Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BLACKBINDER Report Summary

Project ID: 663198

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BLACKBINDER (Black Binder, all-in System of Digital Scores)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2015-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Musicians play the scores basically like they did 200 years ago, since his equipment, instruments, scores and music stands have not changed. Specifically, scores are still on paper, with the problems and inconveniences that it implies:
The musician must hand off the instrument to turn the page. Musicians in orchestras usually share a stand in pairs and one of them stops playing to pass the page. In other cases such as the piano; someone is needed to assist the pianist.
Depending on the instrument, it is complicated passing scores and maintaining proper posture for the interpretation. Musicians, musical groups and schools are forced to spend large spaces and budget to store and preserve his background scores. In addition, the scores must also maintain appropriate conditions of temperature and humidity for their preservation, what brings a high expense.
Scores are deteriorated due to the transport from one place to another, due to the annotations or simply by the use. Moreover, the annotations cannot be shared with other musicians, what could be very useful. In orchestras, there is a person engaged in copying, sheet to sheet, by hand, the same arcs and other musical annotations set by the director, which is a waste of time and money.
Because of a lack of synchronization during rehearsals, significant amount of time is waste since the Conductor makes the point of the score from which to start, until all players are placed there.

Many musicians have begun to seek alternatives to paper. However, marketed solutions are not being thoroughly adopted and in most cases are limited to PDF scores that provide little more than saving space. PDFs are not a “smart” solution: musicians should turn pages manually, interrupting the performance. The only advantage provided is that they save paper and they facilitate their storage and preservation. Other current solutions to display electronic scores are based on a page by page system where pages move at a continuous speed. These are unable to adapt to time-shift suggested by the composer and unable to handle repetitions lineally (that are frequent) so the interpreter must manually return to the point in question to repeat a group of musical notes.
Moreover, these current solutions are far from offering specific functionalities to meet the needs of every instrument or musician role (Needs are completely different among musicians) and more away from offering the necessary feature for devices synchronization for collaborative work (orchestras and schools).
In addition, the music industry and publishers are aware that the transition to the digital world is close. They are ready for change but are unclear about how to do it and especially afraid of piracy increase. Digital scores are easy to distribute illegaly.

To enjoy "BlackBinder" solution, the musician must download to his tablet an App (based on an algorithm that implements "Pageless Scrolling" technology) which is divided in 3 areas (services/products):
• bbReader: Display and work area for digital scores
• bBinder: storage space in the cloud for scores downloaded from bbstore or uploaded by the musician from his own collection of scores turned into MUSICXML format.
• bbStore: online store for individuals or publishers to sell and buy scores
And acquire the physical support device for tablets bbSet; that allows the user to interact with the App by wireless pedals.

The system will provide, additionally to the current PDF solutions: Continuous and lineal display of scores at the pace the musician plays (Page concept disappears); Capacity to show the musician repetition parts from a past point of the score in a lineal way, linking repetition parts without jumps along the score; Synchronization of devices allowing collaborative work (even for teaching purposes), Annotations writing and sharing, facilitate the Mobility, Cloud storage of scores and Immediate availability to acquire/sell annotations and compositions (through an anti-piracy method).

The relevance of the solution and the potential impact in the market is high taking into account that the 10% of the population of the EU27 play an instrument (more than 50 million people). In addition, if the figures are focused on teachers and students of Professional Conservatories and Higher Schools of Music in Europe, there are more than 4,000,000 regulated music students and more than 6,000 music schools; In USA 20% of the population between 18 and 25 play an instrument, nearly 9 million people; In United Kingdom 37% of children between 11 and 15 are being formed in an instrument.
To reach this market, New Music Now has worked in a Business Plan to have a well-designed market strategy with the EC support through SME Instrument Phase I."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

New Music Now has worked in the Feasibility Study of BlackBinder during 6 months, to carry out an analysis as it was described in the Work Plan of the SME Instrument- WP1. The work executed has been done to cover Business Model and the Marketing Plan definition in the following points:
Business model definition is to:
• Fix pricing model for every product based on a review of the previous model
• Deeper Analysis of revenue scenarios based on the pricing model
• IPR strategy definition
• Confirmation of the budget to develop and validate the BlackBinder (App: bbReader, bbStore and bBinder; and bbSet,) in phase 2. Clear identification of the key resources for the development: human resources including employment creation, equipment, subcontracting.

Marketing Plan is to define:
• Clients segmentation and market size: Users impression and value proposal
• Definition of necessary Stakeholders to be involved
• Sales channels: To analysis of common platforms for Apps (Google play, App Store, Windows) and other possibilities
• Relationship with the clients: To analyse different channels and phases for effective communication
• International Strategy: Set the geographic area and the plan of activities
• Definition and planning marketing activities in the following years.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

• New concept of the system: from a 4-products system to a 2-products system: Software product App (bbReader, bBinder and bbStore) and bbSet
• System for individual and collective use
• Benefits in terms of performance, environment, time, money and space savings.
• Target group/market segmentation defined and potential users detected: teachers and students of College of Music and Higher Music Schools
• Geographical area focused on: USA and Europe (mainly UK)
• Stakeholders definition: Publishers as main allies
• Pricing model and analysis of revenue scenarios reveal good Pay Back and NPV values

Related information

Record Number: 186258 / Last updated on: 2016-07-08