Featuring.me: Because Musicians Need To Make Money, Too

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about a startup that is innovating the booking industry. Today we’re featuring another music industry startup called featuring.me.

There’s no doubt that musicians–and artists across all disciplines–can often struggle to make money on their art. As great as the Internet is, it has also paved the way for expectations of free music, videos, and articles. However, if we continue to not pay artists for their art, we’ll soon find that we have no art to consume.

That’s why startups like featuring.me are great news. Maybe they’ll work. Maybe they won’t. But, eventually we’ll find a model that allows to creators to make art without always sacrificing those little comforts, like food and shelter.

Check out our Q&A with featuring.me below:

featuring.me

What is your startup called?

Featuring.Me

What does your company do?

Featuring.Me is a new online platform for interactive, customizable and adaptive music. At its most basic, fans can customize elements of their favorite artists music. Lyrics, melodies, stories, solos etc.; whatever means the most to them. Fully realized, Featuring.Me represents an entirely new art form – a paradigm shift that will change the way we create, experience, enjoy and think of music.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

Featuring.Me is co-founded by Gregory Green and Felix Sedal. Greg has extensive experience in business, marketing and IT, and is a guru of “getting things done”. Felix is an independent musician and producer who moonlights as a medical doctor.

What’s the story of the idea? Where did it come from?

Featuring.Me was created after Felix and Greg serendipitously found themselves living together in Melbourne, Australia. Felix was in the midst of an artistic odyssey, exploring the notion of creating music that exists in a multitude of forms. Greg was completing his MBA at the University of Melbourne, studying the emerging wave of mass customization, and looking out for the right idea to nourish his entrepreneurial ambitions. One night, over a few drinks, Felix and Greg exchanged their respective visions of the future of art and business. From this, Featuring.Me was born.

Where are you based, and what’s the startup scene like there?

We were founded in Melbourne, Australia, and are now considering where the US home should be, either Nashville or Austin. Both would be fine choices, the hardest part is choosing!  Both have great things going for them.  With Nashville, there’s a great convergence of entrepreneurs, investors and visionaries, all happening within a relaxed and down-to-earth culture. Austin is the weird little city that is easy to love, has the creativity and technology that we are looking to foster.  So is it to be Music City, USA or the Live Music Capital of the US?  Watch this space for more!

What problem do you solve?

Featuring.Me is a vision of a sustainable music ecosystem and economy. It seeks to further the artistic relevance of music (to fans and artists alike) whilst creating viable new financial opportunities for all players in the industry. The problems we solve are myriad; how to offer extra value to consumers whilst ensuring that artists are paid fairly for their work, how to engage the growing number of fans looking for deeper involvement and interaction with the music and art they love, how to evolve the musical art form and business model in a way which is positive for all parts of the industry, how to allow artists to retain control of their vision within the emerging paradigm of mass collaboration, and how to create a true model of mass customization in music.

Why now?

The technology is ready, artists are ready, and fans are ready.  The music industry could do with a revitalization of the value of music.  An alternative to the commoditization of music as a meaningful art form.  Now is the perfect time for our platform where an artists fans are able to more deeply engage with the artists they love and the artists can better sustain themselves by spending more time on what they are good at, creating music.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

The platform is up and working, with a number of patents around the technology. We are taking in revenue and onboarding artists.  We are currently private beta testing the fourth iteration of Featuring.Me with select artists and their fans. There is a growing core team of eight people working on the project, partnerships with several production houses and independent record labels, numerous artist signed on as supporters and content creators, and an increasing network of supporters within the music and business communities, in both Nashville and Austin.

What are your next milestones?

Always getting the next artist, the next studio or the next label on board! We are considering funding options, self funding has its benefits, as does finding good capital partners.  Our aim is for a broader invite only beta launch of the platform mid next year, with a preview showing at South By South West in March.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

http://about.featuring.me or @featuringmeteam

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