Conventions & Awards

Midemlab Names Music Tech’s Hottest Startups: InstruMagic, Jamplify And StageIt #MIDEM

image from www.hypebot.comFrom Cannes by Stuart Dredge of UK consultancy and blog Music Ally.

30 startups have been pitching at the Midemlab startups contest this
year at Midem, with the winners announced this afternoon as part of the
conference’s Visionary Monday strand.

Israeli startup InstruMagic
won the Music Discovery, Recommendation and Curation category with its
Songful iPad app, which lets people strum along to a selection of guitar
tabs from the Ultimate Guitar website.

CEO Eyal Eldar showed the app off by (bravely, given the high notes)
singing ‘Roxanne’ while playing the chords on his iPad. “The magic comes
from having the songs built into the app. All you have to do is tap to
move between the chords and strum along,” he said. “Pretty magically,
anyone can become a guitar player… Our vision is to bring the joy of
playing music to everyone.”

US startup Jamplify
won the Marketing and Social Engagement category, with CEO Andy Pickens
taking the stage to talk about his social marketing and analytics
platform, which is based around “jampaigns”.

“It enables artists to turn their existing fanbase into a
crazy-effective marketing force… In a digital age, how do we get our
fans to evangelise and spread the word?” A modern equivalent of
traditional street-teams, in other words.

Artists get to reward their fans based on the number of people they
persuade to check the artist’s content out, using social media. The
average fan sharing with Jamplify generates 30 referrals, apparently,
through unique links. “Fans can share anywhere: we make it really easy
for them to share on Facebook and Twitter, but they can share on any
platform they like.

Finally, US startup StageIt
won the Direct-to-Consumer Sales and Content Monetisation category. CEO
Evan Lowenstein explained how it works, helping artists to make money
from live web concerts – not gigs in big venues, but sitting in front of
their laptop playing a private performance – including text chat – for
fans. Those fans can then ‘tip’ the artist, with the best tippers
getting rewards.

“We don’t sell music, we sell time. And fans know that time is
money,” said Lowenstein. “They pay happily, to the tune of $13.40 on
average per fan per show.” One example: Christina Grimmie did $21.1k of
tips and $9k of ticket sales for a single performance. Toad the Wet
Sprocket did 20% of their overall revenues in 2012 from StageIt, too.

One last winner: the overall Coup de Coeur prize, chosen by French
minister for SMEs, innovation and digital economy. Parisian startup
won that prize, with CEO Jules Terrien explaining the company’s mission
to help artists understand more about who their fans are.

“There’s really no way to understand your individual fan, and this is
a vital piece of information,” he said. “The first thing you should
know is who your fan is.” The company blends data from social networks,
streaming music services and other sites, packaging this data together
for artists.

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