The BPI, the association of UK independent and major record labels, in partnership with knowledge and skills company Music Ally today announces the next edition of The Music & Tech Springboard Programme – the initiative launched in May 2020 with the key aim of bringing the music community and tech startups closer together.
Comprising a free series of video episodes (see Notes for links to the first eight launch episodes from May 2020) and complimentary BPI membership – now extended to the end of 2021 and with new applications from eligible companies in the UK and overseas welcome – the programme sets out to demystify the industry for anyone passionate about innovating in music, whether they’re from existing startups or larger tech companies or new founders who believe they have a great idea but aren’t quite sure where to start.
Developed to make the music industry more accessible to talented innovators who at times feel unable to navigate its complexities, the series focuses on the expertise and personal experiences of the contributors, as they share their thoughts on how tech innovators can best approach and work with the music industry. The videos include lots of practical tips and advice on how to make the most of these relationships.
The video series, which has already attracted thousands of views, acts as a key learning resource for all those that occupy the expansive and dynamic space increasingly shared by music companies and tech startups. To date there have been video presentations from record labels, distributors, accelerators, incubators, law firms, advisors and successful tech startups – with an introductory video by BPI CEO Geoff Taylor.
Now the BPI Music & Tech Springboard Programme is returning with four brand new episodes, which, based on feedback from members who are keen to learn much more about the workings of record labels, mainly focus on the label landscape. They are all available to watch here.
Episode 1: The Labels Return
This lead episode in the new series sees a return of major label contributors from the first series instalment to give their perspective on the changes they’ve witnessed in the past 18 months and the impact these are having on their business. They also look at future tech and the transformative impact this is likely to have, while they respond to questions submitted by startups from the BPI and Music Ally communities following the first series of videos, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to this programme.
- Glenn Cooper – SVP Audience Development & Digital Strategy, Universal Music UK
- Scott Cohen – Chief Innovation Officer, Warner Music Group
- Victoria Cruz – Senior Manager, Global Digital Business Development, Sony Music Entertainment
Episode 2: Focus on Classical
The second video takes a close look at the classical sector, with its unique challenges and opportunities. Different but complementary perspectives come from iconic major label imprint Decca, pioneering indie label Signum and the innovating LSO Live, the record label arm of the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Becky Lees – Head of LSO Live, London Symphony Orchestra
- Steve Long – Founder & Managing Director, Signum Records
- Tom Lewis – Co-Managing Director, Decca, Universal Music UK
The third label video focuses on the vibrant independent and grassroots scene. It features digital music rights acquirer, publisher and distributor One Media IP alongside a video from Motive Unknown, the acclaimed agency that works with independent labels such as Partisan Records, Lex Records, Mexican Summer and more. We also hear from successful self-releasing artist and live-streamer Emma McGann.
- Alice Dyson – Chief Operating Officer, One Media IP
- Darren Hemmings – Founder & Managing Director, Motive Unknown
- Emma McGann – Self-Releasing Artist & Livestreamer
Episode 4: Funding
Finally, for this last video instalment, we have listened to our community by including advice on fundraising. Two Venture Capital firms, an angel investor and a representative from the UK Government-backed Innovate UK have been invited to highlight the opportunities in the funding space.
- Gina King – Partner, SVP, Operations + Community, Supernode Global
- Goran Andersson – Angel Investor
- Nico Albanese – Senior Associate, Ascension Ventures
- Tom Fiddian – Head of AI & Data Economy Programmes, Innovate UK, UKRI
The free BPI membership offered to startups as part of the Music & Tech Springboard Programme has been extended to the end of 2021. To date the BPI has welcomed 68 startups to its community from all over the world (UK, US, Canada, Singapore, France, Germany, Spain, Israel & Finland), who have had free access to all its services and resources, from market intelligence to training courses and networking events. To qualify, companies must operate in the music and tech space and meet either an age (not older than 5 years) or size (no larger than 20 employees) criterion. For more details, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Music Ally is offering a six-month free subscription to its industry-leading business information service, including a daily news bulletin and regular in-depth reports. The same qualification criteria apply. To take advantage of the offer, all employees of qualifying startups should sign up at https://MusicAlly.lnk.to/StartupSignup.
The BPI has also organised a number of pitch and networking sessions, introducing startups to Springboard collaborators, including speakers from the first video series and others presenting business opportunities to these promising young companies. More exciting events and sessions are in the pipeline, while the Programme has partnered with a number of international initiatives to ensure that it acts as a powerful voice and advocate for innovation in the UK music industry on the global scene.
Casandra Strauss, BPI Director of Innovation and Special Projects, and the originator of the Music & Tech Springboard Programme, said: “The amazing reaction we’ve seen to the launch of the Music & Tech Springboard Programme has been immensely rewarding and encouraging, confirming the need for such a scheme to serve our industry and to help it realise its full potential in strategic partnership with exciting new technologies.
“We are delighted by these new additions to our existing video resource, which we hope members will find hugely useful. The BPI would like to thank our partners Music Ally and all the contributors for their time, commitment and expertise, and we look forward to new participants joining and taking up BPI membership, and subsequently connecting with our community to further drive partnerships.”
Paul Brindley, CEO and Co-founder Music Ally, said: “We were delighted to be asked by the BPI to collaborate on a new series of videos for the Springboard programme. Once again there’s so much valuable insight which can help music startups save time and money in navigating this complex business. If anything, it seems the Pandemic has only increased interest in this area. So we urge anyone running or thinking of setting up a startup that deals with music, however tangentially, to take full advantage of these resources.”
Tersha Willis, Co-founder Terrible* and a BPI Music & Tech Springboard Member, said: “The Music Industry is unique in how it works in that even though it is often at the heart of innovation in technology, it must fit into the music ecosystem and work collaboratively with it on many levels. The normal startup rules of disruption do not apply and the path to success in music is partnership, which the program really helps forge by making introductions, providing advice, and connecting all the dots along the way – on both industry and startup side.
“The BPI Music & Tech Springboard Programme has been an invaluable resource to us as a startup in the industry, helping to bring us into the ecosystem and helping us understand how to navigate it. The programme, benefits, resources and videos that the BPI & Music Ally facilitates have really changed how we tackle the problems we’re addressing and in turn that has changed the way the music industry looks at us.
“If you’re innovating in music, this programme and the resources are essential!”