Welcome to issue #12 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.

This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting UK startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.

In each edition, we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.

Today we interviewed the mastermind behind Delic, CEO John Maxwell-Hobbs.

With music and technology running through his veins, he is the genius responsible for taking the frustration out of online collaboration and release management for musicians.  

Highlights:

  • 🎷 How Delic uses technology to turn chaos into creativity for the music industry
  • 🎵 Why a platform designed by musicians for musicians matters
  • 🎓 The challenges of educating investors about the music industry

Built by musicians for musicians, Delic is a tool that makes it easy for labels and artists to work together – from idea to release. Imagine having complete control of your songs, your rights, your network and your future, all in one place.

Sounds pretty organised, doesn’t it? Bringing file management and creativity together, Delic enables musicians to track and store their entire music-creation journey on one single platform, allowing them to concentrate on the important stuff – like getting paid!

You’d think this was standard practice in the music industry, wouldn’t you? Well… you’d be wrong. Existing systems assume that the current version of a musician’s creation is the final version – but what if it isn’t? Who owns the rights to the earlier versions?

Delic has recognised this.

What sets this system apart is its ability to store and license all versions from the get-go, guaranteeing that the creator’s work is always fully protected – whatever stage it’s at. Neat, isn’t it?

But what exactly is Delic and how does it work?

How are they using technology to benefit musicians?

Why is their offering better than existing options?

And finally, what’s next for Delic?

We asked, he answered. Here we go.👇

What is the mission of your company? 

We solve musicians' problems by streamlining creative workflow, capturing 100% of rights data at the point of creation, freeing them to focus on creativity and getting paid fairly.

How are you using technology to help solve that problem? 

In a single digital platform, Delic will provide collaboration, asset and rights management tools, from bulk uploads to sales, sync licensing, contracts and payments, giving creators total control over their music. 

What's your unique selling point? 

Delic is created by musicians for musicians

Why is a platform "created by musicians for musicians" better than existing options?

Creating music is done with very arcane processes that can't be shoehorned into existing enterprise workflow platforms.

Existing options don't manage versions the way musicians need them to be - document-centric systems make the assumption that the current version is the definitive version, whereas for musicians, they are simply experiments, and the first version may be the best. 

It takes someone who understands the process and mindset to create the best tool for it.

What have been the greatest challenges to date? 

Educating investors in the nature of the music business.

Why do you think educating investors has been a challenge? What do they need educating about?

The music industry operates according to very strange principles that had their origin 400 years ago in Venice. These are not easy to change, because they are enshrined in legal statute. 

And not just one type of law - three: copyright law, commercial law, and criminal law. Traditional "disruptive" business approaches can not just end up getting you sued, they can land you in jail.

Investors from outside of the industry don't have an understanding of the way the industry works, and that can make them nervous.

What major milestones have you achieved, and what's next!? 

We have launched our beta and onboarded 1,500 users. We are now raising the next round of investment to help us launch the next version of our platform and grow our user base.

1,500 users - awesome. How did you acquire them? How are you thinking about scaling users?

We started with a small, early group of testers that we expanded into a Founder Member programme.

Our Founder Members get a small amount of equity in the company, a lifetime discount, and insider access to forums and informational session.

To ramp up to the current number of users, we used a combination of paid search, and content marketing.

What is the next version of your platform? How will it be different to the current version?

The next version of the platform will be 2.5. Apart from an improved UX inspired by input from our Founder Members, we will also be offering release management functionality that will make it easier for musicians to go from just an idea to something that's ready to deliver to the streaming services.

Thanks, John!

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