Tuesday, June 09, 2009
It's always exciting to see industry friends/colleagues reach the impressive milestone of product launch, and it's even more exciting when the product is something that actually has some legitimate potential. Such is the case with Tunezee, a music search and discovery engine co-founded by Ogi Todic, who I've had the pleasure of knowing for a few years now. I recently had the chance to touch base with Ogi and get some more details about Tunezee's current business as well as their future plans.
Q: In a nutshell, what is Tunezee?
Have you ever remembered a few lines from a song, but have no idea who sings it or what the name of the song is? Tunezee allows you to find that song/artist through search using lyrics or other descriptors, confirm the results via our SmartKlip service, browse full lyrics of the song, view videos and purchase music and related merchandise. The SmartKlip service is a short music clip which corresponds to the search phrase. It allows you to hear exactly the part of the song that you've remembered. This will help you find the song you have in mind much faster.
Q: How did the idea for Tunezee come about?
It was a combination of a couple of things. I was working on a project that involved digital audio processing for a video application. In talking to my friend (now co-founder) we thought the technology could power a music search service that would be more powerful than what is currently available on the market. Both of us had been in situations where we knew the line from a song but not who sang the song. We knew how bad the user experience was around music search, so we figured we could make it significantly better.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and the folks behind Tunezee
Tunezee was started by myself and Tony DeFranceschi. Tony has a strong business background; he worked at McKinsey for a number of years where he consulted software, telecom and mobile device clients as well as held operating roles at two startups. I've held different technical roles at a couple of Silicon Valley companies that created some innovative technologies and services. Most recently, I have been running a software consulting business helping various startups as well as the Stanford Technology Ventures Program on building software systems. I'd also like to add that Tunezee would not be what it is without our stellar engineering team.
Q: What is your primary value proposition for both users and content owners (specifically music rights holders)?
We help users quickly find the music they are looking for, connect with music, share their findings with friends and acquire music via their preferred online store. The current user experience is fragmented in that users often have to go to multiple sources/websites to search for music, confirm the results, and then take action (for example, buy music or share findings with friends). We aim to streamline this process and to create a one-stop music search and discovery service.
We help content owners monetize their content more effectively. A user’s attention span is increasingly becoming shorter and shorter. If a user is exposed to a song (radio, concert, party, restaurant), but can’t easily find it and reconnect with it, the likelihood of that song being purchased diminishes significantly. That is why we created a simple and effective music search solution – Tunezee – which will help increase the sales of music and associated merchandise.
Q: What problem or absence in the marketplace does Tunezee solve?
Tunezee provides an effective search and discovery solution in the music space. Our goal is to fill a void in the music search space, which is currently addressed via a combination of standard search engines and cottage industry websites.
Q: How many songs do you currently have in the database, and what does the future growth of this database look like?
We have hundreds of thousands of songs (over a million if you count the same songs on different albums).
As for future plans, our goal is to provide a service where users can quickly find any song for which they are looking. This will require significant growth in the number of songs, as well as song and user metadata, which will enable a better search experience. There is still room to enhance user experience and provide users with the most relevant results when they are searching for music.
Interestingly enough, within a few days of our Q&A session, the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising published a report revealing that longer, higher quality free music samples engage more listeners and reduce the number of free riders. According to ScienceDaily.com, the report concludes that "an effective digital music free sample strategy should involve high-quality, long samples of the music being marketed, the researchers conclude. This makes it more likely that the consumer listening to a sample will buy the full product, whether that's a CD or a track download, rather than being a free-rider."
Data such as this bodes well for Tunezee -- now let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope that the music industry agrees!