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Musicshake pushes vision of music-making for all

Samsung, Nexon-backed tech firm Silent Music Band seeks M&A for synergy between music, social networking


Music has long been considered a field only for professional singers, composers or those who, at least, studied or know how to read and play music.

But Blue Yun, the CEO and founder of Silent Music Band, aims to break this conventional thinking by helping consumers, regardless of age, background and experience, understand and create music through its software.
Blue Yun, CEO of Silent Music Band
Blue Yun, CEO of Silent Music Band

This is the main reason the company, whose investors include Samsung Venture Investment and Nexon, developed the online music-creating platform Musicshake.

“We are going to see a trend where boundaries between professionals and non-professionals will gradually disappear across a variety of cultural sectors, including music,” Yun told The Korea Herald.

“This will give everyone the opportunity to make really good content and become professionals.”

Software and platforms are already making this happen in areas such as filmmaking, journalism and photography, he noted.

For instance, Apple’s Final Cut Pro has made film editing not only easy but also available to everyone including those who dream of creating their own movies. Adobe Photoshop has done the same in still photography.

Platforms such as Naver Blogs and Facebook have opened the way for consumers to write stories, post photographs and receive feedback on their work.

Yun said that the company is aiming to do the same in music globally with its Musicshake platform where users can easily compose, edit, mix and create music, and release their own albums.

Its applications and algorithms guide users to choose the tunes among millions of digital music files in its servers, and mix and make melodies, while automatically changing musical codes.

Users who have their own voice recordings can also upload and mix them.

Silent Music Band is currently focusing on providing education content as well so that users can learn music while creating it.

Both the users and the company share copyrights of all music created in Musicshake, Yun noted.

The idea for Musicshake has been inspired by Apple’s minimalism, which promotes simple design and easy-to-use functions in all of its products including the iPod and iPhone.

“Such a concept of less is more by selecting and focusing has proven to be effective when introducing products to global consumers,” Yun, who worked as a filmmaker and music recording engineer, said.

Silent Music Band initially sought to develop a digital business targeting only the local professional musicians.

However, Yun said that he dropped this original plan as it would have offered limited opportunity for growth.

Another strategy it has mapped out is to sell to a potential acquirer or a big platform operator by 2015 in an effort to make Musicshake become global a lot faster.

A sale will provide an exit for its five institutional shareholders, including Samsung Venture Investment, a venture capital subsidiary of Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung Group, and Nexon, Korea’s biggest online game developer.

The company, whose largest shareholder is Yun, has raised funds three times including in Silicon Valley in the U.S.

It is seeking a sale in a similar way to the Google-YouTube deal, which helped the search engine become a media company.

In the case of Musicshake, Yun said the company is looking to “generate and maximize synergy between music and social networking through a sale.”

The company has received approaches for buys, but it will wait until it has launched more businesses and achieved a proper valuation.

Silent Music Band is planning to launch a music engine site for global enterprises named Musicshake Biz.

This is where its corporate users such as retail store operators and content developers can download music by Silent Music Band at low costs, and play them at shops or use them for background music, for instance, in games.

“This will provide an alternative solution to paying high royalty prices every time businesses use music made by popular musicians or singers,” Yun said.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)
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