of self-portraiture. And they're fun. So Ticketleap's new "Selfie Tickets" offer an easy way to personalize tickets for indie events that are a great replacement for QR codes and other forms of barcodes. Available via both iOS and Android apps, it's not hard to imagine Selfie Tickets increasing word of mouth. In fact, it's pretty easy to imagine these tickets becoming a new form of shareable media both before and after the fact. Definitely a game changer for the DIY ticketing scene.
Startup SoundFocus has just raised $1.7 to improve the listening experience, particularly those with hearing loss. A member of the Y Combinator class of 2013, investors in this round include Kapor Capital (Lotus and EFF Co-Founder Mitch Kapor’s fund), Y-Combinator, Greg Badros, Ovo Fund, RTA Capital, Vegas Tech Fund, Garry Tan, Alexis Ohanian, and Harj Taggar. The company launched it first app late in 2013.
Late yesterday Facebook paid $16 billion for WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app that many in the U.S. have never heard of. According the the SEC filing, the price includes $14 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stock, plus another $3 billion in restricted stock that may be paid to WhatsApp staffers over the next four years.
FanDistro, a marketing platform that rewards fans and charities for selling music and merch, has become the first music marketing service to accept controversial alternative currency and payment system Bitcoins. The move not only puts FanDistro and the artists they service at the forefront of an increasingly popular trend, but lowers transaction costs to zero.
In what I assume is an unofficial event during SXSW, cause you won't need an armband to participate and application is free, Slashathon will give hackers 12 hours to create something that will help Slash with his new album release. And Slash is scheduled to be one of the judges. It's shaping up to be an impressive event and should give the right team with the right idea who can execute a unique entry point into the music tech world as it intersects with the traditional music industry. And did I mention Slash is one of the judges?
A Spotify recruitment ad seeking to hire an External Reporting Specialist is fueling rumors that the music streamer is moving aggressively toward an IPO. The ad says the hire will "prepare the Company for international financial standards." as required by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines for any company planning an initial public stock offering.