Let’s think back for a moment and try and remember the first song you heard. Or the first concert you went to. Frankly speaking, I can remember my first concert (where I was actually the artist), but cannot remember the first song I heard or liked. It is with deep effort that I have to sit back and remember the endless lists, mixtapes, cd’s, visits to the record store, and concerts. For the astounding and surprising world of music (and the industry) has never ceased to inspire and enlighten my creativity, it is with utmost commitment that alongside my three cofounders, Julian, Kristian and Guillermo, that we begin this journey in aims to improve the music industry called Stereotheque.

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What is Stereotheque

As human beings, we thrive on ideas, it’s what keeps us up at night and what encourages to daydream about the next big thing. Well, Stereotheque was born out of that desire. We are living in a truly globalized world, where culture and people collide to create enriching experiences. Music, the intangible yet addictive discipline has always been at the intersection of cultures. Commonly known as the universal language, music continues to inspire us everyday and helps us reach deep inside our mind, body and soul. With the advent of technology, especially the one that makes us feel very addicted like smartphones, music has been trying to catch up and all relevant stakeholders including musicians, producers, managers, labels, etc, are at the midst of it all.

Our goal is to make it better. Make it enjoyable. Make it fun. Make it profitable for the people who create it. Photo credit: Unsplash

So we decided to have a conscious and deep look at the past and current music industry. Undoubtedly, we had to consider multiple endpoints and variables to identify the precise space where we could innovate. Most people would think the industry is currently too volatile, set to go down the abyss of legendary record stores like Tower Records. But after doing extensive research on the existing services we found that the way we discover and explore music is stale. It’s based on the behavior we had years ago when visiting record stores. In a single record store, there would be long aisles categorized by genres, where more than often the overpopulated one would be Rock n Roll.

Now imagine having access to all the record stores in the world in your smartphone. Imagine going through the Rock aisle of all record stores in the world or for that matter, on any genre. For this reason, services including Spotify or Apple Music et al began to piggy back on the old way to discover music and use technology to make it accessible. That’s great. But not realistic. Why? Because today, there are over 1,300 music genres. All of which are subjectively created based on the lack of a better name for a song that might have influences of Bob Dylan plus Afghan House plus Japanese EDM. What’s this genre? Presumably, people might not even now what these genres even mean, therefore leaving their music discovery experience attached to the algorithms that suggests top songs.

Considering this problem, we decided to start a journey to try and solve it, hopefully to change the music industry. Enter Stereotheque. A long time ago, when we used to buy ‘stereos’, we  organized our albums neatly next to the stereo maybe in a library or ‘bibliotheque‘, so whenever we wanted to listen to a record, we would just reach out and play it. The sense of ownership, decision and emotion was there. Stereotheque will try to revive this feeling. This sense of ownership. But now that we know that 75% of the average musician between 18-34 years of age (Stereotheque internal research) is willing to use another way of categorizing music so their fans can organically discover them, we decided to get rid of genres!

New York City’s 1970s Music Scene. Photo credit: ny.curbed.com

Music Scenes and the music industry

Music scenes are a cultural phenomenon. A serendipitous moment in a time and place where musicians and their audiences intersected and created a movement. As small or large as a music scene can be, this is the source for musical inspirations that to this day make artists create the music we love. A music scene can evolve over time but will always stay true to the human and natural connections that were created. There’s been numerous research studies and analyses about how cities shape a music scene, and encourage it.

Take Seattle for instance. People usually relate to it as the grunge birth bed. But little do they know that Jimi Hendrix was born there, and even though Grunge and Jimi Hendrix may not be associated based on their music genres, they are part of the same city. Part of a movement that the city fostered. Music scenes are the core of musicians and their music in relation to their audiences. And this is what we will use to make music discovery enjoyable once again. We are re-categorizing the music of the world. One music scene at a time.

Say hello to a new layer of music discovery.

Tomas Uribe

Tomas Uribe is the Co-founder and CEO of Stereotheque. Composer, bass player and front-end designer and engineer. Also a die-hard fan of Nine Inch Nails.

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