Melboss Music, elevating music careers since 2014
Interviewee: Francisco Buendía, CEO & Co-Founder at Melboss Music
Melboss emerged in 2014. Today, 8 years after its creation, we sat down with Francisco Buendía, its CEO & Co-Founder, to talk about the evolution of Melboss: past, present and future challenges, as well as achievements in its history. We will also be taking a look at the music industry and the influence companies like Melboss have on it.
What was the “Eureka” moment of creating Melboss? What drove you to embark on the adventure?
There were really two fundamental moments, but both of them originated under the premise of having a good idea and the necessary persistence, in addition to constantly seeking evolution.
On the one hand, there was a pre Melboss in 2009 that was created because of a project at the IE Business School. This project allowed the creation of a prototype and a real company in Spain. We did promotion, ticketing, we had a social network where fans and artists could connect and that was tested for several years.
In those 3-4 years we met artists, managers, bands from Europe that we brought here to do concerts in different venues. We were sort of promoters, and that’s how we got to know how the industry really worked.
We realized that there was a missing point of union between all the players. Everyone was on their island, they each did their job but there was no connection when they needed an expert in a specific area. It was at that moment that we evolved from pre-Melboss to level two: when we proposed a new business plan with new objectives, where the global nature of the project really stood out. About 4 years passed to be able to find the right moment to dedicate ourselves to this project only. In 2014 we finally launched Melboss in the US.
This is how Melboss arose, we realized the need to find technological solutions to the disconnection that existed in the industry.
What has been Melboss’s most difficult moment to date?
It’s complicated, I can’t find a single moment. There have been many difficult moments. In particular, the financing part of the equation is very complex because when you don’t have resources you can’t invest in more development. In this sense, we have found ourselves in moments where we do not have the capacity to grow and advance at the speed that we wish.
How would you define the DNA of the company?
I would say that there are several values that make up the DNA of the company. On the one hand, there is a work of innovation, our DNA without a doubt is to be at the forefront within the sector, anticipating what is going to happen. Innovation is important to us.
Also, we seek excellence in everything we do. It’s essential to let customers see that we are at the level of everything that can be offered within the service.
We have always applied flexibility, we are very autonomous, each one from their area.
I would also talk about diversity, present since the beginning. Constantly we take steps to be more diverse in every way.
And transparency, which we have been developing little by little. At first it was more complex but we are increasingly taking steps towards being completely transparent in all areas of the company. Our vision is that we all know the state of the company, its needs at an economic level, at a growth level. Since we weren’t that mature yet at the beginning, the team was too young to share the full picture. But right now I think it’s very healthy, if the company wins we all win and if there is a problem we all share it. I believe that transparency towards us and towards the client is something that has always been in our DNA, but now it will be much stronger.
Speaking of DNA, if Melboss were an artist, who would it be?
We would be an artist who always seeks to show its identity and be in constant evolution. For example, I think we have a lot to do with Imagine Dragons.
I saw them recently at Mad Cool, I’ve been following them forever. I saw how they express themselves live, how they communicate their values to the audience. They are a success case because it has been 15 or 20 years of hard work in which they have not stopped growing. From being nothing and playing on the streets to being globally recognized. They are an example of effort, of having clear goals, and I feel that it has a lot to do with Melboss.
What role do you think Melboss plays in the music industry?
This is very clear to me. We want to be the digital partner of the music industry. We are creating the engine, the knowledge and the internal technology so that any component of the music industry can benefit from what we are capable of offering. Our digital innovation will be useful for the artist, the manager, the promoter or the record company.
We are still in the early stages, but in the next two years there is going to be a lot of tech innovation. We started this year focused on technology but it is only the beginning. Years 2023 and 2024 will be fundamental. We are talking about artificial intelligence, pattern learning, and real-time recommendations. We don’t know of other companies in the industry that are doing it because it’s not just about the digital landscape anymore, it’s about digital R&D. This will make our service more and more efficient, since we are saving our clients that work, because we have already done it for them.
What do you think have been the main milestones of Melboss throughout its trajectory (8 years)?
First of all, the creation of Melboss was a milestone in itself. We had a first exploration phase in the United States that was very important, because it gave us that global capacity from the first minute. We were able to create the base in Los Angeles and it was really useful to have that vision of global growth from the beginning.
Later, already within Spain, it was definitely a milestone that larger clients began to trust us. The partnership with major recording companies was also a milestone for us and it was the seed so that later management companies began to be interested in working with us. Once we had these clients, we already had a much clearer path.
At the financing level, another milestone was because of the pandemic. In 2020, the forced digitization that occurred in the sector made Melboss become an increasingly valuable partner. We also got investors who bet on us in 2020. That allowed us to invest in growing the team and the technology.
What is the biggest challenge for the future of Melboss?
I would say there are two main challenges. One is technological, to achieve a really efficient service for the artist. We believe that it does not yet exist. Thanks to the experience of these 8 years, we know the client much better and how to provide a really useful service for their needs in 2022. Likewise, being able to provide the service on a global level is important.
Another challenge is being a quality partner for the record companies. I think that we are on track and we have started with Spain and Mexico but there will be a significant investment to continue expanding internationally. Recently we have the support of institutions that will help Melboss grow internationally. This is also a seal of quality, we have specialists in getting a company to develop in other markets.
How does Melboss see the future of the music industry?
The future of the industry is 100% digital, where the physical and the online experiences come together. We see two clear trends: Metaverse and NFT coexisting. Within this digital world we want Melboss to be a partner that plays an essential role. We are already carrying out many actions in this sense and others efforts that will appear in the coming months, but we are already laying the seeds. Everything takes time but meanwhile technology matures, the artist is there and the audience is there, we must find the way and the moment for them to meet so we have infinite things to do yet.
What are Melboss’ next steps?
To continue to improve our services so that the digitization of music is carried out more efficiently. There are a billion options and platforms but I think there are no efficient channels that transmit how this is done, the artist is lost among so many alternatives and tools. There are great opportunities but there is so much noise and the question always arises of how to do it, optimizing the budget that most of the time is limited.
We will be a filter between the artist, the digital world and what can be achieved there.