Remixology, from your name we are guessing that you are in the music industry. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do?

That’s right! We wanted the name to feel descriptive of what we do and not be too abstract. The purpose of the business is to elevate the art and commerce of the remix.  So we are building the first marketplace to allow remixing to flourish for artists and professional music producers.

So are artists your only customer?

Artists (or their representatives) are one side of the equation and our primary customers. We’re calling them ‘originators’ as the original track comes from them. They could be managers, artist services companies, labels, distributors or other rights-holders. On the other side of the market we have ‘remixers’. These are the people who will be commissioned to remix the music and create a new track. A remix.  Separately, we also believe brands will want to engage with us to commission special remixes and projects tailored to their brief.

What problem that you’re solving exists in the music industry today?

The music industry wastes tens of millions on poor performing remixes and is losing out on hundreds of millions in potential revenue every year from untapped remix potential. It’s a big part of the $20bn a year music industry. For ‘originators’ the process of commissioning remixes is currently heavily flawed. Most take a DIY approach to find remixers and commission remixes. It’s all a bit random and unstructured. It’s extremely unlikely that you would be able to identify and reach out to the right remixer who could deliver on the brief, and particularly that you get lucky with a remix that smashes it out of the park.

For ‘remixers’, they tend to get many irrelevant or inappropriate approaches and offers which are challenging to manage. This is more pronounced in the rapidly growing independent artist sector where they lack the specialist knowledge, insights and experience of commissioning remixes that deliver bottom line results and maximise opportunities. There are just so many rights holders and producers nowadays that simply extracting any meaningful insights is a serious challenge. You just can’t effectively do it manually.

 

Remixology pic 2

Do you think it’s fair to say that music licensing has experienced a crisis since the launch of the internet?

This is definitely true and I have seen its devastating impact first hand. I started out in the business in 1999; the peak year of revenues in the music industry.  File sharing, specifically Napster at that stage saw the start of the demise of a music business focused on selling physical products such as CD’s.

Streaming has brought growth back to the industry from 2015. Streaming revenues were up 42% in 2017 alone! This is restoring the industry to double digit growth, opening up new markets and audiences which were previously demonetized. Also converting ‘lost’ audiences back to paying for music. It’s a transformative, exciting and sustainable new model for the industry. Concurrently, the significance of the music releases has diminished. It’s not only competing against huge volumes of new music but other verticals such as  gaming, social media and a whole host of entertainment and lifestyle offerings.

In what way does your platform allow artists to further their careers?

At this stage, it is about opening up more opportunities for artists. Remixes enable this in lots of ways; exposure, promotion, collaboration, exposure, fan growth, playlisting, licensing, brand partnerships, breaking new markets etc.  Remixes have the potential to outperform the original versions in some instances helping pave the way to success for artists as well as the remixer. In fact, many of the biggest electronic music stars rose to fame by being remixers first and foremost!

How has the production and distribution of music remixing changed with the popularity of streaming services?

Artists and labels need more ‘release events’ in the current attention economy to stay relevant with DSP’s (digital service providers like Spotify and Apple) as well as fans. There are over 20,000 tracks released every day!  Unfortunately this means that legacy artists are starting to be less impactful on younger generations. This is something remixes can help with by presenting music in a new light and giving a fresh release opportunity.

Why is it imperative that you use blockchain? What is this technology enabling which wasn’t possible before?

It’s super important because we can create an immutable record of truth around a transaction. It’s independent from, and impartial to, any one party. This is notably absent in today’s music industry which is rife with conflict and disagreement on data and rights. It also allows us to evidence and track remix projects and their attributed stems  and musical parts which will allow us to do some very cool things in the future.

Remixology pic 4

Have you previously worked in the music industry?

Yes, I’ve had various roles working across A&R, Promotions and Marketing. My last employed role was Head of Marketing for Universal Music Group in the UK strategic division. I’ve also worked for Warner Music and several indies and had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest global names, brands and artists in music history.

More recently I’ve worked at a senior level with successful and disruptive music tech companies. Last year I worked in the independent space with Artist Services; a rapidly growing model which supports Artists building teams but retaining full creative and commercial control of their projects, and importantly, their copyrights.  This helped to gain a fresh perspective on the new music industry and work with Artists in a different way than you would traditionally with labels.

When did you realise that there was a strong need for a platform like yours? Did you experience a Eureka moment?

The key moment was while working with a trip-hop band called Morcheeba. They have a huge global fan base, incredible touring ethos and have sold over 10m records.  However, it is hard to activate global fans around a release as a self-releasing artist. As part of the marketing strategy, I recommended drip feeding remixes out after the album release. Then releasing an entire album of remixes to help support touring, playlisting, and basically driving album campaign extension. It occurred to me that there was a huge issue with how remixes are approached and managed, particularly in the growing indie sector.  There is no real way to meaningfully gauge a likely return on investment or predict the success of a remix, let alone find the right people who would be interested. It can be a very expensive process and it struck me that there was no system or process at all. That’s when I decided to create one!

Remixology pic 3

When did you meet as co-founders?

Angus and I are old school friends and we’ve shared a love of music for some time. We started talking about blockchain last year. I approached him about working with me on this project and he came on board as a co-founder shortly after founding the business.  We bring really diverse and complementary skills and experience, so the synergy is working great.

Imogen heap, amongst other musicians, is now selling her music on the blockchain – how long do you think it will be until mainstream adoption of blockchain is used in the buying and selling of the arts? If ever?

I believe the music industry is transitioning from an ownership to an access model.  Streaming revenues have now overtaken sales and there’s no going back from that. Blockchain technology has the potential to cut all the existing friction and delays around payments; for which there’s a lot!  Also, the transfer and tokenisation of assets could also be a game-changer for the industry. I think over the next three years, blockchain will be much more prominent but it could be 5 – 10 years before it completely transforms the value chain across the industry. All the major players; major labels, distributors, performing right organisations, publishers, streaming services and retailers would need to be fully aligned and onboard for that transformation to happen. It’s a big job but one I feel is a question of when not if. At Remixology, we are using the blockchain to manage metadata and payments in a simple but effective way for new content creation which we are hoping helps to introduce and accelerate the use of this exciting tech in the wider ecosystem.

 

Learn more about the other startups in StateOne here. 

🌎 http://www.remixology.net/

🐦 Twitter

🔗 Linkedin