My Startup: Audoo
Audoo is aiming to revolutionise the fair distribution of music royalties through leveraging music recognition technology to be able to accurately monitor the music played in commercial spaces.
The music industry generates some £35 billion globally, but artists are currently only paid 12% of the revenue generated. The prevalence of missing royalties plays a significant part in this.
The founder of Audoo believes he has the answer. It is a plug-in cloud-based device is able to accurately capture what music is being played, before live streaming this data back to a performance royalty organisation. The platform receives the recordings and compares the music to its database of more than 20 million songs, ensuring that artists get paid properly.
Founder: Ryan Edwards
Founded: August 2018
We spoke to the founder to find out more...
Why did you start Audoo?
I’ve spent the majority of my career in senior commercial roles in finance and technology companies, such a Bink (a fintech start-up partially owned by Barclays), Visa Europe, Grapple and Dixons Carphone. Previous to this, I had a short career as a musician in a band called The Lines. In 2007 we had a UK top 10 hit, with our song ‘Domino Effect’.
In 2016 I was shopping in a popular department store when I heard the song being played across the shop. At the time I teased my wife that I wouldn’t be paid much for the broadcast, but after checking my royalty account, I was surprised to see that actually, I hadn’t been paid for it at all.
After carrying out some research, I found that historically, Performance Rights Organisations (PROs) have paid royalties from estimations based on popular radio play and manual data-entry. As a result, artists and composers, just like myself, miss out.
Audoo solves this, by using technology to provide accurate data on what music is being played, ensuring that all musicians are paid properly.
Tell us more about how it works?
Audoo’s technology uses both hardware and software to track the music being played in a venue in real time. This allows PROs to digitise and streamline their collection processes, resulting in more accurate and fair royalty distribution.
Fitting into a common plug, our solution will sit discretely in commercial operations such as shops, restaurants, gyms and bars taking a digital imprint of the music played. This data is then analysed for PROs who ensure artists, composers and publishers are compensated fairly and accurately, every time their music is played.
The combination of the hardware and software that Audoo has created is unique to the market.
What exciting updates have happened recently?
Although Audoo was founded in August 2018 we didn’t really kick things off until earlier this year. We’ve spent the past few months scaling the team in the form of, employees, a PR partner (PHA Associates) and our Advisory Board. Appointments to the Advisory Board include:
Nigel Elderton – PRS for Music Chairman and European MD of Peer Music
Chris Herbert – Talent Manager & creator of: Spice Girls, Bros, B*Witched, Hear‘say
Rick Riccobono – Ex-VP of BMI and current Advisor to AMRA
As well as the direct teams that we work with, we have also formed a number of exciting partnerships. We were recently accepted onto the Mayors International Business Programme, and one other incubation programme with a large music label and studio, which is to be announced soon, so stay tuned!
What are your aims for the next year?
Next year we will be piloting the technology across a number of different retail environments. We will be using the results of the pilot to accelerate conversations that we are already having with other territories, in order to bring Audoo to new markets.
What’s been the hardest thing about getting Audoo off the ground?
I’m sure most other founders would agree, but for me the hardest challenge has been being able to let go and switch off. When you start your own company, you run at a million miles per hour and want to manage everything yourself. I have to remind myself to take some downtime, refresh my mind and then go again. I’m fortunate that I have a great team around me that I can rely on to drive Audoo’s mission… even if I do send the odd email at 3am when I’m looking after my newborn daughter!
Why should more musicians be using Audoo?
Quite simply, if they don’t, they won’t get paid their dues. It’s a tough gig being an artist or composer and without Audoo they won’t be able to afford to carry on doing what they love, making music. I always like to say, if we don’t do this, my daughters’ favorite song might never be written.