The basic idea is for an app that will allow musical artists to make money before they have a following, and also allow people to invest in musicians that they like. If the musician does well, both the investor and the artist will be rewarded for it.
The general concept is an app that would allow people to create a profile and upload music either in the form of a music video or just a sound file, in a similar way to how people upload photos and videos to Instagram. Once a profile has been created, you would then be able to view other people’s profiles and the music they have released. You can like your favourite songs or follow your favourite artists, so they will show up in your news feed when they upload new songs. We would generate revenue from adverts either put at the beginning of songs or as you scroll through the app. In the same way as YouTube rewards its top contributors, we would be able to give some of our most successful musicians money as a reward for getting views (or “listens”) on the app. So far so good, but this is where it gets interesting. When creating your profile, you will be given the option to decide what percentage of these potential profits you are willing to put up for sale. Say for example I set up a profile and said that I wanted to keep 90% of my profits and give away 10%. This 10% would then be available to anyone else on the app to buy. So if someone saw my profile and liked my music, they could buy, say, 0.1% of my potential profits for £1. We would take a small commission from this and give the rest to the artist. If I then went on the release a song that got a million views, I would be able to make a substantial amount of money off the app, and 0.1% of that would be going to the person who paid £1. Essentially, the artist is putting up 10% of their shares in the beginning, with the hope of some quick money. The worth of these shares would vary depending on how much popularity the artist has, as the more popular they are, the more they get paid by us and the more the shares make. The shareholders will then be able to sell shares that they own on the app depending on the popularity of the person that the shares relate to.
Overall our app would have two sources of income. Firstly, we would take a small commission, somewhere in the region of 5%, from each transaction made. Secondly, we would keep the remaining advertising revenue after the top artists have been paid. The percentage of the advertising revenue that we give away could be carefully selected to allow further growth of the business.
Soundwave creates a unique network by presenting a very distinctive proposition to three different audiences: Aspiring performers, wannabe Simon Cowells and big advertisers wanting to focus their digital marketing budget on edgy, trend-setting teens.
As a student, I have grown up in an age where social media and smartphones have become necessity in everyday life. People are drawn to the thrill of having followers on Instagram, or having likes on a Facebook post. We are able to be closer than ever before to the lives of celebrities and fame has become an aspiration of all those with access to the internet. Not only this, but websites like YouTube have made this instant fame much more accessible to the general public. For example, after starting his YouTube channel in 2010, Pewdiepie has gained over 61 million subscribers and earned $15 million in 2016 alone according to Forbes magazine. For our generation, fame is just around the corner, and apps like Soundwave are what we need to bring it into our grasp.
My generation, generation Z, ranges from ages 15-25 and is the first generation to grow up with the internet at our fingertips. As a result, we have developed, on the whole, a realistic view of the scale of the outside world and our chances of success within it. Shows like X Factor offer fame and fortune, however, as most of this generation have realised, the chances of winning are minimal. There is the huge possibility that someone with amazing talent will not win, as the prize presented is 'all or nothing'. The Soundwave app will give people the opportunity to be constantly monitored by the public, and rewarded depending on talent alone, with no luck needed. While this will still offer people the chance for large scale fame, it will also give people the chance to experience fame on the small scale before reaching this point, much the same as getting followers on Instagram, or getting likes on Facebook. The artists with the most attention each week can be featured on the front page of the app. This fame will not come solely from investments, as people will be able to follow their favourite artists and like their favourite songs, before committing to an actual transaction. In this way, the app will become a form of Social media, but with the added excitement of return on investment, or a bigger musical career. The amazing path of this is that for these aspiring performers, joining the app is completely risk-free.
There are two ways that the performer will be able to make money. Firstly, when the performer joins the app, they will state how much of the potential money they make on this app they are willing to give away. This could be anywhere from 0% to 20%. This gives the performer a way to make quick money. If someone sees potential in the artist, they may buy some of these shares. The artists will get money before a proper fan base has been established. The second way that a performer will make money is from the app itself, which will reward artists by paying them depending on how many times their songs are played. It is this money that the performers will take a percentage of.
The investors will generally consist of the potential music moguls, or the "I've been a fan since before they were big" people. Our app provides these people with a chance to put their money where their mouth is and prove their talent spotting abilities by making investments in their favourite artists, with the allure of a profit to spur them on. The app will show people their stats, such as how well their investments are doing compared to other people. this will have the effect of making the process more like a game, with the competitive aspect of comparing your progress with other people using it. Investors can follow their favourite artists before committing to an investment, and once an investment is made that person will be committed to the artist and will have a strong interest in promoting them. Not only will this help to promote the performers career, but it will also be great marketing for our app. Once the investor has bought someone’s shares, they can then freely trade these shares on the app with any other user. As the value of the shares will continually change depending on the popularity of artists, the investor could quickly sell these shares for a profit without having to wait for the shares to have an income.
The large majority of our revenue will be generated from our third audience, the advertisers. In the US, digital advertising revenue surpassed TV in 2017 with a total of $96 billion. We would be able to charge advertisers per thousand views of their advert. These adverts will not be intrusive to the consumer (like adverts that take over the whole screen without prompt), but will include adverts when you scroll through your news feed (similar to Instagram), adverts at the start of music videos (similar to YouTube) and occasional adverts appearing at the start of songs (similar to Spotify). These adverts will be relatively well targeted as they can be based on personal information (which will be entered when creating a profile). We will also offer the unique advantage that the large majority of our users will be what’s called ‘micro-influencers’, which means that they have a large amount of influence on people in their own community. This assumption is based on the fact that the people who have the confidence to post their songs on the app will tend to be extraverts with a large following of people who may be impressionable.
Some of the marketing for the app can be done for no cost through social media platforms, predominantly Facebook and Instagram. This would involve managing an account on each of these platforms, from which we can find videos uploaded by upcoming artists and send a direct message explaining the concept with a link to the app. One of the main advantages of the app is the self-perpetuating nature of its advertising. This is because the people who join the app will themselves have an interest in promoting it, as they will either be artists looking for investment and an increased fan base or investors looking to promote the artists they have invested in. Paid marketing will also be essential for this app to succeed. This can also be done through these social media platforms, as well as YouTube.
What will the money be used for
The main use for the money will be to create the initial construct of the app using a professional app designer. This will then be brought to investors to gather the remaining money needed for the full app development. The app featured in the photo here is a prototype and shows the potential look of the final product. The rest of the money will be used to promote and develop the business further. The money will also be required for constant maintenance and updates of the app.