Startups Talks: "“More important than the idea is how you are executing and the team you build” with Living Indie
Andrés Sánchez dreamed concerts live music, like football, would eventually be enjoyed with friends in the living room or favorite pub. And a year ago I think Living Indie to make that dream from London, with a partner in Galicia, Jorge Fernandez, and one in Málaga, Alfonso Fiz. Since then this startup have offered 15 concerts in Spain and London, with over 30,000 views and a community of 5,000 users. A work that caught the attention of Wayra, Telefonica Accelerator, which selected for Living Indie Academy of startups in London earlier this year to start their acceleration process. It's the time of #validation to be able to move into scaling.
How would you define Living Indie?
We are an online streaming platform offering a new way to experience and enjoy live music. We aim to be the Netflix of live concerts.
Tell us the Living Indie story. How and why was this project born?
The origins of Living Indie stem from when I was doing an MBA at Cranfield School of Management. Before the MBA I used to run a small music festival called JamonPop with some good friends, so during the MBA I started working on an idea that would offer something new and exciting that also incorporated the current mega-trends in music consumption, live concerts, streaming and video. During this time some classmates helped me shape the idea and build an initial business plan.
At the end of the MBA I decided to follow up with the idea. Jorge Fernandez, an ex-colleague and programmer, joined the project. We launched in April 2013 and in May an old friend of mine, Alfonso, joined the project too. One of my fellow MBA students, Niels Footman, got progressively more involved and recently became a partner too.
What are you doing different from your competitors?
We think that the simplicity of the idea is one of its great strengths. Unlike some other startups, who may at first find it hard to convey clearly exactly what it is they offer, everyone gets us straight away. Regarding the competitors, while they all offer fantastic stuff, we provide, via our own portal, a new, more socially oriented way to experience live music. We have quite a specific niche, targeting high-quality, cultish or up-and-coming bands that can't usually get this kind of exposure, and we offer our users a curated way of discovering the latest trends in contemporary music. Our ultimate aim is to become the Netflix of live concerts, and we feel there is no one delivering this at the moment.
What kind of partnerships are you achieving?
We are working with all the parts of the music industry, from the labels, to the promoters, from the venues to the media and we also partner with brands interested in music. It’s a quite complex environment and we think we offer a win-win approach for all the parts involved
What are you most excited about at the moment?
The potential of the UK market is amazing, it’s a hard one but we’re finding our way. We are really excited about broadcasting live what is happening here in London. This is the hottest spot in music in the world together with New York and we want to offer to the music fans the possibility to follow the new sounds and cool bands that are playing here and that are defining the music of the future.
Recently, you have become part of the accelerator Wayra in Uk. Which were the main factors to achieve it?
I’d say that is the idea but more importantly how you’re executing it and the team you build. Apart from that you’ve to be really careful with the application, provide good research data, make it really professional and spend time to impress the jury. Also at the end the pitch is crucial, so you better get ready.
Which are your main challenges in this phase?
We are all small startups so the challengue is to provide a service that provide a valuable experience and generate buzz to get to be known.
How can the Internet help the music industry?
Well, it’s long time that is helping to musicians to spread their works but as always big corporation try to get the most of it and squeeze the artists. I’d say that for the user this revolution has been great but it has blown away the music industry. Right now we are setting the roots of the future industry, there are many opportunities but also many competitors and it will never be the same. It’s a much more complex market and to monetize is not easy at all.
You are based in Spain and England. What’s the startup ecosystem like there in each country and what differences have you noticed?
I know the UK scene quite well but not that much the Spanish one. Before coming to UK I was not that involved in the startup scene but we could do a parallelism with the music industry. Here in London the scene is like 5 times bigger so there are more opportunity and at the same the competition is harder. Anyway the economic situation in Spain has raised the entrepreneurship spirit what is really good. Creativity is a part of the Spanish people so hopefully great ideas will come up from there.
What one piece of advice would you like to give to those who want to transform an idea into a business?
If you are in the early stage, you need to do lots of research. You may think your idea is unique but it’s not. Identify the size of the market, is it growing exponentially?, what are you going to do differently from any other player? And by the way, how are you going to make money?
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