Entrepreneur to investor. How to make the most of it.
Iulian Stefanica and Kate Garbis(4), co-founders of Stoneclap, aim to change the live music industry by enabling musicians and DJs to perform live for audiences anywhere in the world, over a one-on-one, high quality two-way streaming platform designed for music. Imagine Skype, but instead of getting the latest news from your friends overseas, you stream a New Orleans brass band to get your party started.
Other industry platforms, like Boiler Room or Live List, have been streaming musicians to thousands of viewers in mass virtual shows. Stoneclap has a different vision. “A Stoneclap performance is about having a meaningful and intimate interaction with the artist, much as you would in an unplugged event. Playing only for a specific audience at any given time enables the artist to chat, laugh and share stories with the audience as if they were in-house. Live performances are in the end all about connecting with the artist”, says CEO Iulian Stefanica.
The platform gives users access to a wide range of artists all over the world from guitar soloists or DJs to opera singers, traditionally hard to book because of distance, time or budget constraints.
It also opens exciting new possibilities for event organisers. They can now book a live musician to perform in almost any venue. With no stage required, an international fashion label could treat their customers to a live music performance streaming straight from a square in Barcelona right onto a white wall in their showroom. Friday night drinks or product launches could become a whole lot more engaging with an international artist turning up to mix some tunes and engage the guests.
Conferences, public talks, corporate parties and house parties, could all get a mood lift with the kind of interactive performance Stoneclap promises to deliver.
Is the timing right for Stoneclap?
The obvious challenge for any online audio visual platform is the speed and reliability of the internet connection. A full HD stream on Stoneclap can use up to 4Mbps download and upload. This hasn’t been so widely available until recently, but today most of Europe and the US have access to these speeds. For Australians it’s available with an entry level NBN plan. A potential game changer could be the rollout of the 5G network, which is planned to be available by 2020 and is designed specifically for real time communication(3). If Stoneclap manages to prove their business model can scale, they will be in prime position to become an important player in the growing live entertainment industry.
European investment fund, Morphosis Capital, certainly thinks so. They offered to invest last year before the team even had an MVP and have been advising the team for the past year. “We had a great connection with them from the beginning, it felt like they were already part of our team. Their expertise and support have been invaluable for us over the last year,” says Stefanica.
Launched only months ago, Stoneclap already has a growing list of private events and is also booked to stream musicians to two innovation conferences in Melbourne – Creative Innovation 2016, where ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner will perform from her home in Hawaii for the audience at Sofitel, and BuzzConf where a European DJ will entertain the crowd on Saturday night.
The team is planning to seek investment at the beginning of 2017 to help accelerate market growth. Stoneclap plans to grow their platform so virtually everyone can have a live musician or DJ performing for their event within hours if not minutes. And why should hiring a live entertainer not be as easy as turning on your TV, when you have a world of artists at your fingertips?