Featured Startup Pitch: Move over Vevo, Rormix is building an online music video platform for indie artists
Rormix is a free app on which allows users to discover music videos from independent and unsigned artists. Officially launched in April, 2014, it has now been downloaded in 180 countries, 100,000 times. All the music videos are curated by a team of in-house music lovers to ensure a high-quality experience for users. Now VC backed and a team of nine and growing, Rormix aims to be the go-to platform for artists to promote themselves and users to discover new music videos.
PRODUCT/FEATURE DESCRIPTION AND DIFFERENTIATION
Rormix is the new way to discover unsigned and independent music videos in a simple and fun way. All music videos are tagged with three commercial artists that are similar in order to help users discover unknown videos by searching for artists they already know and love. For example, if you are Beyonce’s biggest fan, just type her name into ‘Discover’ and we will suggest you emerging videos that are similar.
All videos are HD and quality-controlled to ensure HD experience. What separates Rormix from other apps is an exclusive focus on unsigned bands and artists, providing a platform for those that don’t have any other legitimate visual space besides the overcrowded YouTube and MySpace. Also, our human tagging system and curation ensures that quality of experience is never compromised. This is something that is unusual amongst other music platforms.
– Venture capital backed ($350,000)
– 100,000 downloads
– 4,500 music videos
– 30,000 monthly active users
– Partnership with thousands of gyms worldwide using Rormix videos as entertainment for gym-goers
– Partnered with Revolt TV (Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs)
– Featured in The Sunday Times, BBC, The Next Web, The Huffington Post and more…
My business partner Amman Ahmed started his journey with a £1,000 student loan and a crazy idea. In his final year of university, not wanting to go into a graduate job, he started his first business. The idea was to create music to help people sleep, and this led him into an unproven market. Even with £1K, it was difficult to get the business off the ground, so Amman had to cut deferred deals.
By doing a revenue share with artists in developing countries, together they started creating music to help people sleep. He replicated the model and created more brands: Concentration, relaxation, and even music for cats and dogs. Now under the ‘roundwaves.com’ umbrella, the network achieves 2.5 million monthly views, along with continuous international press.
To help him market his first business, Amman took on Chris and myself who later became co-founders of Rormix. Now under the roundwaves.com umbrella, the network achieves 2.5 million monthly views along with continuous international press.
Whilst working on YouTube, we noticed the amount of quality music videos there were by unsigned artists. But they were getting lost in the ocean of content.
The revenue from roundwaves.com allowed Amman to take a risk and build his next startup—Rormix. Together with our fourth co-founder, Mark, we built the first, very rough, version of Rormix and launched it quietly in October, 2013.
At Rormix, our marketing strategy has altered slightly since we received investment. Prior to investment we had a marketing budget of £0. This meant hustling. We used social media to increase awareness, spoke to users on Reddit, reached out to press, and this all helped us raise brand awareness.
Post investment we have a clearer marketing strategy, still of course with that hustle. We now use Facebook advertising for mobile app installs, since experimenting with different advertising platforms has shown this to have the best ROI. Our social media presence has grown, but word-of-mouth is usually the best form of marketing when it comes to apps. With this in mind, we often reach out to our artists and ask them to share Rormix with their fans, this not only helps us but them too.
Mobile Video Viewing is growing rapidly, proving Rormix to be in a very promising space:
– By 2015, YouTube is expected to comprise of only 10-15 percent of online viewing. Eyeballs will fragment giving rise to better breed of aggregators (Source: Comscore).
– In 2012, VEVO had 6 billion views/month. 65 percent of these views were on mobile (reuters.com).
– 25 percent of YouTube is music—a tiny portion of that being VEVO (70,000 videos), giving an opportunity for a huge land grab (Source: OpenSlate).
– Music video was the category that experienced the largest growth in viewership between 2009 and 2013, from 32 percent-to-50 percent of all online adults (mediapost.com).
At Rormix, our primary focus at the moment is growing our user base. Therefore we are not currently monetising. However, in the near future we will be moving all the videos away from YouTube and onto our own servers, giving us more of an opportunity to monetise and share revenue with the artist. We plan to create an innovative advertising platform that blurs the line between discovering content and ads. Our system will not irritate users by forcing them to watch a 30 second advert about an unrelated product/service before the video they want to see. This is not what Rormix is about. Any money generated will be shared with our artists, as this is something we have wanted to do from the start. The artist is important to us because without them we couldn’t exist.
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