SMS-based Music Download Service Music2Text Launches in UK (VIDEO)
Seems like every day brings with it a new digital service for labels, managers, artists and marketers to promote music and be heard above the noise. Some will distinguish themselves and become the next Topspin or Soundcloud, others will be forgotten almost as soon as they are announced. One new service that looks very promising is Music2Text, the winner of Best Pitch at Digital Shoreditch’s Capital Day and 2Pears’ Music Techpitch 4.5 event. In fact, Music2Text has already been testing its product with music marketing specialists Absolute and Essential over the past year. The company officially launches Thursday July 19, and we met with CEO Denver Thomas – who has 25 years of international experience within the music and entertainment industries – for a personal tour, including video.
TMV: What is Music2Text?
DT: Music2Text is a self-releasing mobile platform that allows record labels & artists to sell tracks direct to fans with SMS and keep 100% of all sales they make.
TMV: What service does it offer and to whom?
DT: Music2text has been purpose built for the music industry to provide B2B mobile services to labels, producers, managers, self releasing artists and unsigned musicians. Music2text is your mobile distributor, retailer, marketing and royalty reporting partner; our PRS compliant solution delivers single tracks and ringtones via SMS over 3G networks.
TMV: What is unique about your product?
DT: We provide free distribution if tracks are given away to fans, OR ‘pre pay’ £20 per track upload and keep 100% net of sales. ISRC/UPC codes are free. Try Music2text free to your mobile phone – text Mobile to 60444 (UK only). A new mobile music store is auto generated with every upload of a single track or ringtone. Fans text SONG NAME of the artist to buy or to receive free tracks. Fans access the mobile music store from the SMS message to download content. No sales are made from the mobile music store – artists make their money when fans text SONG NAME. Rights holders can set their own retail price when they upload tracks, and SMS sales are PRS compliant. Artists keep 100% net of sales and the SMS transaction is auto billed to the consumer mobile phone. Fans can also stream, download and email tracks and follow the artist via Facebook/Twitter. The mobile music store is not an app; its HTML5 ready, IOS friendly & compatible with all smart devices that receive the mobile web. Mobile stores are bespoke to the artist & they have no set up costs, hidden fees or subscription charges. 100% transparent service to artists and fans – B2C Terms and conditions explain consumer rights.
TMV: What market problem does Music2text solve?
DT: There is no mobile distribution standard for the music industry and the current delivery options are via aggregator to music stores on mobile networks or expensive to run app strategies.
Digital and mobile distribution function in opposite directions, but industry merges both into the same delivery jar. Online consumer engagement via PC is measured in minutes but mobile engagement on smart devices happens in seconds – that’s the monetisation window an artist has to convert sales from fans. Music2text provides mobile fans with fast and immediate access to music with a single click from an SMS message. The artists bespoke mobile music store opens immediately, and tracks can then be downloaded in an instant.
Music2text provides record labels, self releasing artists and unsigned musicians with a transparent B2B turnkey solution, under client control from PC that resolves missing gaps in mobile distribution, marketing and the royalty reporting chain of recorded music.
TMV: What is the business model of Music2Text?
- Pre-paid charge for monetised single track and ringtones [£20 per upload]
- Renewal of a mobile keyword [£20]
- SMS marketing messages [Delivery fee of £0.05 per SMS]
TMV: What is the current status of the service and is it available to customers now?
DT: Music2text is currently alive and kicking and is serving the UK music market.
TMV: What was the genesis of the business idea?
DT: Back in the 1990’s when I was an artist I became disillusioned with the music industry as I was subjected to draconian management contracts that severely restricted the future of my then band. Put simply the deals we were offered were unsustainable and as we approached the digital age, I felt compelled to start a B2B delivery platform to help other musicians who had fallen into the same trap from major labels and industry players.
TMV: You recently won “Best Pitch” at Digital Shoreditch Capital Day, as well as the Music Techpitch 4.5 event in March. Why do you think your company won out over your competitors?
DT: The CEO and the Music2text team worked day/night and also in the weeks leading up to the event to be over prepared, especially with the elevator pitch that was delivered to the large B2B audience. Our presentation covered all bases and we left no stone unturned and after years of pitching I guess all of that practice finally paid off.
TMV: Have you been successful at obtaining funding thus far? If yes, what advice would you give to other start-ups who are approaching funders and investors?
DT: We have been successful with private overseas funding; however in the years 2008/9 leading up to 2010 saw Music2text suffer at the hands of the global banking contraction. We survived that because of the tenacity of the CEO who has relentlessly pursued his goal that his company could develop what is now being hailed as the potential new distribution standard for mobile.
My advice is to never ever give up and to always keep moving forward…never allow others to catch up to your dream. One is always only two feet away from gold if you never give up and pursue your dreams because you believe in what you are doing. Then, as one progresses, you will convince others to join you.
TMV: What is your ultimate goal for the company?
DT: For Music2text to become the global distribution standard for mobile music industry.