Musicinfo, an online music service based in Finland, claims to be the world’s leading music search engine. CEO Kari Halttunen describes the web service as ‘today’s digital album cover’. The company has also already been called by another name as well: ‘the Google of music’.
“It is a compilation of all the information on music that can be found on the Internet, brought conveniently to one location for our users to enjoy. At musicinfo.io, visitors to the site can listen to songs, watch videos, examine the artists’ influences, personal histories, recording history... we tell who played on what album, along with the relevant historical data and release information,” says Halttunen.
Musicinfo is a huge database of music including songs, lyrics and reviews. IT giant Apple, for example, has given the site access to its entire music library. Musicinfo also has access to material on Spotify, Deezer, Last.fm, YouTube, Amazon.com and Wikipedia databases.
Situated in the central Finland city of Jyväskylä, the small eight-employee company has won several business awards over the course of the last few years.
Every disc jockey’s dream
The idea that kick-started the company originated in founder Antti Jokipii’s disc jockey gigs on the side. DJs want to find every song available fast, particularly new adaptations and rare versions of various songs.
Coding wizard Jokipii whipped up a programme for his personal use that facilitated his DJ work perfectly. As he refined it, he realized he had a potential million-dollar business idea in the making.
Two versions of the service are now available: a free service to all listeners and a paid subscription service that automatically updates the music data library and is available to corporate entities, like radio stations. The service brings an encyclopaedia of music information to radio listeners listening to online radio stations or listening via radio streamed through mobile phone applications.
No more music data search dead ends
CEO Halttunen says musicinfo is ideal for avoiding the stress caused by complicated technological music systems.
“People look for something online for a maximum of ten seconds and then give up their search as fruitless. There is an opportunity there. People want one spot that provides fast and convenient service, and that is what we offer,” he says.
The Finnish company’s first goal was to create the world’s largest music database. It has since succeeded in this endeavour, winning many awards along the way.
“Within the next three years, we aim to attract one million end users to our site every month. We are also targeting net sales of several million,” says Halttunen.
Growth requires investors
Musicinfo’s growth is only hindered by one thing: a deficit of capital. Until now, the company has been financed with the entrepreneurial team’s own money.
“We hope to secure half a million euros in our first phase of fundraising for further development and we have set a target for our second phase of two million. This will allow us to breakthrough on the world stage,” says Halttunen.
Musicinfo plans to utilize the Internet giants of YouTube and Facebook as its main marketing channels.
“And we have to have a host of native speakers to help us with our marketing and sales. For this reason, we have already hired French, Russian, Chinese and English speakers,” he says.