Late last year, he finally launched Mydjspace, a site that allows DJs to upload and share music. He speaks to StartupSmart about how he’s getting on.
What gave you the idea for this?
I’ve always been involved in the music industry, with either performing or producing. I was working on a platform for Pioneer about five years ago and it stemmed from that.
There seemed to be a space for a place where you could upload music and comments and get feedback. I plugged away at home with it for a while.
I did a few light versions for Pioneer and have since given them my competition platform to share.
It was launched as a community space, but I’ve since realised that what people want is tools to distribute their music, so we’ve focused on delivery.
It’s all about connecting to the fan base and helping DJs with their own sites, too.
Did it require a lot of hard work?
I worked on it by myself for about eight months. I then showed it Omega Advertising, where I’m working now, and they were interested in it, so they became a shareholder.
Wow. That seems like a long time to work on something by yourself.
Yes, it was quite draining, but I was so driven and excited by the idea. I would go to work and then come back and work on it until 3am or 4am every day for about six months. It was almost like a drug.
Most of the time I was bug testing and dealing with problems that people had. For example, I hadn’t really thought that much about the sizes of files that people wanted to upload.
We based it on uploading 10 MB, but it can now do 200 MB, all through the cloud.
How much did this cost you?
In the beginning, about $60,000, but since then it has mainly been Omega’s funding. I wouldn’t have got off the ground without their support. I’d still be in my bedroom until 3am.
And it then took you two years to launch properly, is that right?
Yes, we were running campaign but after 12 months we rebuilt the platforms and completely required them.
We used our own components rather than open source ones as we needed more flexibility. Being bound to open source was limiting and we wanted our own proprietary software.
What marketing have you done?
It’s been a grassroots, viral effort. We want people to send the brand onto their friends and for it be spread by word of mouth.
We have made a few partnerships with record labels, but for the most part it has been built from the grassroots.
This has made such as that the site has authenticity and doesn’t alienate the bedroom DJ, who is basically our target market.
How do you monetise the site?
There are premium memberships, where you pay $12 a month and you get more space online, bigger music files and advanced stats that show you who liked your music and where.
Users can also buy credits to promote themselves.
Competition in this area is heating up, isn’t it?
Definitely. There is much more competition around than when I first had the idea.
I hope to move to a white label model as I will have to offer something different from the likes of SoundCloud, which is one of the main players in this space.
We have to look beyond what is being offered now. We need to work out what people want next and I think that DJs, and musicians of all sorts, want their own branding.
What are your goals for the business?
I want a globally recognised business. I’d like traffic to increase as that means more premium accounts. I’m aiming for one million unique visitors a month within the next year.