ANNOUNCED! TechRound’s Top 28 UK Music and AudioTech Companies

TechRound are delighted to announce our list of the Top 28 UK Music and AudioTech companies.

As selected by the TechRound team, our criteria for the list includes:

  • Creativeness and innovation by the company
  • Usefulness of the product
  • How the company stands out in its niche
  • Experience of the founders/team

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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28. Show4Me

 

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Show4me is a Music Interaction Network for musicians, bands, DJs, music professionals, and fans. Our mission is to provide the best service for all the music industry participants to perform, create, monetise and listen to music.

Music lovers and fans can listen to and explore new undiscovered music, easily find artists and tracks, follow their faves, watch online concerts, interact with other fans, buy music, tickets, and subscriptions directly in their phone.

Initially launched in 2015 as a crowdfunding platform by the UK-based company Wefuture Ltd, Show4me was transformed into a music-related network after the company raised a $12.8m investment in January 2019. Show4me says it has raised a total of $13.5m investments within three rounds since its launch.

Musicians, bands, DJs, management teams, record labels, concert promoters and many other music industry professionals can bring their music and other content to the right audience that are not followers but true fans.

Show4me offers a range of tools to run a music-based business in a single place: fan building and interaction (via Artistclubs), music monetization (music sales, and $1+ Artistclub memberships), music and concerts crowdfunding, ticketed online events with own video streaming service and much more.

 

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27. Auddy

 

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Started in 2020 by a handful of very experienced founders from senior roles in great media brands like Netflix, Virgin, NatGeo, Discovery and NBC/Universal, Auddy publishes high quality podcasts from award-winning audio producers and is attracting household name advertiser and sponsor clients like Vodafone and The Open University.

Spanning his 25-year career, Auddy founder, Andrew Craissati, has had senior roles in The Virgin Group, Universal Studios, National Geographic Society, and media banking firm, The Magna Group.

Given his extensive global career, with stints in London, Los Angeles, and Singapore, Andrew has cemented his position as one of the foremost leaders within the international media, arts, and finance verticals.

Since 2012 Andrew has been a supporter of early-stage companies and has funded them as an angel investor, including a chairmanship and investment in Pollen, one of the UK’s top-ranked tech growth companies (no. 4 on the 2020 Sunday Times Tech Track Top 100).

This passion for building early-stage companies and his wide-ranging experience in the global development of audio has led to Andrew’s mission to build Auddy, one of the [world]1’s leading podcast publishers, harnessing tech, high-quality content, and mainstream audiences.

The company has already raised £1.4m in seed funding, and investors include Brick Capital, the Future Fund & leading angels.

Auddy recently launched their crowdfunding campaign and have already surpassed their goal – and are currently overfunding. So far, the company has raised £457k, 104% of its original funding target.

 

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26. WhoSampled

 

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WhoSampled contains the world’s most comprehensive, detailed and accurate database of samples, cover songs and remixes, covering the entire history of music spanning over 1,000 years.

Launched in 2008, our unique content represents over a decade of detailed research, knowledge sharing and expert analysis by the WhoSampled contributor community, moderators and staff.

The content on WhoSampled gets refined and built upon day in, day out. It is built by a growing community of 25,919 contributors and verified by a team of 60 moderators, with updates coming in every hour of the day.

Every musical connection we show was contributed by a member of the WhoSampled community and carefully verified by a qualified person (a moderator, member of staff or self-moderating Gold Contributor).

WhoSampled data powers marketing campaigns by all 3 major record labels and large independents as well as research studies by top academic institutions. Our partners and customers include: Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group, Concord Music Group, Grammy.com, SoundHound, NYU, Berklee College of Music, Tufts University and more.

 

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25. Lickd

 

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Lickd is a digital platform helping YouTube content creators legally use the music they love. Lickd provide commercial music from real labels for licensing in to YouTube videos without the fear of a Creator losing their ad revenue to a Copyright Claims. Their VOUCH software ensures that, if you license a song from Lickd, you will NOT get a claim on your content and can publish video with peace of mind.

The powers that be in online broadcasting and the music industry have had a real problem on their hands: there is still no solution to how user-generated content online uses music aside from the current culture of piracy and counter-claim. As more and more platforms begin to use video – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – this problem is about to grow exponentially. Lickd is the solution to this problem.

Lickd allows creators of professional and semi-professional online content to legally license commercial music whilst also paying the music industry fairly for that right. The solution has been staring us in the face all along: build a professional relationship between online creators and the music industry directly.

 

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24. Audioscenic

 

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Audioscenic was spun out of the Institute of Sound and Vibrational Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton in 2017. The company’s technology was co-developed by Dr. Marcos Simón (Chief Technology Officer) under the supervision of Chief Scientific Officer, Prof. Filippo Fazi, a world-leading expert in 3D audio theory and algorithms.

Both Dr. Simón and Dr. Fazi developed a method of monitoring the location of a listener’s head and then beaming separate sound waves to their left and right ears from a single, compact soundbar to create an immersive 3D audio experience.

In this way, it can create “virtual headphones” and deliver spatial audio which simulates sounds positioned in 3D space all around the listener. AudioScenic offers solutions for a range of different platforms and a variety of market applications.

Audioscenic first demonstrated a prototype soundbar to hardware ODMs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019 and has since been working with several ODMs and OEMs to bring the technology to market through a software licensing model. The first products which benefit from the Virtua technology are expected to hit the shelves in Q3 2021.

 

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23. SpeechKit

 

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SpeechKit helps publishers create audio versions of their content using AI voices. It has powered more than one billion listens for over 120 publishers, securing early adoption in European markets on news sites such as Berliner Zeitung, Berlingske, and Lëtzebuerger Journal.

A unique text-processing engine sets SpeechKit’s text-to-speech (TTS) technology apart. Developed by in-house natural language processing (NLP) and AI voice engineers, it ensures that text is optimally converted into speech synthesis markup language (SSML). This enables AI voices to handle pronunciations that other TTS platforms struggle with, such as names, dates, and numbers.

SpeechKit offers AI voices from Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Yandex, but believes the future lies in proprietary custom voices.

Following a successful pilot with Media24, who saw increased listener engagement after launching audio modelled after a South African voice artist, SpeechKit raised a $1.4 million seed round led by Blackfinch Ventures and Newark Venture Partners. The company also secured funding from Innovate UK, which will be invested into voice cloning technology and regionalized voices for local publishers.

Co-founders James MacLeod and Patrick O’Flaherty are keen to protect voice artists’ future and interests in AI audio, having noted ethical issues in this fledgling industry. They are currently working with voice artists and the Open Voice Network to ensure a fairer deal for the people behind custom voices.

MacLeod and O’Flaherty first began working together in 2017, with a shared vision to make audio accessible to publishers. SpeechKit joined the NVP Labs incubator program two years later, working closely with Newark Venture Partners’ main investor, Audible.

 

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22. Headliner

 

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Headliner is an entertainment start up to connect event planners with the world entertainment. From Musicians to Magicians, Headliner works with large corporates (Facebook and Twitter) to small private parties to make the process of discovering and booking entertainment easy. The company was founded by Maria Hayden, Rosario Garcia de Zuniga, and Stan McLeod, in 2014, in London, England, United Kingdom.

Headliner is an online marketplace bringing world-class artists together with anyone that needs them for their event. With more than 15 years experience, and access to the most exciting industry talent; Headliner make your event unforgettable.

Headliner’s in-house team vets every artist on our site, and they have a review system as part of their continuous quality assurance process. Headliner’s technology allows artists to manage their bookings giving complete control over their careers, choosing the opportunities best suited for them. From festival stages, company parties, product launches, weddings, birthdays and private parties, Headliner offers the best in-live entertainment.

Headliner’s expansive list of clients include: Facebook, Twitter, Google, British Airways, London Fashion Week, Mitsubishi, Melon and Searcys | The Gherkin. Headliner was also proud to be part of the Techstars London cohort in 2015.

 

21. CueSongs

 

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Cuesongs was originally founded by singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel to make the process of streamlining music licensing for the digital media space and is known for its custom curated catalog.

Cuesongs provides their customers with seamless music licensing and over 20,000 pre-cleared and carefully curated tracks, connecting creators with music they’ll love.

In 2020, Cuesongs was acquired by Songtradr, the largest music licensing marketplace in the world, and now works alongside other creative music agencies under the Songtradr umbrella such as MassiveMusic, Big Sync Music, Song Zu, and more. Cuesongs prides itself in representing the best music coming out of the UK and beyond with a collection of music from over 150 leading independent labels and publishers.

Cuesongs works with labels and publishers to help connect their artists to a global audience with their in-depth understanding of new media and knowledge of the latest trends in digital broadcast.

 

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20. Musiio

 

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Musiio is an Artificial Intelligence company for the Music Industry. Focussed on the B2B space. Musiio has built an AI that can “listen” to music, supercharging Sync Companies, Labels, Streaming Services and more to Tag, Search, Curate or Playlist their audio.

Musiio provides cost-effective, fast and scalable ways to manage audio using AI, either through APIs or custom built dashboard tools, making large catalogues of music infinitely more searchable.

By ‘listening’ to more tracks than a human could ever comprehend and identifying characteristics and patterns therein, its AI allows its users to better predict success.

The company knows that by solving the volume issue in music, and by offering actionable insights, users can increase their ‘hit-rate’ and ultimately the revenue.

 

19. Silent Noize

 

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Silent Noize Events are leading industry experts in silent discos, silent conferences and other wireless headset events. Established in 2010 by company Director, Duncan Strain, this unique party entertainment solution took off in Birmingham with just 500 headsets, with the goal to provide everything you need for great entertainment from weddings to fitness to festivals.

The well-renowned company now boast an impressive 20,000 headsets of which offer guests the chance to choose from 3 different music channels to cater to both the rock ‘n’ rollers or those who prefer softer symphonies. For guests looking to get on the dancefloor, it’s easy to find who is dancing to the same tune by the colour changing channel indication, red, blue, or green – clever and simple tech!

Due to the versatility of this modern tech, the headsets can be used at a wide range of events which have seen Silent Noize work with some huge international organisations right across the UK, Europe and the USA – think dance classes, festival stages, yoga sessions, there are endless opportunities for a silent entertainment addition to any occasion. The additional innovative app from Silent Noize also offers extra user control with the reassurance of enhanced hygiene and infection control.

Users are also offered the personal choice of preparing their own playlists or can sit back and relax and have the event taken care of with the full package option – ideal for both back garden boogies or large-scale corporate events. The noise cancelling tech from Silent Noize also means any local restrictions on noise are easily resolved, allowing people to silently party into the late hours.

 

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For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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18. Vochlea

 

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Vochlea Music is a creative technology company specialising in expressive and intuitive software for music makers. Their real-time, vocal recognition AI, enables voice control of any instrument. Imagine beatboxing triggering live drum samples, vocal ‘twanging’ controlling an awesome guitar solo, or applying effect such as ‘wah-wah’ all using the voice.

Vochlea Music was incorporated shortly after CEO and founder George Wright completed his Masters at The Royal College of Art, where his graduation project was focused on translating voice to instrumentation. Since then the company has grown to a team of 4 people focused on building the world’s first vocal recognition AI for music making.

The Dubler Studio Kit (our launch product) is a tool for any music maker – aspiring or established. Certainly, the use case for each is different – just as a novice and professional can use the same instrument and produce different results. As a novice, it’s great because it gives you a means for musical expression when you might not have one. Can’t read music, don’t play an instrument? No problem just hum, tap or beatbox the rhythm or melody you want to capture.

For a professional musician, you can do things with Dubler that would otherwise be impossible. You can lay down an intricate beat vocally whilst simultaneously playing another instrument, or you can intuitively manipulate and modulate a sound based on the timbre of the voice. All in real-time.

 

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17. AI Music

 

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AI Music is at the forefront of exploring how artificial intelligence can change and adapt music. Quite simply, AI Music believe music should be accessible and contextually relevant for both its creators and its listeners.

With their Infinite Music Engine and other proprietary technology, AI Music deliver bespoke solutions for marketers, publishers, fitness professionals, creative agencies and many more.

Music that adapts to your heartbeat, audio advertising that matches listener context, universal licenses across formats… all of this is possible, and more, thanks to their cutting-edge research and scalable in-house development.

AI Music’s Ossia Go API platform powers music solutions for a new generation of content led platforms and services. Lightening fast APIs allow developers to access our powerful adaptive music solution and services.

The IOS application allows users to directly influence the music they hear. AI Music technology can be used to take traditionally static music and make it dynamic, giving the user to ability to generate remix when streaming audio.

16. TheViewPod

 

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TheViewPod was founded in 2020 with the purpose of simplifying the news after Sanket Mali (founder and CEO) became frustrated with the time wasted in keeping up reading the news. He wanted to build an app, which suited his busy lifestyle and gave him the ability to keep up with current news while going about his daily life. From this, Theviewpod was born.

Theviewpod is an innovative audio app which converts breaking news stories into audiobytes which are easy to digest while on the move. The app provides listeners a full immersive experience and allows listeners to keep up to date with global news stories.

However, unlike other news apps Theviewpod strives to provide balanced news coverage by souring mainstream publishers and breaking stories from publishers including CNN, BBC News and Reuters. The app then curates these stories into short and digestible audio summaries.

Listeners can hear 30 second audio soundbytes from global news on the following topics:

  • Business
  • Politics
  • Sport
  • Entertainment

15. MixCloud

 

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Mixcloud is a British online music streaming service that allows for the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts, which are crowdsourced by its registered users.

Mixcloud was founded as a startup company through the lean startup process in 2008 by Nikhil Shah and Nico Perez, who met at the University of Cambridge. Developers Mat Clayton and Sam Cooke were added to the team in its early stages. As of 2012, Mixcloud was reported to have over 3 million active users and over 500 thousand registered Facebook application users. In October 2017, Mixcloud signed direct licensing agreement with Warner Music.

Mixcloud allows all users to browse and stream audio content uploaded on its site. Registered users can upload content such as radio shows, DJ mixes, and podcasts, as well as promote and distribute their content through Mixcloud’s own social networking widget.

As of November 2011, Mixcloud lifted its 100Mb limit on uploaded content and allows uploads of 500 megabyte. Registered members may join a group, a collection of other users who share a common interest, which will periodically update the user when new content related to the group is available.

In December 2018, Mixcloud announced a new form of subscription called “fan-to-creator”. Thanks to this feature subscribers can support a favorite artist directly and contribute to the licensing cost of the music played in the shows. This innovation is an attempt by the company to find a new ways of funding.

 

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14. Flat

 

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Flat, created by Tutteo Ltd, is an online music notation platform that empowers music enthusiasts to create, learn and share music scores, tabs, and lead sheets. They believe that the old fashion sheet music industry has come to a point where it needs to be renewed. Flat is the forefront of a new way to write, teach and consume written music. Flat proudly support 5M+ composers and music enthusiasts around the world.

The company gives the opportunity to compositor and musicians to collaborate in real time on the sheet music. Flat lets you write music scores online with other people in real time with a nice and simple music notation editor.

In November 2014, right after their graduation, co-founders Pierre Rannou and Cyril Coutelier took the decision to rewrite all the code and start the growth. Nowadays, Flat.io are a team of 5 working for a world wide community of 2,000,000+ musicians & compositors growing 22% per month.

 

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13. Pirate.com

 

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Pirate.com is the world’s leading provider of rehearsal and recording facilities for artists, with studios in the UK, Germany and the USA and exciting plans to expand globally. As one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, they are a global team, working together to build something extraordinary.

Pirate.com on a mission to make creative space accessible to all. They provide 24/7 rehearsal, DJ, recording, podcast and dance studios.

At Pirate, they strive to break down barriers for people of all backgrounds, and it’s no different for our team. Equal opportunity, inclusivity and diversity are celebrated here. This means that they treat people fairly, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or expression, pregnancy and maternity, marital status, race, religion or sexual orientation.

What really sets Pirate.com apart from a lot of existing rehearsal rooms and music production and recording studios, is that the startup is employing a lot of tech to power the logistics around its service and, in theory, make it a lot more scalable. This includes online booking, 24 hour keycode access, and other IoT controls for managing facilities.

Pirate.com offers “automated recording” and live streaming from many of its studios. This means that bands or DJs rehearsing in one of the company’s rooms can easily record their session via built in room mics and other inputs, and the studio’s cloud software will handle mixing and mastering afterwards. Likewise, rooms are set up to be able to video and audio stream sessions, too.

 

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For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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12. JukeDeck

 

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Jukedeck is developing an artificially intelligent music composer – a system that writes original music completely on its own. Jukedeck’s state-of-the-art technology composes music chord by chord and note by note, giving video creators and other users an incredibly simple way of sourcing unique music.

Jukedeck’s music has already been used in videos by Google, the Natural History Museum and a number of YouTube creators. In December 2014, Jukedeck won the LeWeb startup competition in Paris, in April 2015 they won [email protected] (a competition organised and hosted by HRH The Duke of York), and in August 2015 they were named as one of WIRED’s 100 Hottest European Startups.

In July 2019, rhe London company were reportedly acquired by hot social media music startup TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance. Jukedeck had raised £2.5 million, largely from Cambridge Innovation Capital, but also included investors Parkwalk Advisors, Backed VC and Playfair Capital, the most recent investors.

 

11. ROLI

 

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ROLI is a London-based music technology company known for its high tech musical instruments, particularly the Seaboard. It was founded by American-born musician and entrepreneur Roland Lamb in 2009. Its instruments have been used by musicians including Grimes, A. R. Rahman, and Hans Zimmer, and the firm has named Pharrell Williams as Chief Creative Officer.

ROLI’s Series A fundraising in 2014 raised $12.8 million, followed by a $27 million Series B fundraising in 2016. In April 2017 ROLI raised debt funding from Kreos Capital.

The company is based in Dalston, London, with offices also in New York and Los Angeles. It sells its products in over 40 countries worldwide. It has acquired the following companies: JUCE, FXpansion, and Blend.

Pianist Roland Lamb founded ROLI in 2009 while a graduate student at London’s Royal College of Art. His first prototype of the Seaboard was a response to the design limitations of the piano keyboard as a mechanical interface. As a jazz pianist, he wanted to create on a piano keyboard the effects of pitch and timbre that are often associated with string and brass instruments. His concept of the pliable, continuous “keywave surface” was the technological foundation of the Seaboard and the firm’s related instruments.

ROLI’s first instrument, the ROLI Seaboard, is a synthesizer controller based on the piano keyboard. The instrument has a continuous surface of pliable silicone rather than the discrete keys of a piano. This lets a musician play “in between” the keys of a standard piano. A player can bend the pitch of a note by making vibrato-like sideways movements, deepen a sound by pressing into the surface, and in other ways manipulate sound through touch.

 

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10. Endlesss

 

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Endlesss is a collaborative music-making app that’s on a mission to be the torchbearer of music innovations and NFTs. The company was launched at the beginning of lockdown last year, and combines software recreations of drum machines, samplers, synths and FX, with a “tap to loop” workflow.

The app also accepts live audio for use with guitars, mics and other external instruments. Tim believes that music has always been about performance and that the future of media will be conversational interactions over passive consumption.

Through Endlesss, the founder, Tim Exile, pioneers what he calls the ‘Flow Machine’ – this is a completely improvisational space where people collaborate and ‘jam’, experimenting with music creation and stumbling across truly exciting and (quite frankly) brilliant sounds and rhythms.

Endlesss started as an instrument that Tim developed, which allowed him to take a spontaneous performative approach to improvising electronic music. He wanted to liberate himself from the perfectionism that he fell into in long solitary hours in his studio. They’ve had some great achievements and hit some exciting milestones since launching. For example, they did a really great launch-day stream last year with Imogen Heap, Flux Pavilion, KiNK, Coldcut, and more.

He’s worked with some of the best in the business — particularly since creating a name for himself in the electronic and drum and bass space as a result of many live performances, and after launching his collaborative music-making app Endlesss at the start of the pandemic, Tim is effectively everywhere, spreading his contagious outlook on the beauty of music creation when it’s completely improvised with an app that’s been dubbed the Clubhouse for music.

 

9. WARM

 

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Back in 2012, WARM CEO, Jesper Skibsby, was the manager of Danish band “Few Wolves”. Out of the blue he found out that their music was being played on the radio in Poland, but he couldn’t find any truthful or accessible data provider that could validate this information for the band. And so the story begins, Jesper found himself questioning the lack of transparency in the music industry and the way they make it difficult for music creators to access their airplay data.

As a music entrepreneur, Jesper was motivated to find a proper solution to eliminate this barrier. It was only a matter of time until he got himself immersed in research and key conversations which made him realize a major opportunity that could shake up the music industry. And so, the project we know today as WARM saw an open door to get started.

By monitoring radio stations worldwide, WARM track your songs’ airplay in real-time in order to provide you with valuable insights that will help you take your music career to the next level. With WARM you will get a thorough view of your fanbase as well as discover emerging markets. Moreover, WARM provide you with the tools to improve your marketing and promotion strategies, and even accelerate your royalty collection.

The technology behind WARM is based on Audio Fingerprinting and Music Recognition technologies. Every song gets a unique fingerprint which we then use to identify the second a song is being played on the radio stations that WARM monitor around the world.

The web application is backed up by MusicDNA, the leading provider of advanced audio analysis and music recognition technologies. Through its algorithm, WARM make sure you have access to very detailed information about your songs’ reproduction on the radio.

 

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8. GigList

 

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Founded in 2017 by James Eddleston and Bianca Eddleston in Manchester, United Kingdom, GigList is the definitive source of gigs & live music events. Combining an unparalleled database of events, live gig reports, album reviews, news and interview. GigList is the best friend of music-lovers worldwide.

Despite the faster-than-ever spread of information, finding the best gigs can still be quite a challenge for music lovers.

That’s why GigList was founded – the live music discovery website and app aimed at making things better for gig-goers, venues and performers. It centralises the information and levels the playing field for live music, making the casual discovery of concerts much easier.

It’s got reach around the UK, offering users the option of filtering by city, venue and artist – and find last-minute tickets to hear new and upcoming artists. This is in contrast to how many people get to concerts – booking tickets from large operators months in advance.

 

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7. Keakie

 

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Keakie is an audio platform that uses a bespoke AI engine and analytics to tailor quality content to its users. They curate quality long-form audio content and use proprietary algorithms to recommend content to listeners. Their products need to handle data at a massive scale and extend beyond raw streaming. The platform’s mission is to createand curate high-quality content across music, fashion, culture, and more.

In 2018, Keakie was named by The Office Group as one of the 100 most creative, exciting and forward-thinking companies in the UK. In 2019, Keakie was named by EU Startups as one of 10 of the most innovative new music technology companies in Europe.

Keakie was officially launched in May 2020 by Jake Lazarus and Eloka Agu and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Whilst studying at university, Jake Lazarus was involved in a successful radio project that soon attracted the interest of Universal Music. Jake’s continued being an entrepreneur after university, running a social media marketing and working with other young entrepreneurs.

In less than a month after its release, Keakie managed to attract over 400,000 listeners. The goal of Keakie is to spark people’s musical curiosity, whilst helping the people who put musical experiences together, the content creators and the artists.

Keakie creates an immersive experience, attracting current fans of genres such as Lo-Fi, Future Beats, and Ambient, and inspires millions more to escape their Apple Music and Spotify playlists. Keakie aims to have 2.5 million users by the end of 2021.

 

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For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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6. Blokur

 

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Blokur is a music tech startup which is working with the world’s music community to take the pain out of paying and getting paid for music.

Used by rights owners and music users alike, Blokur solves a fundamental problem that has plagued the music industry for decades: getting paid. Problems with identifying the ownership of music result in billions in royalties being unpaid, trapped inside the music industry “black box”. Blokur’s sub-graph matching technology enables it to establish the definitive record of who owns the rights in each song and then match that information to the music listened to on digital platforms so that the right person gets paid.

Blokur’s platform handles 50m compositions and 70m recordings for major and independent music publishers and digital platforms, and works with 70% of the music publishing sector by market share. The platform offers rights management, conflict resolution, licensing, chart analytics and income matching. So far this year it has processed five trillion music uses for its clients, finding money that would otherwise not have made it to the creator.

In December 2020, Blokur was chosen as an official partner of the US Mechanical Licensing Collective’s Data Quality Initiative to ensure its clients’ rights are accurately represented in the MLC database so they get their fair share of streaming royalties.

More recently Blokur released its 2020 Songwriters Review, featured in Music Business Worldwide, NME and more. The report shines a light on the songwriters and trends behind the top charting songs of last year. Utilising Blokur’s database of writer and publisher splits as well as chart data for Spotify, Apple, Amazon and YouTube, the report identifies the songs that spent the most time in the chart on each platform that year, and the songwriters who contributed the most to each of those songs.

Blokur continues to work towards its mission of fulfilling the potential of the internet for the creator, with plenty of ground-breaking features under development to ensure that creators get paid what they should, when they should.

 

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5. Instrumental

 

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Instrumental is working to change the music business forever – to the benefit of independent artists – they believe the industry needs to move from the ‘ownership’ of recordings to ‘access’, or licensing, in all dealings with artists. Instrumental are not about growing a catalogue but building successful artists with highly engaged fan bases with whom they can have long term partnerships because of the value they add, not because of the the contract that was signed.

Instrumental’s mission is to use AI and machine learning processes to discover high potential talent first and then offer the most flexible funding and growth partnerships possible that can increase streams, listeners, fan bases, monthly revenue and long term careers – whilst always ensuring artists retain ownership of their music.

In 2015, the music industry reached a key tipping point, as revenue from streaming exceeded downloads for the first time, heralding the start of a new streaming-first music industry. In parallel, DIY distribution platforms like Tunecore, Distrokid and CD Baby were offering artists low price routes to releasing their music without a label.

This is when Instrumental was founded by Conrad Withey and Abi Hanna with the mission of using data science to sift through the millions of songs being uploaded every year and identifying the hottest new prospects. Initially presented as a scouting tool for labels and publishers our platform began with a focus on YouTube and the boom in “bedroom pop stars”.

 

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4. MelodyVR

 

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MelodyVR is a Virtual Reality music platform available in the US, UK and Europe. MelodyVR is the only licensed VR music platform in the world and has secured partnerships with all the major record labels – Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment Warner Music Group as well as Jay Z’s Roc Nation and many more.

The companies end-to-end process has helped some of the world’s biggest artists take their first steps into virtual reality. They boast the world’s largest library of interactive music content, having worked with over 650 international artists to date. Users can have multiple perspectives- from deep in the crowd to up-close-and-personal with the band on stage.

As well as recorded shows, the company will live stream concerts via Virtual Reality having partnered with a number of major UK venues.

MelodyVR was founded in 2015 by Anthony Matchett and Steven Hancock, but by 2018, the London-based business became the owner of the world’s largest library of virtual reality music content, with licence agreements in place with all three majors and a number of independents (Big Machine, Roc Nation) and having worked with over 650 international artists, including Post Malone, Wiz Khalifa, Blake Shelton, Kiss, The Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Rag’n’Bone Man, The Who and Bloc Party.

Partnerships with Ibiza Rocks and British venues The O2 arena, Alexandra Palace, Arena Birmingham and Genting Arena have meanwhile brought its long-held plans to live stream concerts in VR a step closer to fruition, enabling music fans around the world to experience gigs direct from the comfort of their own home via the VR app on Oculus Go and Samsung Gear virtual reality headsets.

In May 2018, the company raised £20 million in funds through a share listing. The same month saw the launch of its MelodyVR app in the U.K. and U.S. in conjunction with the release of Facebook’s much-heralded Oculus Go VR headset.

 

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3. Audoo

 

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Audoo is creating a royalty revolution to ensure accuracy is delivered for artists. Audoo have created an audio meter, which captures actual played music, using real-time data, to help Performing Right Organisations (PROs) digitise and streamline their processes. This means that with Audoo, artists are able to ensure that rights holders never miss out on their royalties.

Audoo was founded in 2018 with a vision to create a more accurate system for compensating artists and composers for the public performance of their work.

The idea was conceived when CEO & Founder, Ryan Edwards was shopping in a retail store and heard his own top 10 hit being played. Shortly afterwards, when checking his royalty statement, he was surprised to see that he hadn’t been paid for the broadcast and started to wonder why.

Ryan found that historically, Performing Right Organisations (PROs) & Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) have paid public performance royalties from estimations based on popular radio play and manual data-entry. As a result, artists and composers often miss out.

Since conception, Audoo have created a technical solution which tracks music played across public performance locations. Their low-cost highly effective Audio Meter simply plugs in to premises such as shops, restaurants, gyms and bars, and takes a GDPR compliant digital imprint of the music playing. From there the information is relayed in real-time to PROs & CMOs, ensuring rights holders are compensated fairly and accurately every time their music is played.

 

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2. Last.fm

 

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Last.fm is a global online music service that tracks people’s music listening habits – across many devices/platforms and via its world-class personalised music service – to help them discover and share new music through recommendations, exploration and the integration of social networking tools.

Last.fm take messy, crowd-sourced data from music listeners worldwide, and process it to provide global and personal music taste statistics, an “IMDB” style knowledge-base of all music, and recommendations unique to each user. Last.fm are a social network that continues to enjoy a large, passionate, active user base with hundreds of millions of users, and are active on many platforms, with web, desktop and mobile applications. Last.fm process billions of data points per month, bringing together third-party applications and services with integrations in Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, VLC, Sonos, and many others.

The Last.fm vision is to be the connective tissue of music on the internet. The company strives to unlock information about your personal relationship to the music you love, and the relationships between music and the rest of the world.

Key features of the service:

  • Your Music Listening History – track all your music listening almost anywhere via a process we invented called “Scrobbling”​
  • Personalised Music & Event Recommendations – the more users scrobble, the more data there is available to help them discover new bands and gigs, based on what they listen to, what their friends, listen to and what’s emerging in hundreds of different genres, globally.
  • Global encyclopaedia of music – each artist has an individual wiki-based page that collects biographical data, discographies, track details, photographs, aggregated listening stats, similar artist data, user-generated tags and other information.
  • Social Features – share new favourite bands and weekly listening history to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. There is an active community for music fans to discuss their discoveries.

 

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1. Sofar Sounds

 

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Sofar Sounds is a music events startup company, that creates small performances in unique locations in over 400 cities around the world. They are headquartered at The Roundhouse site, London, UK and were founded in 2009 by Rocky Start, Rafe Offer and Dave Alexander, with Jim Lucchese as the current CEO.

Sofar shows begin as a secret: guests sign on for three unnamed performances at undisclosed locations, hosted by community members in everyday spaces — from living rooms and rooftops, to retail stores. Through the transformation of these spaces into captivating venues, Sofar serves as a platform for artists to connect with engaged audiences in cities around the world.

Sofar invites guests to discover new artists, spaces, people, neighborhoods and cities, whether at home or abroad, creating an inclusive and accessible global community where people make genuine connections.

In May 2019 the company raised $25M from Battery Ventures and Union Square Ventures, in addition to the previous $6 million it had raised from Octopus Ventures and Virgin Group. The money is intended for two main purposes – to create artist-focused services and to support the Sofar communities around the world.

In March 2020, Sofar suspended all shows as a result of the international coronavirus pandemic. They are paying all artists for cancelled performances, working to reschedule them, and creating a Global Artist Fund with a goal of $250,000 for live-music relief. At the end of March 2020, they launched a daily Listening Room livestream to help support independent artists during the crisis. Viewers could either donate to artists directly or to the Global Artist Fund with all money going to the artists.

 

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