With blockchain creating a buzz all around, we have a string of platforms coming up with their unique ideas to catch up with this trend. Gayathri Menon gets candid with the CEO of the budding app Inmusik, Stephen Brett and gets him to share the struggle and experience of being the only flag bearer for music in the blockchain industry.
Inmusik at a glance –
- Genre: Music
- Founded in: 2015
- Founders: Stephen Brett, Vivienne Ping
- Headquarters: California, United States
- Website: www.inmusik.co
“ Some of the opportunities may seem like it is pushing too hard but it is going to turn out to be either an incredible learning experiences or something that will be close to your heart. ”
Exhibit: What led you to venture into the field of music?
STEPHEN BRETT: I come from a family of musicians. The first time I was ever on stage was for a concert, basically when my mother was pregnant with me and she was performing with my dad. My entire family are filled with musicians, so I think it was just a natural thing to do. I started playing guitar from the age of 12 and was part of a band when I was 14 where I was also a drummer for a while. After failed attempts at being a musician, I ended up starting a recording studio. During the process of creating a business there, I was talking to literally hundreds of bands and artists, trying to help them succeed and advising them on how to get some exposure and present themselves in the digital world as we were moving from the days of CD to online streaming. And the other thing is that I come from Ireland and there, it is very different for a young musician to make a name for themselves and to get enough money. So it was always something in my mind that I wanted to help Irish artists to go international. That’s where Inmusik came from and that’s the principle on which we build everything on.
Exhibit: What were the initial challenges that this venture had to face?
We were in the process of helping these artist and upcoming stars to create a presence for themselves online. And what came about, eventually became Inmusik. So when we started off as a small project with just myself and one person helping me and very quickly we got to 2,50,000 users. From there we moved over to Silicon Valley to raise the funding to bring the project further. From there we got 7 million investment from the Times Group, and also we got to a million users very very quickly.
Exhibit: Can you tell a few words about Inmusik.
Inmusik is a platform built on blockchain. It’s a community -based platform designed to help music lovers. A new music finds an audience quickly. Everybody loves music actually – it fuels a harder day. And we want to make sure that there is an organic root for the youngest and the newest and the most talented people to have signed a way to an audience.
Exhibit: One of the best and unique features of Inmusik.
We have created a system where the fans can be rewarded for the curation of music. In other words, when we find a great new artist we give them their lots of confidence. And if you vote on a song and I saw it ends up getting a million plays as a direct result of your votes, you deserve a piece of the rewards that the artist gets. So what Inmusik does is reward the fans equally and measurably based on the actual contribution that they have made to the overall success of our artists. And that’s why blockchain is extremely helpful for us to measure all of this. Because of Blockchain, anybody could go and see the data. We are not pulling strings behind the scenes or we are not being paid by them to bring music to the surface. We are allowing the community to do the curation force. And it’s very special about what we’re doing and that’s the reason why we are getting so much attention. Even from the major labels, they are very curious to see how this is going to be accepted by the community.
Exhibit: How do you like to take it forward and it’s plan in India?
The talent there is in India in the music scene, it’s just incredible. So we want to encourage those younger artists by helping them to get discovered through this platform. And essentially the more encouragement that we give them, the more money they’re earning to the platform and the more ignites to their creativity. Basically just releasing them to go and to do more things. So we want to get into the ground level with music festivals with other partners that are supporting the independent music scene and help these guys to find an audience. So that will be one of the core things we want to focus on certainly on the Indian markets.
“ We are the only blockchain music platform that is working with the major labels to bring on licensing for all contents. ”
Exhibit: How does it help budding musicians to build a career for themselves?
It’s really simple. Actually, you can just create an account like you do on Facebook. We do have a verification process to make sure that you are who you say you are, and therefore somebody can’t create an account for Beyonce or Lady Gaga or like that. So they do create it for themselves and once they upload contents, we make sure that it is original and that it is their own, it is verified not only through artificial intelligence but is also verified through the community as well.
Exhibit: What do you think is the most attractive feature of Inmusik that makes it stand out from its competitors?
We are the only blockchain music platform that is working with the major labels to bring on licensing for all contents. So from a technical perspective that is how we are different from the others. With the technology teams behind us, we will be able to help all the major labels and their content to be easily tracked and fairly paid. Payment is a huge problem in the industry where payments just being not paid in the right way to the wrong people because the data is old and inefficient. So blockchain is one of the technologies that can solve this. I think people are excited about what we are planning to achieve and if we do it, we will have a huge support from the industry. So the technology behind what we’re doing is really the backbone for our entire business.
Exhibit: Last but not the least, do you have any advice to give to the budding entrepreneurs?
Ahh, that’s a great question and I feel it’s a tricky one to answer. I have done quite a lot of talks in the seminars and the one thing that I always tell the entrepreneurs to say YES to opportunities. It sounds like a simple answer and a very obvious one but that is one of the secrets to succeed. Some of the opportunities may seem like it is pushing too hard but it is going to turn out to be either an incredible learning experiences or something that will be close to your heart. So yeah, when things come your way, just do it. If it doesn’t work out today, it will be a great thing down the road.