Red Bull launches music startup accelerator

Red Bull has launched an accelerator scheme designed to support music startups and align the brand more closely with the technology and business side of music.

Red Bull Amplifier

The Red Bull Amplifier claims to work differently than other standard accelerators because it will not offer chosen applicants cash prizes or equity.

Instead it has been designed to build “mutually beneficial promotion partnerships” to help scale startups’ businesses by engaging them with Red Bull’s various media properties, which it claims reach about 35 million music fans globally.

The Amplifier will also offer music startups – which can be those involved with streaming, learning instruments, or finding gigs and so on – access to a panel of experts. The panel comprises SoundCloud’s vice president of business development Dave Haynes, Red Bull Music Academy’s Davide Bortot, Venturebeat journalist Ciara Byrne, incubator and innovation consultancy Sidekick Studios strategy director Asi Sharabi and Mercury-nominated artist Ghostpoet.

Speaking at the Amplifier’s launch at the Red Bull Studios in London last night (7 March), Dave Haynes said with lots of “me too services” in the industry at the moment looking to emulate the likes of Spotify or Pinterest, Red Bull is seeking companies that “look slightly ahead”.

He added: “Don’t just build a feature Facebook is going to build in six months time – look somewhere completely different. [Streaming is] a crowded space and consumption has been commoditised, the play button is everywhere. But what about performance? What’s that tech that will allow anyone to make music?”

Red Bull has associated itself with music since 1998 with the launch of the Red Bull Music Academy, which is a travelling series of workshops and festivals designed to discover and foster new talent. The company also has a record label and runs a number of live music events around the world.

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