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Playmoss Pro: The music fan club 2.0

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Playmoss (Playmoss Pro: The music fan club 2.0)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-10-31

According to the IFPI, the income obtained through copyright by music artists worldwide, such as music sales or streaming, have been halved in the last 15 years. However, in the last 5 years, the same artists have gained billions of fans through social media channels. If just 1% of fans were to pay 2 to 3 € a month, the artist would earn four times what they are currently getting through streaming. Playmoss has developed Playmoss Pro, a new service that allows artists to create groups of fans 2.0 and share exclusive content with them, such as pre-releases of new songs and music videos, pre-announcements, discounts on tickets and merchandising. In exchange, the superfan will pay 2-3 € to access such content.

This new service has been created to solve a problem: music lovers have access to more and more music and content at a lower price; record labels and promoters increase their sales year after year, but the majority of artists and professional musicians can not live off their music unless they invest most of their time in doing tours.

Although Playmoss Pro has already begun to generate revenue thanks to some smaller artists that have shown interest, the objectives of this project were:

— Conduct pilot tests with larger artists
— Publicise the project among important players in the music industry such as record labels, distributors, artists, managers and promoters to get feedback and so they can help us to detect potential competitors, stakeholders and partners.
— Obtain an estimation of potential market size for this service with the help of a specialised consultant.
— Determine the best acquisition channels for artists and fans.
— Evaluate potential conflicts in terms of intellectual property.
— Set the working standards for subsequent phases.

Our conclusions: Playmoss Pro is of interest, but as it has not been commercially validated with medium-sized and larger artists, there is a lot of friction to attract these types of artists. Furthermore, Playmoss is not large enough; as well as tools to monetise, many artists look for tools and channels to promote.

We have proven, together with a specialised consultant, that the market is very large and could represent a multi-million business.

Objectives going forward: Modify the platform with the feedback obtained, finalise collaboration with record label and small and medium-sized artists and increase our user base to offer artists an interesting promotion channel as well as a tool.
One of the main challenges in the validation process of the Pro model was to see whether we could close pilot tests with some artists who have a follower base of between 500k and 10m on social networks. To do this we contacted people from record labels (Universal Music, Atlantic Records, Mad Decent), management agencies (Career Artist Management, Three Six Zero) and music festivals and arranged meetings with them.

The conclusion after these meetings is that in order to attract new artists, festivals and record labels to the Pro service, Playmoss must grow as a platform. In this way, artists, festivals and record labels will be able to use Playmoss to attract users to their Pro profile and will see Playmoss as a sales channel as well as a promotional tool.

Additionally, we should integrate to our app the Pro service, now only available through our mobile web and our web. Simultaneously, we should also reach a deal with a medium-sized artist that allows us to make the leap to major artists.

Besides that, we commissioned a study from Media Insight Consulting, a consultancy specialized in the music sector based in London and run by Chris Carey, a well-known consultant, former analyst of Universal Music Group and with clients such as Sony Music, Spotify, O2 and BMG. Their conclusions were although there are variable factors such as the conversion rate or the speed of market growth, the music market is growing and the verticals that have been studied are large enough to be interesting from a business standpoint. In short, it seems that the opportunity and space to create a multi-million dollar business exist.

During this phase we have also carried out a study on intellectual property rights for the Playmoss Pro model. The conclusions were that because “non-independent” artists do not own the rights to their own songs, it is more effective to act in one way or another depending on whether the artist is independent or, on the contrary, has signed with a major or a subsidiary of a major. Independent artists seem to be the best option to start and non independent artists, which should be reached through their record labels, look like the best way of acquiring artists fast.

Media Insight Consulting studied the competitive landscape, and competitors should not be a problem when it comes to penetrating the market. During the assessment, we have detected some interesting partners and stakeholders.

Development: Following the recommendations received from record labels and artists, we have started to change the architecture of Playmoss Pro. We will continue performing development iterations so that the product fits within the market as much as possible.
Although the results have not been completely as expected, we are going to keep striving to achieve our goal: to create a service with Playmoss that allows artists to achieve financial results that go beyond the tools that currently exist, such as the sale of albums, streaming, concerts and collaborations with brands.

We want to demonstrate that it is possible to create a tool that allows each artist to create their own community to interact with fans, sell products, exclusives and launches and where the artist has, as well as exhaustive knowledge of information regarding their fans, data that has been non-transparent until now on the large social platforms.

It is difficult to predict whether the expected results can be achieved, but if they are, the implementation of this service could mean a change in the paradigm of the music industry: music artists would have the control and power that they deserve and would achieve fairer rewards for their music and their activity as artists. In the case of larger artists, it would reduce their dependency on channels such as Spotify or the ‘Majors’, and in the case of the smaller ones, they would have a tool to promote themselves, retain fans and monetise, which would help them achieve financial sustainability. In turn, it would make it possible for more and more artists to be involved in musical production, with the resulting benefit this would have for European and worldwide culture, unblocking a potential market that could reach €4.5 billion by 2030.
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