Melobee: Music discovery platform used in 120+ countries
Melobee is a discovery platform for independent music. It empowers listeners to discover new music tailored to their individual taste and provides artists with a self-controlled route to success, allowing them to monetise directly from fans.
We’ve always been told what to listen to, whether we realise it or not. Nearly all the tracks we hear, via adverts, chart shows, radio, films, and even the new music playlists on streaming platforms, have been pushed there by an elite network of big record labels, management companies and shiny PR firms. They know that the more they play you something, even if you hate it at first, the more familiar it becomes, until you end up singing along anyway.
Currently, the music industry profits from an old system that strips artists of their freedom, creativity and the rights to their music. Music consumption is booming, but what we consume is dominated and controlled by major labels.
Here at Melobee, we think that’s bulls**t.
People have different tastes. We like different foods, we wear different clothes and we come from different places. So why are we all being played the same kinds of songs? The stuff we’re hearing is such a narrow selection of what is an incredibly vibrant and eclectic global music scene.
We think you deserve music you want to hear, not music you’re told to listen to. We think artists deserve a fair shot. We want to see people-powered charts, not charts controlled by big record companies who churn out the same-sounding music week after week.
So we made Melobee.
Melobee’s mission is to redefine music discovery by creating an ecosystem that enables a direct artist-to-fan connection, liberating artists and empowering listeners to curate, influence and connect.
How does it work?
Melobee is independent music discovery that is tailored to you.
You pick the genres you like, and we play you new music from those genres. You like the track? Swipe it up the charts. You don’t like it? Swipe it down the charts. We’ve got a name for this. It’s called The Discover. Artists on The Discover don’t need big money behind them: Their music speaks for itself, and succeeds or fails based on whether you swipe it up or down.
Melobee enables you - the listener - to create a world around your taste in music that other people can see. Swipe up on a track and it’ll appear in your followers’ feeds. Create a playlist of tracks you’ve discovered and your followers will be notified so they can follow it. If you were the first to swipe up on a song that ended up topping the global chart, other users will see that you were the first to discover it.
With Melobee, you can become a global curator, influencer and tastemaker.
Melobee empowers independent musicians to get heard.
When you upload your music, you can submit one track to be put onto The Discover, where our unique algorithms match up your track with listeners around the world who’ve chosen to hear music in your genre.
Tracks on The Discover rise or fall in the charts based on listeners swiping them up or down. Every new track placed on The Discover gets an equal number of listens, and listeners are played new tracks at random, based on their genre preference. Listeners can only vote once for each track they hear, and only for tracks that are on The Discover, which ensures a fair voting system.
It liberates artists from having to chase a record deal, because they’ll gain visibility based on listeners swiping them up charts. This creates a level playing field for artists and means that our charts are uncorrupted: They are based on listener swipes only, which enables artists to succeed without money, PR or a record label.
When artists upload their music to Melobee, they are confirming that they own and have rights over the content they are uploading. Artists can delete all their content, as well as their accounts on Melobee, anytime.
Watch our Head Of Music explain Melobee for Artists: https://youtu.be/8Y8l-E6UR1Y
Make sure you check out our full Company Presentation here, and download it from Dropbox so that the video and other links are clickable:
What have we done so far?
We launched a Beta version of our iOS, Android and Web platforms in late September 2017 and since then, without any marketing activities, we’ve grown into a community of 12.000 artists from more than 100 countries.
What we are doing now?
Right now we’re working towards for the next step in user acquisition phase — listeners. We’re developing our product with listener-focused features that will ensure high engagement, retention and of course, organic growth of the user base.
Where we are going?
Here’s what our tech flight path and development plan looks like over the following months:
April - September
Up until September we’ll be focusing on two key areas:
- Developing, streamlining and strengthening our platform for massive global growth in 2018.
- Simplify the platform as much as possible. We want to focus on our core – music discovery - and make it easier for users to understand what Melobee is. For example, our main menu is currently comprised of Wall, Charts, Discover, Search, Profile, but we will be simplifying it to just 3 key features: Feed, Discover, and Charts.
- Make the platform hyper-connected to ensure rapid organic growth. Melobee already connects artists directly with listeners. We will now expand on this so that people can follow playlists, and be able to see on their feeds the music that listeners they have chosen to follow have swiped up on. Users will also be able to share Playlists and Profiles more easily throughout the platform.
- Build self-gratification features for the listeners to ensure engagement and retention. This will be achieved through an improved and personalised sharing system, as well as providing users with the ability to create a customised profile so that they can build their musical identity on the Melobee platform.
- Add a communication system to boost engagement and community growth.
- Improve the look & feel of all our digital content so that it speaks a clear language.
- Strengthen the filtering system for content going into our discover feature to ensure quality content for the listener.
- Set up all data points and tracking systems to ensure lean management and optimisation of our KPIs throughout marketing and product.
- Filling our pool of quality independent artists on the platform through a global team of highly connected people in the underground music scene, whom we call Melobee ambassadors.
September and beyond (2018)
- Add gamification and tweening features to boost user retention.
- Add statistics features to ensure more engagement, specially from artists but also listeners, e.g. so they know which songs they were the first to swipe up, or what positions in the charts the songs they swiped up on are.
- Engage in marketing activities test and boost.
- Focus on global growth.
- Start implementing our monetisation strategy, and develop key features for it on the platform i.e. Live Streams feature where artists with Premium Subscriptions will be able to live stream directly to their fans and get virtually tipped by them.
Make sure you check out all the attached PDFs to see our detailed execution plans for 2018.
Behind The Scenes
Check out the latest episode of our 'In Motion' vlog where we document building Melobee from the ground up: https://youtu.be/tgdtKYq-npE
Our business & market situation
We are in the music and tech business.
The music industry is changing. Big labels used to be the kingmakers, but independent artists are taking back control, and Melobee will be at the forefront of this revolution. For the first time in history, our unique algorithm guarantees fair play for all artists to reach the top, creating uncorrupted charts that reflect what people want to hear, not what they are told to listen to.
“Music consumption is exploding worldwide. Global users are highly engaged with music.” - Frances Moore (CEO, IFPI) Global Music Report 2017
- Music is a growth industry. After two decades of decline, the music industry is growing again. 2015/16 witnessed several key milestones for the global recorded music industry:
- Measurable revenue growth globally.
- Increase in consumption of music worldwide.
- Digital revenues overtaking income from physical formats for the first time.
“In 2016, global recorded music revenues totalled US$15.7 billion. They rose by 5.9% on 2015, improving on the previous year’s growth of 3.6% and marking the largest growth the industry has seen since 1997. Digital revenues grew by 17.7% to US$7.8 billion, driven by a sharp 60.4% growth in streaming revenue – the largest growth in eight years. Streaming now makes up the majority (59%) of digital revenues. For the first time, digital revenues make up 50% of the share of total recorded music industry revenues.” (Global Music Report 2017).
Streaming is giving the industry a huge kickback, and the growth of mobile usage around the world means long-term growth. This growth will mostly come from the increase in demand in emerging markets.
It’s expected that global recorded music revenues will grow to US$19.2 billion by 2020. Of which digital revenues will make up more than 90% of total revenues. (IFPI Global Music Report 2017)
THIS IS WHAT MUSIC STREAMING LOOKS LIKE TODAY
Video streaming of music
Video streaming of music is huge, and it's growing. When it comes to music, video streaming is bigger than audio streaming. Video streaming makes up 55% of on-demand music streaming time, with 46% of that total being on YouTube. User upload video streaming services comprise the world’s largest on-demand music audience, estimated at more than 1.2 billion users." Global Music Report 2017
Audio streaming of music
In contrast, there is a much smaller user base of 212 million users of audio subscription services (both paid and ad-supported). Here are some key numbers:
Market share: In Q4 2016 Spotify’s subscriber market share was 35% and it had $2,766 million in retail revenue. Apple Music was second with 15.6% market share and it had $912 million in retail revenue. Other platforms include (in order of biggest to smallest market share): Amazon, QQ Music, MelON, Deezer, Napster, Pandora and others.
The US is the largest music subscription market, which Spotify leads with 38% subscriber market share. The UK is Europe’s largest streaming market, which Spotify also leads. China’s subscriber base is the second largest globally, but it ranks just 13th in revenue terms. Japan is the world’s third largest subscription market, in which Amazon has the largest subscriber market share. Brazil is Latin America’s largest music subscription market (Midias Streaming Services market shares report).
Live video streaming
The video streaming market is estimated to grow to US$70 billion by 2021 because of the rising usage of online streaming (Source).
This is what internet and mobile audiences expect from live video:
- 87% would prefer to watch video online if it meant more behind-the-scenes and original content
- 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts
- 81% watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015
- 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog
- 67% of audiences who watched a livestream purchased a ticket to a similar event
- 43% of all watched live video content is made up of concerts and festivals
Current streaming services all offer the same thing. As Jimmy Iovine (founder of Interscope Records and Beats Electronics) says, "Streaming services are too similar. They are all charging $9.99 and everyone has the same music. And it's really nice. You get whatever song you want, you get your playlists - but there's got to be more interaction between the artist and the audience. Sooner or later, something's got to give. Netflix [is] spending $6bn (£4.2bn) a year on original content. They have a unique catalogue and they charge you $10.99. On streaming sites, however, the labels want you to have the same music. So there’s a real rub there. Sooner or later something’s going to give.”
Melobee in the Industry
We position our company in music discovery. We want to be the go-to platform for listeners around the world to discover the best new music from a huge variety of genres and countries, and the go-to platform for independent artists to launch their music, build their following and grow their careers.
We believe that Melobee is uniquely placed in the music streaming industry, giving us advantages over other competitors. Our platform is artist-driven, supports audio and video formats, and enables artists to connect directly with their listeners in multiple ways. We give listeners the chance to become influencers, curators and tastemakers.
Crucially, our emphasis on global, niche and underground genres differentiates us from the rest. 90% of global music content doesn’t get a chance to be heard on the major streaming platforms (source). On Melobee it will, and all of that content gets curated by Melobee users through our Discover feature, which means we’ll be able to spot the best new artists before any other platform. We will go on to create exclusive high-quality original content with the most promising artists on our app, which will allow us to further engage our users.
The new wave
We believe the next big evolution in music streaming will be led by platforms that:
- Enable artists to connect directly with their fans and to have complete autonomy over their career.
- Collaborate with artists to create original content.
- Change the way listeners interact with music.
We intend to be a disruptor in the music industry and believe that Melobee has the potential to be a revolution. Artists are waking up to the fact that they don’t need labels. They don’t need to sell the rights to their music. What they need is a platform that enables them to release their own music, reach their fans and monetise on their own terms.
“An ecosystem that enables an artist-to-fan direct connection will be the next breakthrough in the music industry.” — Mats Wahlström, founder of Melobee Music.
We are now developing Live Stream technology on Melobee, connecting artists to listeners - live. As a listener, you'll be able to watch your favourite artists produce a new track, shoot a new music video or spontaneously perform on a rooftop - live on your phone! We provide a gateway for artists to perform and interact directly with their fans, and enable them to actually monetise from it.
Our current web platform and mobile apps are in Public Beta and can be accessed through the App Store, Google Play Store and on melobeemusic.com.
Business Model - from 2019
Income Stream 1
VIRTUAL TIPPING: Tipping on Live Streams
The most promising artists on our app will be eligible to join our Gold & Platinum Partner Programs and get access to unique income streams — directly from fans.
Artists who are part of the Partner Programs will be able to add a tipping function to their live streams and monetise by getting virtually tipped by their viewers.
Artists will either be invited or have the option to apply to join our Partner Programs, and it’s completely free to be a Partnered Artist.
Users can purchase Melobee Coins to tip and cheer their favourite artists, out of which Melobee will charge a 12-20% commission — depending on the amount of coins purchased.
Gold & Platinum Partner Programs in detail:
- Gold Partner Program (Tipping): Artists in the Gold Program will be able to add a tipping function to their live streams to get virtually tipped by their viewers.
- Platinum Partner Program (Tipping + Subscriptions): Artists in the Platinum Program can add a tipping function to their live streams to get virtually tipped by their viewers. They can also set up a monthly subscription plan for their fans to access exclusive content and special perks, which you can see in our Income Stream 2.
Income Stream 2
ARTISTS’ SUBSCRIPTIONS: 50% fee from all revenues of Platinum Artists’ Subscriptions
Artists who are part of our ‘Platinum Partner Program’ will be able to set up a monthly subscription plan for their most passionate fans to access exclusive content and other special perks, starting at $1.99/month.
Melobee will monetise by sharing all revenues from our Platinum Artists’ subscriptions.
Artists in the Platinum Program will also be eligible to create Original Content with Melobee. Which leads us to the next phase of our Income Streams.
We will start producing Original Content with the most promising artists on our app:
ORIGINAL CONTENT (Original Content produced by Melobee): Investing in the future
The most promising artists on our app, those in the Platinum Partner Program, will be eligible to get access to a full creative team, as well as financial, marketing and distribution support from music experts in order to create original content, elevate them and further their career.
We have an in-house team and resources within music and creative as well as in finance and marketing, enabling us to produce this high-quality original content in collaboration with artists.
ORIGINAL CONTENT LIVE: The future is now
We will launch Live Melobee Originals: Exclusive live-streamed original content produced by Melobee in collaboration with the most promising artists on the app.
We will also work with established & influential acts within the independent music scene to create unique live-streamed content available exclusively for our users.
The benefits of this will be threefold: It will inspire artists currently on the platform, grow our user-base by attracting the fans of established acts, and increase the number of Listener Premium Subscriptions, since people will want to access this high-quality content.
Income Stream 3
LISTENER SUBSCRIPTIONS: $1.99/month
Listeners want to:
- Be the hype, be seen, and have influence.
- Get a more holistic and personalised music experience.
- Get great and unique content.
For Listeners, having a Premium Account empowers them to control their experience, and gives them access to exclusive high-quality content before anyone else.
With a Listener Free Account you can:
- Listen to music.
- Become an influencer, curator and tastemaker.
- Use the Discover to swipe Artists up and down the charts.
- Make, share and follow playlists.
- Find out what your friends have been discovering.
- Show your friends what you’ve been discovering.
With a Listener Premium Account you can also:
- Access unique content: Originals Content and Original Content Live.
- Filter your experience in the following ways:
- Filter the Discover i.e. only get songs with X number of swipes up.
- Control what you listen to (with granular filters e.g. sub-genres, or layered filters e.g. intersections between genres and specific locations).
- Filter your Feed personally:
- Melobee figures out what you want based on machine learning.
- You have more control and are able to remove stuff Melobee thinks you might like - but in fact you dislike.
- Share different information to different groups, as you wish.
- Have a unique, specially curated Melobee account - get a weekly playlist of music we think you’ll like.
- Listen offline when you’re off the grid.
- Find out who your ‘Melobee soulmate’ is, i.e. the user on Melobee with the most similar music taste to you (swipes up, playlisted tracks, artists you follow). The social connections on Melobee go much further than just you and your existing circle of friends.
- Exclusive access to 'Guest Playlists' - we will work with high-profile Artists and influencers to create private Melobee Listener accounts, where they make a Guest Playlist of what they’ve discovered on Melobee (tracks they love), available for a limited amount of time, and ONLY accessible to listeners with Premium Accounts.
Our competitive advantages are:
Algorithm: Our algorithm is solely designed to give all artists a real and fair shot at success. You don’t need to be ‘reposted’, ‘playlisted’ or ‘chanced upon’ to be heard. Your music is guaranteed to be listened to. Artists on Melobee won’t be competing with huge major label acts, and won’t be at all disadvantaged by not having a label, network or money behind them. Our charts start with a level playing field, and represent only what the listeners love, giving all artists an equal chance to break through.
Timing: The maturity of the digital music industry and adaptiveness to mobile usage is great timing for Melobee. We have the potential to be a pioneer in the discovery of independent music. Artists are waking up to the fact that they don’t need labels to be a big deal. Listeners want more variety and more choice.
Ease of use: Simplicity is at the core of everything we do. Even though our platform is complicated back-end, we always try to cut steps for our users to get to do what they want with less effort. We are working towards a seamless onboarding, a subtle retention strategy as soon as they onboard and providing engaging features for the user to use Melobee on a daily basis as their preferred music platform.
Focus Markets: We predict that Melobee will grow at a particularly fast rate in countries where music consumption is predominantly through YouTube: Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and the United States. As a second wave, we will focus on countries like Ghana, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Philippines and the Caribbean. These are huge music markets where there is great demand and potential for a platform like Melobee.
Design and Brand: This is core to our business given the market we are in and the positioning we have. Artists create worlds that speak a strong visual language, and Melobee's look and feel aims to reflect that. Our design is very important to us and is something we are continually developing.
Network: Our network is broad and deep. All of us in the team, together with our Board Members - comprised of a hand-picked group of globally successful people - are highly connected within business, music, media and finance.
Curation: Our algorithms ensure quality content, since music that is regularly swiped down will quickly disappear. On the flip side, music that is regularly swiped up gets exposed to more listeners in a snowball effect. As a result, we have the world’s only uncorrupted charts, where tracks rise and fall based on listener preference alone.
Recommendation: Through data points and machine learning throughout our platforms, our product is highly intuitive and ensures the best experience for our listeners. It also lets the listener choose what genres they want to discover and listen to, and learns their taste in music. This means our product is able to recommend the songs that they are most likely to swipe up. We believe that recommendation engines will become a core differentiator for streaming services.
Team: We are always striving to recruit the best people. Our current team are not only experienced in their fields, but also work around the clock to make Melobee happen.
We are digital. That’s why we will build sophisticated digital experiences to grow our user base. Our strategic foundation is based on The 3 C’s: Content, Community, Commerce. Commerce requires inspiration; Inspiration requires content; Content requires community. We need to create great Content to inspire and be discovered. We need to grow our Community in order to cement who we are and what we stand for. We need our Community to recommend us in order for both of these things to evolve into Commerce.
We have creative, strategy, media buying and data analysis all under one roof, and are always striving to create experiences that engage, inspire and re-inspire with every return visit.
We day-trade consumer attention, focusing on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube that command the attention of our specific customers, whom we captivate with the highly targeted videos and content we develop.
Our marketing funnel is built upon Awareness, Engagement, Commitment. We will make people aware through our digital campaigns and use data feedback to gauge interest. We will target more content at those who show interest, and if they engage, we will target even more content for them to then commit and become a part of our Community.
Crucially, we do not forget about the importance of grassroots movements and the impact of early physical hustle. That is why at the end of this marketing plan we will discuss all our execution strategies for both digital and physical marketing.
Our major plan is to grow strong brand awareness and spark widespread attention to make people feel aligned with our brand identity and join our Community.
Melobee was founded by Swedish serial entrepreneur Mats Wahlström, and is led by a young team of digital professionals. We have a small team of developers based in Stockholm, and team members in London, Berlin, Barcelona and LA. We’ve also gathered a globally experienced Board of Directors, and world-class advisors and investors who cover the areas of Music, Finance, Business and Legal.
Serial entrepreneur. Mats has spent his whole life building companies, with two hugely successful exits. Founder of lifestyle brand Purobeach, Spirit of the Nomad, and now Melobee. Mats is also Melobee’s biggest shareholder.https://www.linkedin.com/in/mats-wahlstrom-885835127/
CEO & Managing Director
Entrepreneur and the driving force behind Melobee. Lived and worked in 4 continents with tech companies within finance and education.
BSc. Business, Language and Culture at CBS. Based in Stockholm.https://www.linkedin.com/in/cederlundedward/
The most notorious Nintendo gamer in Sweden. He’s built the Melobee platform from the ground up and is currently leading a team of 2 other developers. Based in Stockholm.https://www.linkedin.com/in/stan64/
Head of Music
Multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer. Having worked with urban artists like Rihanna, Akon, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber. Lukas is a force in music with a vast network and experience in the industry. Based in Stockholm.https://www.linkedin.com/in/lukas-nathanson-760185152/
Founded and lead digital marketing agency soulpepper in Canada. His analytical thinking and marketing knowledge has led Mehran to help grow tech businesses in 3 continents. Based in Berlin.https://www.linkedin.com/in/najafimehran/
Flavia's experience lies in building, launching and growing web products worldwide. She has worked in Silicon Valley and Europe with bootstrapped/funded startups, as well as the biggest brands and agencies on Earth. She is a UC Berkeley (Haas School of Business) graduate in Product Management, certified in Gamification systems, and has years of experience designing and launching products and growth strategies. Based in Barcelona.https://www.linkedin.com/in/flavianeves/
Social Media Manager
After graduating from the University of Cambridge Kyla worked in the music industry as a writer and performer for nearly ten years, both within a major label and in partnership with independents, giving her a unique insight into both sides of the industry. She has managed social media accounts for herself and other artists and has experience in music PR and copywriting. Based in London.https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyla-bowen-84b24415a/
Ruth not only knows the UK music industry inside out but also has experience working in private equity. She is a DJ in duo Four Tit and you can find her on Melobee under her band-name JAGARA. She manages the community, on-boards artists and promotes Melobee in London.https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruth-edmondson-1777392b/
Board member, Investor
Tech whizz and developer of various Scandinavian streaming sites. Founder of ISPY Group AB. Investor & Board Member.https://www.linkedin.com/in/max-flach-67527618/
Board member, Investor
Swedish iconic music producer and composer having worked with Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and Katy Perry, among others. Investor & Board Member.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Carlsson
Board member, Investor
Head of investment biotech at ABG Sundal Collier with vast experience advising disruptive tech startups. Investor & Board Member.https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastian-alexanderson-30930514/
Board member, Investor
Swedish serial entrepreneur and icon. Founder of WeSC, Keyflow and Utopia Music Group. Investor & Board Member.https://www.linkedin.com/in/greger-hagelin-7b93363/
Senior Advisor, Investor
Swedish Lawyer, Head of North Law in Stockholm. Investor & Senior Advisor.https://www.linkedin.com/in/niklas-bergman-4b83a050/