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Management firm ie:music launches ie:ventures to invest in startups

Yesterday, we reported on the launch of music-making app Endlesss. One of the British startup’s investors is music management company ie:music, through a new arm called ie:ventures. Director Stephen O’Reilly told us more about the new division, and why the company – whose artists include Robbie Williams, Passenger and Ladyhawke – is getting into startup funding.

The new division was established in stealth mode over the last year. “Our core philosophy has always been that the artist and the fan are the two most important parts of the music industry; everybody else and their egos are just the gloop in the middle,” said O’Reilly. “We want to partner with entrepreneurs and technologies that have a shared vision in that. People that create the good gloop.”

ie:ventures isn’t just about investing money in startups: it’s also about partnerships for the company’s own new projects. “We have ‘ventures’ in music tech and other investments in the startup space. We also will be unveiling initiatives we are working on such as artist services, IP creation, education and other areas,” said O’Reilly.

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Music-making app Endlesss officially launches its iOS app

We wrote about music-making app startup (and extra-sibilant scourge of auto-correct systems) Endlesss several times in 2019: for example when the company pitched at and co-won the Midemlab startups contest last June, then when we interviewed CEO Tim Exile the following month.

The company’s app has been available on an invitation-only basis since then, but today sees its official commercial launch for iOS, open to all. The tagline for the app is “multiplayer music” with a focus on its ability to get people creating electronic music together, remotely and over the internet (which right now feels accidentally timely).

We’ve been playing with it for a while, and the app’s ‘loop-by-loop’ method of building songs works well, with a decent balance between being accessible to non-musicians, and powerful for people who already know what they’re doing. The app is free to download, and will make money from a £4.49 monthly subscription offering more ‘soundpacks’ and digital effects.

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Can startup Endlesss become the TikTok of music-making?

“I wonder whether we’re experiencing the death of content. Or rather, the fall of content and the rise of relationships. The value of content as a leanback experience that’s measured in ‘attention’ diminishes, and what increases is the measure of response: replies, interaction, engagement…”

Don’t worry: Tim Exile, the CEO of British music-making-app startup Endlesss, is as uncomfortable with the word ‘content’ as you (hopefully!) and I are.

At one point during Music Ally’s interview with him, we spend five minutes fretting over why we end up saying the word so often, and what might be a better alternative when talking about music, videos, photos, writing and all the other stuff that people are creating in the digital world. Maybe ‘stuff’ is the better word.

Endlesss isn’t a commercial product yet: it began testing its app last year, and remains in beta. However, a buzz is beginning to build around its app, especially with it having been the joint winner (with another music-making app, Jambl) in the ‘creation and education’ category in June’s Midemlab startups contest.

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Midemlab 2019: music creation and education startup pitches

The Midemlab startups contest has become a key part of the annual Midem conference in Cannes. Today, this year’s finalists in four categories are pitching their technology and business models to panels of jurors, as well as the Midem audience.

Music Ally is here – disclosure: we’re a partner for Midemlab, helping to choose the finalists – to report on the pitch sessions, and the ultimate winners. Starting with the morning’s first pitch session: music creation and education startups, judged by Starther / Startup Sesame’s Joanna Kirk; Sony Music’s Olivier Parfait; Music Tech Germany’s Matthias Strobel; and The Orchard’s Colleen Theis.