As per Mr. Lesplingart; Twusic is a Belgian project developed in Brussels by the company LemonLab, born of two young entrepreneurs’ minds, both passionate about music and social media, Amaury Lesplingart and Alexis Lecomte. Twusic is a music platform that allows users to compose their own music station from a simple tweet using the hashtag #nowplaying.
Twusic is not a coincidence but the observation that music is more than present on Twitter as at least 2million tweets per day are dedicated to it.
Then how to bring this music together? And how to allow the world access to that feed? This is Twusic’s challenge. More than just a music platform, Twusic turns music into a social media allowing each user to generate their own radio, becoming a DJ, but also enabling stream access to the music listened by other users based on the “follow” principle dear to Twitter.
Follow your friends, discover their musical tastes and listen to the exclusive #nowplaying radio 24/24 set to play the latest tracks shared on Twitter throughout the world.
Twusic is a crazy little idea that Amaury Lesplingart and Alexis Lecomte had in 2009. At the time, Twusic is far from its current version and is only a vague concept discussed at parties. It will take a year for these two fellows to successfully implement this idea and no less than six months to get out the first version (aka Alpha) of Twusic.: how to convert a tweet into music.
In 2011, having undertaken and won the 2011 spring session of the Founder Institute Brussels – Paris, LemonLab launched a beta version of a Twusic interface already redesigned and having introduced the concept of social media radio, the team grew, welcoming new molecules within it.
In 2012 Twusic were selected at MIDEM (Cannes) as one the best music startup with that little idea.
1. TWEET YOUR SONGS
No matter how you share your music selection as long as you add the #nowplaying hashtag to your tweets. Twusic’s search engine will recognize your musical tweets and add them to your radio on its own.
2. BUILD YOUR RADIO STATION
Share your favorite tracks on Twitter and take control of your own radio! Replace, delete, add new playlists and share your favorites in a single click thanks to Twusic’s interface conceived to turn you into a DJ!
3. LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS MUSIC
Feel like new sound but no time to browse the net? Rely on your friends to find the latest cool tracks for you to enjoy! Use your MusicLine to guide you through your friends and other music lovers recommendations while exploring Twusic
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. Lesplingart regarding his start-up “Twusic.com”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Twusic” is all about?
Twusic is about Twitter and Music. We’ve built a new way of sharing and listening to music for music lovers around the world. As Twitter is growing and is used by more and more different type of users, the counts of music related tweets increase. Currently, there’s more than 1 million tweets per day who contain the #nowplaying hashtag but coming from various sources. Some tweets contain links, some others just text. Sometimes you can listen what your friends are listening to by clicking a link, sometimes not …
With Twusic we allow people to listen exactly to what their friends are listening to by building the first user generated social radio station. Tweet your music, add it on your radio station! Twusic is a unique mashup between the Twitter’s tweets and the power of YouTube’s videos database, linked to a powerful recognition algorithm.
2. When has “Twusic” been founded? And what stage is “Twusic” currently at?
Twusic was bootstraped in 2011 in Brussels ( Belgium ). We’re currently running our first round.
3. What is “Twusic” business model and how does it work?
Twusic is totally free for use by our users. They can listen to music for free for more than 500 days ( by browsing our entire database ) without any restrictions from us.
We have built for the music industry a brand new analytical system to allow them to understand what’s happening on Twitter about music. To let them follow their artists, find new fans, increase their message and better target the audience thanks to our amazing tools built in partnership with one of the biggest music analytics company in Europe.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
We’re not a big team, currently there’s 5 players in our team:
Amaury, Jedi puppeteer and Doctor Lemon.
Alexis, zenificatOr and Mister Lab.
Jeremy, long-distance funds runner.
Vanessa, distinguished press relations manager.
Michele, Twusic interface Grand Master concept initiator.
Miss Katastroff, editor, unsync blogger and sofa squatter.
Asta___, matador of the Spanish language and music aficionada for the blog.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
There’s plenty of other music website and they are not small ones but … some are legal, some others are not ; some allow you to listen to music for free, some others require you to pay ;
some require your mail address to allow you to listen for 10 seconds of the track ; etc etc … They were no middle man solution before Twusic and it’s mashup between tweets and YouTube’s videos. Listen to as much track as you want, for free. No need to register to listen to music. A simple Twitter connection to start a social music experience, no email, no spam.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “Twusic” achieved so far?
We were first in the deep blue ocean of music on Twitter. Creating milestones for our company is quiet difficult but we work each day on increasing the quality of our engine and building new partnership within the music industry. If you like to describe you our company’s standing in numbers, since we launched; we have recorded more than 1 millions different tracks, created more than 700.000 users radio station and our users have built over 100.000 playlists.
7. Who are your competitors?
We don’t compete against other music or video websites or apps, we are an extension and we complement them by compiling music shared by users and allow their friends to discover their friends taste. We compete against simple reporting social media dashboards by adding a real value to our data thanks to our experience.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
We were facing so many problems! Music industry is probably one of the most dangerous due to rights management, licensing, … When we have presented our project to funding institution; the first reaction on our project presentation was : « Music and Twitter, “bullshit”, drop out! » After 6 months of hard work on our idea to make it clear and legal we have won the last pitch in Paris against 20 other startups from Paris and Brussels.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
We’re not outsiders
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We built more than just a simple music website. We built a real new experience by adding a real value to simple tweets.
11. If “Twusic” succeeds, what additional areas you might be able to expand into?
Twusic and Twusic Twanalytics are just the beginning for us. The Twitter experience is just starting in different media such as TV so we want to join the movement and build new tools for new connections. There’s a lot of missing links between music and users.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Twusic” based on?
It took us 2 years to create our company after having the idea. At the beginning it was just a « late discussion on the sofa idea » but after building the alpha version and show it to our network the small idea began to become a real business opportunity.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We learn each day so many things. 1 year ago, my co founder and I were only web developers in our small company. Now we’re running a startup, who’s gradually building up to turn into a stronger music network, having long and in-depth discussions with amazing tech guys about our idea … Launching our startup made our life much more complicated but much more rewarding at the same time.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Raising funds to continue building our tools.
15. What’s the benefit for the user?
Twusic is free, legal, unlimited and as simple as Twitter.
16. How did customers and/or users find out about you?
We’re on Twitter so our users tweet about us We also got an amazing support from world wide tech press, TV in Brasil and Japan, … And in 2011 we were nominated as finalist in 3 great tech events such as EBE in Spain and MIDEM at Cannes.
17. Who are your current users? Who are your target users?
Our users are music lovers who’d love to share music with their friends and building some kind of musical program by mood or style. Others are only music consumers who love to discover new artists. They are mainly coming from US, Brazil, Japan and France.
18. Where do new users come from and what makes new users try you?
New users comes from many sources such as social media ( Twitter, Facebook ) or search engine ( Google, Yahoo, … ). We did not yet start real user acquisition campaign, our users are mainly coming from other users recommendations.
19. What do your users say about your product and/or service?
We have created the word Twusic so Google it ( https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=twusic )
20. How are you going to scale?
There’s many ways to let people know who we are and what we do.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers keep asking for?
A better UI (User Interface) for the player. An upcoming feature
22. Are you going to internationalize?
We’re already and international service; Our community is world wide and we want to improve the communication with them by building strong links with those countries.
23. How big do you think you can get?
There’s over 100 million users on Twitter
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
We’re looking for bloggers in Japanese and English! They can contact me by email at amaury AT twusic DOT com
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
Yes we’re looking for VC, we currently run our first investment round. They also can contact me at amaury AT twusic DOT com
26. Finally, what advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Keep calm and carry on and work harder