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BlueJay adds a new dimension to online music. Live stream a playlist of your favourite songs from your mobile device to anyone – from close friends to an audience of thousands – in a real-time and interactive environment that includes group chat.

BlueJay Music qualifies for SEIS and EIS tax relief. UK resident investors can enjoy the benefits deriving by both the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Enterprise Investment Scheme Advanced Assurance.

Our story

In short, in the current online market there are no truly personalised music apps, there are very limited options for real-time social interaction over music online, and there is clearly a strong desire for both. BlueJay is a human curated music service that can scale to the individual listener, allows listeners to connect and interact socially over music through group instant messaging, and combines both in a smooth, enjoyable, real-time environment. This ability to run an internet radio station from your pocket is new and unique and we have a patent pending on our technology.

Over 30 years, music consumption has changed dramatically – from CDs, to downloads, to streaming. Streaming services started by competing on quantity, but huge catalogues caused more problems for users than they solved. They now compete on quality, and are vying to be the best at delivering the music that listeners want when they want it.

Playlists have also replaced albums and singles as the key method for the delivery of curated music online. However, current playlist curation is either algorithmic and therefore impersonal, or done by humans and therefore not scalable to the level of the individual listener.

At the same time, social media has grown massively popular, and instant messaging dominates real-time communication online. Picture and video sharing have been integrated well into this environment, but music – the most emotionally engaging media – has not. Current social music features are transactional, there is no real-time interactivity, and we listen to music alone. Yet despite this, music is still incredibly popular amongst the users of social media – 7 of the 10 most popular Twitter users are music artists.

BlueJay adds a new dimension to the current music experience. The app lets any user live stream a playlist of their favourite songs directly from their mobile device to anyone – from close friends to an audience of thousands – in a real-time and interactive environment that includes group chat.

Listeners can browse and join any of the live public sessions on the app, follow their favourite hosts, and discover new ones. We are actively partnering with popular playlisters, music curators, and artists to create featured public sessions that users can discover and join.

Currently the hosts provide the music – their song files – which are streamed directly from their mobile device to all listeners, but we will be expanding our sources so that users can host sessions with music from their streaming accounts at Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

This ability to basically host and broadcast a radio show directly from, and using just, a mobile device to a sizeable audience, with this level of programming flexibility, is unique to BlueJay. We have researched, prepared, and submitted a patent application with the help of a local specialist patent attorney for this unique ability, and expect the application to be successful.

BlueJay is licenced in the UK as a webcast service by the PRS and the PPL. A webcast licence is significantly cheaper than the licence on-demand streaming services are required to secure. We will be looking to secure equivalent licences in further jurisdictions, including the USA, Australia, and Europe.

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Our business & market situation

The market

In 2015, global music revenues experienced their first year of measurable growth in nearly 2 decades, increasing 3.2% to US$15b. The primary driver of the industry’s growth has been music streaming subscription – with 61m subscribers worldwide contributing $US2.9bn, or 19% of total revenues. Yet subscribers are dwarfed by the number of users of ad supported streaming services, which contribute just 4% of total revenues. YouTube is the largest of these, with an audience of 900m users. Partly as a result, music spending per capita is still only 1/3 of its previous 1999 peak.

In the next 5 years however, ad supported services are expected to benefit from significant growth in the digital share of total advertising spend. By 2020, US digital ad spend is expected to have grown 76% to US$105b, while UK digital ad spend is expected to have grown 49% to GBP12b. The growth is even more compelling for mobile ad spend in particular, which is the primary driver of growth in digital overall.

In the online music market, the ability to effectively curate music for listeners has become the main battleground – with playlists the key delivery method. Spotify alone is streaming 1 billion playlists a week, and almost half of all Deezer streams are playlists. Discover Weekly on Spotify, used by 40m listeners and streamed 5 billion times, uses an algorithm that learns from the music preferences of its user base. Pandora, with 81m monthly active listeners, uses and algorithm that learns from a team of experts that characterise and compare every song in their catalogue. Apple Music uses mainly human experts to curate their playlists and radio features. Music charts also now include streams in their calculations, so for artists, presence in these playlists are crucial to success.

In the social media market, instant messaging is the preferred method of real-time communication [on or offline?]. The two most popular messaging services are WhatsApp which has 1b monthly active users, and Facebook Messenger which is not far behind with 900m. These two services alone send 60b messages daily – 3 times the global volume of SMS messages. Other popular communication apps include Facebook with 1.1b daily active users, Instagram with 300m, Snapchat with 150m, and Twitter with 140m.

Current situation

Our marketing focus is on generating initial user take-up to help kick start and fuel the apps virality. We are achieving this through organic social media engagement to build our online presence and reach (focus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook), outreach to influencers (playlisters, curators, bloggers, artists, and niche music communities) who benefit from using the app to connect with their existing followers and our growing audience, and paid Facebook and Google advertising to target potential hosts/influencers with around 1000 social media followers each. We are working with Netleadz, a London based social media marketing company, to further develop this strategy.

Our technology has been designed and written with VirtualArk, an international application managed services company based in Adelaide, Australia. We have developed native mobile apps for the latest versions of both iOS and Android, are using a combination of Liquidsoap and Icecast servers hosted on Digital Oceans cloud in London for stream management, and have a cloud based API and data store using Apigee (hosted on Amazons cloud) for our back-end. All parts of the system are encrypted using SSL. Again, we have a patent pending on our technology which we expect to be successful.

BlueJay is licenced in the UK as a webcast service by the PRS and the PPL. A webcast licence is significantly cheaper than the licence on-demand streaming services are required to secure. We will be looking to secure equivalent licences in further jurisdictions, including the USA, Australia, and Europe. We do not currently provide any music to our users, and we do not copy, transfer, or store any music files.

Revenue model:

BlueJay will earn revenue from 3 primary revenue streams – in-app purchases, targeted advertising, and a premium subscription service.

In-app purchases:

In-app (or affiliate site) purchases will include purchasing song downloads from music stores, linking to streaming services to play and favourite songs, and buying merchandise, concert tickets, etc. of particular artists that users hear. In addition to earning revenue, this will provide additional value to our users, and will help integrate BlueJay into the music value chain and community.

Targeted advertising:

There will be various forms of targeted advertising within the free version of the app – including a combination of banner, interstitial, video, and audio ads. Both in-app/affiliate purchase and targeted advertising revenue streams will benefit from both user profile info and user music preference data for more accurate targeting.

Premium subscription:

Users will be able to pay a fee for a premium service that provides a combination of features, including access to an online music catalogue to use on BlueJay. Discussions have been held with a London based provider around use of their white label catalogue via API for a fee. The premium service will also likely be ad-free. Pricing is yet to be finalised.

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Our team

Our team

The management team is headed up by Peter Shore as Chairman, and Sam Shore as CEO.

They are supported by an Advisory Board that is very experienced in technology, the music industry, social media marketing and law. Their backgrounds are outlined below.

The Chairman, CEO, and Advisory Board generally discuss and agree the overall strategy of the company. This includes the key product development and marketing decisions and where to allocate the company's financial resources, and these are considered within the broader context of a competitive online music market.

Once the strategy is agreed, the CEO is responsible for its overall execution, and for the day to day management of the company.

The CEO has been and will continue to be the principal product designer.

The approach to carrying our several key functions has been based on contracting with experienced operators in those fields - for example application development, and marketing. We engage with those providers on a contuinuing but flexible basis to get the best expertise and thinking around particular challenges without building a large fixed overhead. In the case of the technical product development and social media marketing, the CEOs of the contracted companies - Marty Gauvin and Xaver Matt - have joined our Advisory Board.

In the areas of music licensing and thinking about how the company appeals to music creators and artists, Ellis Rich, PJ Siebert, and Ashley Elsdon have joined the Advisory Board and provide very experienced counsel on these areas.

In the areas of legal affairs and accounting we have contracted to have those servcies provided on an as needs basis, but Jeremy Mavor - a corporate lawyer - also sits on our Advisory Board.

As we grow, it's likely that we will build some internal resources in the most important functional areas of the business - particularly product development and marketing - but at the moment we believe we are getting access to very experienced specialists in a flexible way.

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Peter Shore

Chairman

Chairman and founder. Peter has been based in London for ten years and has been in the telecom, media and tech sector for more than 30 years.

Currently Director of Cellnex, listed in Spain and the largest independent owner of mobile telecom assets in Europe. From 2007-15 Chairman of Arqiva, UK's major owner of television and mobile phone infrastructure. 

In Australia, was Group Managing Director of Telstra and Director of Foxtel, the Pay TV business.

Has been Chairman/CEO of a number of start-ups and early stage listed companies in Australia - including Hostworks, Unwired, and Uecomm.

Chairman of Lonely Planet from 2004-07.

Also currently Chairman of Minnamurra Partners, family owned consulting business. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-shore-b499441b
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Sam Shore

CEO

CEO, Director, and founder. Sam is based in London and has a background in investment banking and technology advisory work.

From 2010-2014 he was an executive at Macquarie Bank, based in London. Macquarie is Australia's largest investment bank and has a substantial global presence in funds management.

Following this he undertook advisory work in the tech sector, before forming BlueJay at the end of 2014.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shoresam/
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Ellis Rich, OBE, Hon DMUS

Music industy vetera and former Chairman of PRS

A music industry veteran, Ellis began his industry journey with Feldman’s Music in 1963, arranging and transcribing sheet music and orchestral arrangements – creating all the music arrangements for the Queen material.

After being appointed International Manager in the seventies, the company was acquired by EMI Music Publishing. In 1981 he left EMI and formed E&S Music with Simon Cowell, (who had been Ellis’ assistant at EMI).

In 1986 Ellis established and ran Supreme Songs as the publishing arm of Supreme Records. In 1989, he acquired sole ownership of Supreme and went on to create a world-wide consortium of independent music publishers owning or administering several thousand copyrights.  He remains CEO today.

Ellis was appointed a Director of the Board of The Performing Right Society (PRS) in 1993, and became Chairman in 2005.

He was awarded an OBE for Services To Music Publishing in January 2011 and was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Of Music by Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellis-rich-obe-hon-dmus-361322/
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Marty Gauvin

CEO Virtual Ark

Marty founded Virtual Ark in Australia in 2009 having previously founded and run Hostworks, a provider of critical application management services to a range of large media and online clients that became the largest Internet hosting provider in Australia. He has 30 years’ experience in IT services, system design and innovation across a wide range of sectors and has assisted clients in Australia, Europe and Asia with complex cloud and mobile based projects for the past six years.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/martygauvin/
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Pierre-Jean Siebert

Chairman CEO with music industry Background

Pierre-Jean works at the cross section between youth culture, content and e-commerce through his roles as Executive Chairman for Miles - The Agency (commercial arm for music artists) as well as Chairman of MusicGurus (online music school) and Fanmoji (Augmented Messaging publisher).

Prior to that he contributed for 13 years to the international expansion of Eurosport in several capacities, from Channel Controller to Director of corporate development to Managing Director UK.

As a Director of Reel (now Wasserman Group), he has been a senior advisor (rights, distribution and business development) to large corporations in the entertainment and media sector: UKTV, AMC Networks, Virgin Media, UEFA, UCI, ONO and Arqiva.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pierre-jean-sebert-71466b2/
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Xaver Matt

CEO Netleadz

Founder/MD at Netleadz, digital marketing agency, building digital success stories via Content, Search and Social, focusing on audience growth strategy and execution. 18 years digital and start-up experience with five successful start-ups under his belt. Active advisor to music & tech companies in London.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/xavermatt/
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Ashley Elsdon

Music Creator and music industry journalist/blogger

Ashley is a writer, marketer, analyst, and mobile musician. He runs the blog Palm Sounds, which he founded in 2006. Since founding Palm Sounds, he has covered a huge shift in mobile music from almost complete obscurity to its current mainstream state.

Ashley also works with Heart n Soul, a charity that helps artists with learning disabilities and has spoken at Abbey Road, Ableton's Loop Festival, and most recently chaired New Creative Tools at Lewis Silkin. Ashley has chaired Music Tech Pitch 4.5 for over 4 years and continues to find and work with new technologies to improve artists ability to bring their vision to reality.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyelsdon/
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Jeremy Mavor

Corporate Lawyer

Jeremy is a lawyer who spent 10 years at Allen & Overy on debt and project finance transactions. That included 4 years in Paris from 2007 - 2011 with frequent work visits to West Africa.

He joined Arqiva in November 2012, and has focused for the last 4 years on corporate finance and M&A.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-mavor-13407754/