Ask Yourself: Can You Describe Your Music Startup In One Sentence or Less?

It’s not always true, but ‘simple stupid’ business ideas often have a better chance of attracting consumers, convincing investors, and ultimately, making a pile of cash.

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(1) iTunes

Description: Browse and download millions of songs, play them them on any device.

Result: iTunes is the biggest music retailer today.

(2) YouTube

Description: User-uploaded videos (including music videos).

Result: YouTube is easily the most heavily-trafficked platform for streaming music online, on-demand or otherwise.  In fact, it is several times larger than the next-biggest platform…

(3) Pandora

Description: Recommendation-focused internet radio, built around the artists you like the most.

Result: More than a billion listener hours a month; Pandora is the largest internet radio service and accounts for nearly 8 percent of all radio listening in the US.

(4) Beats by Dre Headphones

Description: Better-quality headphones for more serious, fashion-conscious listeners.

Result: Beats by Dre created an entirely new, serious category of headphone listeners, while moving large masses of users off of white earbuds.

(5) Spotify

Description: Millions of songs streamed on any device, for one low monthly cost.

Result: 6 million subscribers worldwide, potentially multiples of that ahead.  Hundreds of millions of investor dollars. A chance to change the way people listen to – and maybe, discover – music.

(6) Shazam

Description: Identify any piece of music, wherever it’s playing.

Result: 300 million users (as of February), 10 million tags a day, 5 billion tags since inception.  1 out of every 14 paid downloads now comes through Shazam ($300 million a year, or roughly 7 percent of all paid downloads).

(7) Sirius XM Radio

Description: Superior radio, beamed from a satellite for a low monthly cost.

Result: Sirius is by far the largest subscription service in music with 24.4 milion paying subscribers.

(8) BigChampagne

Description: Data-tracking for digital music formats.

Result: Acquisition by Live Nation Entertainment at a valuation approaching $30 million.

(9) Digital Music News

Description: Information and analysis for the music industry community.

Result: You’re important, and your time is valuable.  And this is what you’re reading right now.

(10) SF MusicTech Summit

Description: A simple music conference for tech-focused music startups and companies.

Result: SF MusicTech is now one on the few music conferences actually growing, with a lean, one-day approach and well-targeted audience.

Image by Kevin Dooley, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

7 Responses

  1. jman4346

    All of these entities had serious cash behind their promotional efforts. A brand building “sentence” by itself would do nothing.

    • Jonathan Jaeger

      The point is less that a one-sentence pitch MAKES your business and more that there are too many people chasing ideas and startups that they can’t even describe in layman’s terms to their potential userbase.

  2. Guest

    Maybe a teeny weeney bit self serving to include DMN in this list?

  3. Jack Kelly

    Adva Mobile – Everything the Artist needs to acquire, engage and sell to fans on mobile phones.

  4. Erik P

    Hmmm…let’s see
    Hifidelics – Indie artists can release high quality, collector vinyl without the typical financial risk and burden.
    Yup! =)

  5. earbits

    Commercial-free, streaming music designed to turn listeners into fans and customers of artists.