Decibel’s First Investment Round Press Release

15 August 2011


Second round of investment, for the further development of client services, metadata APIs and music discovery applications.

  • A new player in the media industries, using technology originally developed for criminal intelligence-gathering and re-purposed for the digital music industry
  • Currently servicing the record industry, Decibel now developing their solutions for digital music service providers
  • A database of over 12 million tracks 300,000 artists, 100,000 venues, equaling almost 1 billion pieces of data on music

LONDON, August 15 2011 – Decibel Music Systems LTD (Decibel), a British technology company that uses artificial intelligence systems to create music metadata platforms for companies in the media industries, announces today that they have secured an undisclosed sum of investment from investors with financial and media industry backgrounds

“Since we completed the development of our core AI technology for the gathering, normalizing and enhancing of metadata, we have had a number of significant companies in the music and associated media industries, hardware companies, streaming companies, express an interest in using our enhanced data and technologies to power their own services” said CEO Gregory Kris.

With almost 1 billion pieces of data on music, participants, performances, rights holders, publishers, venues, dates, social links, product information; Decibel’s inter-linked semantic data services are already in use by the record industry with over $500,000 of new business in the last 6 months alone.

“This extra round of investment received will go a long way to ensuring that our metadata products are able to reach as many services and business as possible through the provision of simple, sophisticated metadata APIs within the next 6 months.”

The investment received will also be used to develop Decibel’s budding international business. Says Kris;

“We have established a beach head in the USA with a small number of significant clients, and a new team of data acquisition experts and sales people. This investment will allow us to ensure that we are able to service these global clients locally. Our data is already multi-lingual, so we intend to land our first Korean and Japanese clients over the next 12 months.”

Of the investment, Decibel Founder and President, Evan Stein says;

“Our mission as a business is straightforward. We want to power every new and existing digital music service with high-quality, accurate metadata. Our goal is to increase customer engagement, support a new generation of products, and boost revenues across the global music industry.  This investment gives us the platform to achieve our goals.”

Intruders Productions win record Deal with Diesel

Intruders Productions have been going leaps and bounds recently, and last month closed our largest ever deal with the Fragrance Brand: Diesel – owned by L'Oreal Paris.

For examples of the work being carried out Check out the Diesel Fragrance Factory Site

Intruders' work is an integral part of the client's branding effort – and recent trips around the world have included a one-week documentary of Rap-Star Common's visit to Paris, Fatboy Slim in Austria, and SxSW in Austin.

All this is being run from our new Soho Offices – very plush!

Well done guys!

Sounds Digital: Sounds Awesome

Last weekend, after initially umming and ahhing about the validity of attending (and paying to attend) the event, I spent the weekend in the company of some top quality mentors and thought-leaders in the digital music and traditional music industry at the Sounds Digital event.Opinion formers from LA, Shanghai, NY and London were there to give their input on the state of the music industry today, and keep their fingers on the pulse of new innovation in the sector.

Was grateful to spend quality time and get a huge amount of food for thought from:

    * Ken Hertz – Senior Partner, Goldring, Hertz & Lichtenstein LLP (Los Angeles)
    * Frank Rose – Contributing Editor to Wired (New York)
    * Susan Bonds – President/CEO/Founder, 42 Entertainment (Pasadena)
    * Bob Johnson – Principal and Co-founder, Planet Illogica (Los Angeles)
    * Steve Jang – Strategic Advisor at Animoto / Conduit Labs / Pixelpipe / StumbleUpon (San Francisco)
    * Marcelino Ford – Livene – General Manager of Interactive Content and Advanced Advertising Development, Intel Digital Home Group (Los Angeles)
    * David Maher Roberts – CEO, The Filter (Bath)
    * Jason DaPonte – Managing Editor, BBC Mobile Platforms (London)
    * Martyn Ware – Founding Member, The Human League, Heaven 17 and The Illustrious Company (London)
    * Nicole Yershon – Director of Innovative Solutions, Ogilvy (London)
    * Fred McIntrye – Vice President, Product – CBS Interactive (San Francisco)

and a large amount of respected international executives.

Thanks to Megan and Brendan and the team for organising the event -enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking. It was great to get so many different perspectives on what we’re aiming to achieve with Decibel and much of the advice and input from the mentors will have a direct and beneficial effect on shaping our business going forward.

Honesty Box for Movie Pirates: Innovation at Pitch to Win

Had an enjoyable time judging and mentoring the young entrepreneurs at the  Pitch to Win competition earlier this week, organised by the charming Aniko Zagon

Some excellent innovation in fields that I'm not neccessarily familiar with, like real estate and food, but my personal favourite was the excellent 'Honesty Box for Movies' idea put forward by Stuart Arnott

The theory is that people who have watched a movie online, or downloaded illegally, can go to the Honesty Box website, and pay if they have enjoyed it, and they feel a twinge of remorse or want to support the artists / film-makers.

With people in uproar about the big brother style Digital Economy Bill – perhaps this is a nice way to force further discussion on the subject of how people should be rewarded for their artistic labours.

Super Monko Mentoring

I've been asked, by Super Monko Studios to spend a couple of hours per week mentoring the founders and helping them with developing and delivering their business strategy.

Lessons learned are very applicable across all businesses in the tech space.

Focus: paring everything down to the basics – what company are you, and where do you want to be. To avoid conflict and ensure unity of purpose, the founders need to have a harmonious vision for the company in order to succeed and retain focus.

Define the company as something simple: “An xxxx development company”

It’s a strong statement that internally you should use as a touchstone for deciding whether something is analogous to your business, and something that you can communicate simply and effectively to clients.

Allow yourselves to be client-led, not market-led or technology-led, and focus the entire business on revenue. And Keep it simple!

Intruders Productions Update

Intruders Productions, the digital video production company of which I have an ownership stake, have been going great guns over the last few months.

After starting out in life as an Online TV Destination, we've managed to point the business in the direction that we see the most growth, opportunity, and more simply towards the vision of the company founder.

From turnover of £3,000 / month about 6 months ago, the company is turning over 10 times that right now, with a minimum project fee of £5k.

We've positioned Intruders as a premium supplier of online content for brands and businesses, and as a result have won deals in the last few weeks with Diesel Life Factory (Diesel Perfume) and Raging Bull (Clothing Line), to do viral content and bespoke video content for their websites.

We've also invested over £10k in new, cutting edge, camera equipment.

A simple process of finding out where we wanted the company to be, and having a laser-like focus on getting us there has transformed us to a serious player in the digital content production world.

We have deals with 5 premium brands on the table, and more to follow.

To fulfil the work, we're also recruiting interns and established video and film production people, as well as a social marketer and web developer, to broaden our reach. So contact me if you'd like to join the team.