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Seed VC | Alive

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Last Raised

$1M | 2 yrs ago

About Five Vectors

Five Vectors is a music company that works with up-and-coming artists and produces brand new music tracks that are tailor-made for gaming audiences.

Five Vectors Headquarter Location

NalepastraBe 18

Berlin, 12459,


Latest Five Vectors News

Music Ally’s Music/Tech Startup Files #1: Five Vectors

Dec 9, 2019

Gamer music fans want music that fits the exact gaming moment they’re experiencing, and they want to show off their fandom. Five Vectors’ tech scans and funnels music programmatically to those audiences, and helps fans pay for it in ways that make interaction meaningful and status-based, like being skins in Fortnite. Introduction On initial inspection, Five Vectors seems an unlikely music-tech startup with a structure, ethos and ambition that may be hard to grasp for those of us pottering in the traditional music business. But if you’ve ever glanced enviously at the gaming business’ ability to eke cash from players by a thousand cuts, co-founders Wasae Imran and Andres Lauer might connect you with a new stream of income. The two founders are from different worlds: the former an economist by training who speaks passionately about gaming and worked for esports giant ESL , and the latter a former Universal Music Group exec. Their Berlin office is an art gallery with bare-brick walls that until recently bore photographs so racy they had to be exchanged for tamer fare, so as not to bewilder guests. The company is multi-faceted and regards music not as a stand-alone product, but as a component of another, deeply complex market. The thinking is simple: people want to experience and pay for music very differently now, and Five Vectors can facilitate it. Music:Ally spoke to Wasae, and he described a new gamer-generation of music consumers quite unlike the music fans who came before them. What problem does Five Vectors solve? To better understand what Five Vectors is doing involves understanding gamers and esports fans. And it’s a market that consumes, regards, and values music entirely differently. In simple terms, Five Vectors is building a bridge between the music business (labels, publishers and directly with artists) and the esports audience (Twitch viewers, etc). Acquiring catalogue, adjudicating each song’s usefulness, and delivering it to a choosy gaming audience will be executed in a number of discrete, automated ways, each designed to maximise fans’ enjoyment – and payment – on an engagement level. This fan engagement – and their desire to show off their fandom to other fans – is key, and the core of their business model. They’re starting with gaming because it’s a community that demands this type of interaction, and an industry that knows how to maximise the money that comes with it. There are 2.5 billion gamers . Don’t be fooled: gamers love music. But, Wasae says, the younger generation of gamers can’t connect with how the music industry markets, licenses and sells it. Uninterested in the traditional streaming model of monthly subscriptions, they instead want to show off their superfandom through lots of small, meaningful transactions. This is a generation who “only pay for what they really like: gamers don’t pay for the game, but instead buy in-game items – like Fortnite skins and loot boxes – so they can show off their status to their friends.” These friends aren’t just the people they know physically: their neighbourhood is international and virtual. Five Vectors aims to “offer a new layer of interaction for music fans in the gaming industry – but we’re not interested in competing with DSPs. This is an engagement service – the right music for the right audience in the right place.” What is Five Vectors’ technology? Wasae says the music business is also getting it wrong when trying to sync music with esports, by crowbarring hit songs in front of audiences who promptly see right through this approach: “The music business is too try-hard – it looks at gaming as a marketing tool. There is an inherent lack of understanding of what a gamer audience actually wants.” Just because an artist is a hit in “music world”, doesn’t mean it will resonate in “gaming world” where soundtrack-like contextualisation is demanded: “Imagine you were watching The Good The Bad And The Ugly and replaced the soundtrack with Eminem – it wouldn’t make sense.” Instead, Wasae describes a Twitch audience with different musical needs for each game being streamed, as well as multiple communities for the same game, each wanting different music. At the moment, Five Vectors is working in two ways. One half is its label, 2DEX , signing artists like Rapta (who was persuaded, Wasae said, to sign to 2DEX over a competing major because of its gaming focus), commissions new music designed with specific communities in mind, and licenses content to feed communities’ needs. Meanwhile, its portal, Daily Playlists , accepts submissions, parses songs and funnels them into the right communities’ playlists: “Creators can submit a song and our tech can adjudicate which tracks will work perfectly for the League Of Legends Japan tournament, for instance,” Wasae explains. How is Five Vectors working with the music industry? One example of how their technology specifically delivers songs is in partnership with games-publishing giant Ubisoft, for its game Rainbow Six: Siege. “We have a plug-in for esports broadcasts of Rainbow Six on Twitch, which delivers a playlist that fits the watching community. This acts like a jukebox, and a user – or a few people chipping in – can pay in Twitch Bits (the virtual currency on Twitch) to pick a song to pump up the community before the next match.” It’s an opportunity for fans to show off their support in front of their community. Again, status is important: typically on Twitch, you use Bits to “cheer” on the gamer you’re watching, and the more you pay, the fancier the animated interaction. The second approach is the company’s main focus: Player’s Republik houses its machine-learning technology, and is creating products to put the right music in front of esports viewers, including the Rainbow Six: Siege plugin. Wasae sees,“a lack of infrastructure – the goal is that traditional music industry could be part of the pipeline we are building. All they need [to be successful] is the right contextualisation: putting music in front of those who will most keenly consume it and make it part of their online persona.” Money from these interactions may be considerable. “It’s about giving fans layers of interaction – they may not want to pay $9.99 for a streaming subscription, but they’ll pay $50 a month without feeling the pinch, because they enjoy the music on a more emotive level – and by paying in small amounts.” It’s a big boast that will grab the attention of label execs. And Wasae is positive: the technology is here, desire to pay this way is high, and Chinese companies are already making money like this: “Tencent has lots of subscription layers, but they make much more money through transactions in a variety of apps (like QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing). Subscription only counts for 20% of Tencent’s music revenue. Instead the interactivity is monetised – you can buy a track for $1.99 and then pay another 99¢ to gift it to someone else. The gesture says, ‘this is who I am and what I like’.” Maybe Five Vector’s biggest achievement will be the ability to gift music again. The takeaway: will superfans pay more, in more ways? Make no mistake: Five Vectors’ challenge is ambitious: a whole new payment and contextualised music delivery ecosystem. But it’s easy to see how the outcome is desirable for all parties. One way to view what Five Vectors is trying to do is to create the ultimate A&R tool: fully-automated curation, artist development, filtration, delivery and promotion – and all to the perfect audience. And if it might sound like the gamer audience is particularly demanding, well, maybe they are. But while the concept of audiences rejecting a hit song because it doesn’t fit a specific esports moment requires a shift in thinking, giving people what they want is something the music business understands well, and is ever-eager to embrace. While the big idea here – understanding a new young audience’s quirks – may not be quite as revolutionary as it appears, it gets closer to solving one long-term puzzle: the absence of social features in DSPs. The new generation of music fans might not only want to show off how much they stan their favourite artist – but it might be the best way of making them pay for music too. Key details

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