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Early blockchain music startup Jaak has shut down


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British startup Jaak was part of the first wave of firms trying to put blockchain technology to use in the music industry. It was part of the first Techstars Music accelerator in 2017, and launched a pilot with partners including WMG, Warner/Chappell, BMG and Global Music Rights the following year.

Founder and CEO Vaughn McKenzie-Landell was also part of the Music & Tech Springboard series of videos we produced with the BPI last year. However, the company has now shut down, with McKenzie-Landell explaining why in a series of tweets yesterday.

“6 years is a long time in startups, especially pre-revenue ones, and, ultimately, we failed to secure the funding required to get to market. Markets change and we didn’t change quickly enough,” he wrote. “I have a Notion full of painful lessons about why we failed but I’ll save those for another day. tl;dr: users > partners, no premature scaling.”

He also offered an optimistic take on the current developments around blockchain, crypto and music. “NFTs are now the gateway drug of choice for artists, musicians, and gamers who are finally convinced that it’s worth downloading Metamask, buying some ETH, and learning to sign their first transaction. Having watched industry interest in these ideas and concepts dwindle so rapidly through 2018 and 2019, it finally feels like we’re making real progress again.”

Stuart Dredge

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