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Sound Off: Startups Innovate the Music Landscape

As explored in Cassandra’s Generations Report, music is important to Ys and Zs, who both rank it their #1 passion point ahead of all other forms of entertainment. Acknowledging this, startups are focusing their attention on innovating the music vertical, changing not only the way music is made, but how it’s enjoyed by both its creators and listeners.

London-based startup Roli created an interactive keyboard called the Lumi, a mini piano keyboard that lights up in colorful patterns to guide users as it teaches them to play music. The compact keyboard is 11 inches long, has a battery life of up to six hours, and easily fits into a backpack. Users can link their Lumi to its dedicated app, which offers users hundreds of pieces of educational, instructional music. What’s more, users can link up to three of these keyboards together in order to add more octaves to their scales. Roli’s goal is to target a wider audience by pricing the keyboard at $249, giving more people the opportunity to learn how to make and enjoy music.

Automated music editing platform MXX claims that its product is the world’s first A.I. tech that allows users to edit their music to perfectly fit with their video content. The creative A.I. behind this program “listens” to music and gathers metadata to understand where it can appropriately edit the music to match the accompanying video footage, using intensity builds, fades, dropouts, and climax points. MXX targets creators, production companies, and agencies to provide them with A.I.-based technology that will speed up their editing processes while still providing a polished product.

Tracklib is a Stockholm-based music startup that is changing the sampling game. This online sampling store has created a place for artists to legally sample and license original recordings. With a catalogue of over 100,000 samples, Tracklib strives to offer affordable tracks to license to its users: its most common rate is $50 per sample license. The startup recently raised 1.5 million euros from companies including Sony Innovation Fund, bringing their total amount of funding raised to 3.9 million euros. Some of the most successful songs released with samples from Tracklib include J. Cole’s “Middle Child” and DJ Khaled’s “Holy Mountain.”