MSU alumni start music stock market based on concept of fantasy football
It all began at P.T. O’Malley’s last year. But instead of being the place of a night of a drunken excursion, the bar was where alumnus Derek Debiak got the inspiration to launch MSU startup company The Song Market.
Somehow, an argument between Debiak and his friends broke out over who had discovered Ylvis’ song, “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” and who was the first to figure out that the song would become popular “for whatever reason,” as Debiak put it.
“That’s when the idea hit me. I realized, currently, there’s no way to quantifiably measure your ability to predict music success,” he said.
That idea became The Song Market, which launched on Oct. 5 and allows users to compete with their friends to buy stock in songs with the anticipation that the song will become popular in the future.
The main feature of The Song Market that allows users to compete against their friends in what is called “crowds.” Debiak described crowds as a fantasy stock market of music based off the same concept as fantasy football leagues.
The Song Market is fully integrated with Spotify and allows users to see which songs their friends are buying and selling.
Debiak worked out the feasibility of the idea by doing market research and, to his surprise, found that nothing like this actually existed until now.
The Hatch , at Spartan Innovations , helped to progress the idea further, in addition to the seed funding at Spartan Innovations.
He co-founded the start-up with fellow MSU alumni Matt Ao and MacKinley Smith. The three of them graduated this past spring and have been working on the side, nights and weekends, via Skype, despite having full-time jobs.
The ultimate goal for the three alumni is to make The Song Market successful enough where they can put all their time and energy into it and not have to worry about finances.
“It’s really hard to make (The Song Market) what we want while working,” Debiak said.
Debiak said The Song Market is not perfect yet, but the next few weeks should be a good indicator of where the start-up is headed.
“Our current beta version is a primitive skeleton of what we’re trying to build in the future,” Debiak said.
“The goal is to get quality feedback from our early users to let us know what we should be focusing on moving forward.”
Just five days after The Song Market was launched, the start up received a $5,000 investment from seed accelerator fund Start Garden.
Debiak said the investment will allow them to continue building the functionality of The Song Market at a faster pace.