Sweden, CEO, Christopher Lawson discussed on Building A Unicorn


This is building a unicorn, I'm Christopher Lawson. Before the break. We were speaking with the CEO and co founder of epidemic sound Oscar Hoglund about the early days of the stock based company and before we go any further it's important to talk about Sweden in the context of the music industry. It's a country with a population of less than ten million people. But it's really become a superpower in the world of digital music spawning. Several big music startups. The biggest of which is streaming music service Spotify which was founded in two thousand and six and now has a market cap of more than twenty six billion US dollars. There's also soundcloud knowing for allowing oddest to upload their own content for the Pepe streaming. And then you have a history of great Swedish bands like Abba. This clearly lot of musical talent in Sweden. So you'd think that the CEO of a music company like epidemic might be someone who actually has some musical ability. But you'd be wrong. Unfortunately, I'm not a very talented guy in. And the aspect in particular music. My one skill now, I will say I play the guitar and self defense, which horrible. Nobody's having a hand that as in me playing. So you haven't been composing music epidemic in your spare time gold. No, no, no. No. No. No. No. No, no. I don't do that. I do love poetry and rhyming and that kind of stuff so I'm definitely the father of three now. So come Christmas. I loved the rhyme some presence and getting that working. I can hear a song twice. And then I know the entire song by heart so lyric stick, I'm one of those people I think ten percent of relation. Which is it's a blessing and also a cost because when you have small children my youngest is eight my oldest is twelve every single track gets played on the radio one playlist wherever you consuming. I hear everything that they're saying. And a lot of songs are let's say ambiguous in terms of messaging. So most people just say, this is a great melody and they build their heads. And some cases I'm hearing what they're actually saying. And I'm like, we should maybe listen to something else. When you're starting out. You've got this great idea that you going to make this music prices just much easier, and simpler, and really changed the structure of how this works. What was the reception like from the industry? When you come to with great idea for how you're going to make their lives easier. What what did people say, wow? To begin. Well, the first thing that happened. When when we started telling people what we wanted to do was will not impossible, one of the things we wanted to achieve was we wanted to be self sustaining in a world where all of the music industry to some extent. If you ask me, it's like a shotgun wedding. So you have record labels who have the artists the song writers, and the actual producers and of the brains behind the lyrics, and this, and then you have neighboring rights organizations who to some extent represent the artists who the recording artists, and then you have a number of different rights holders. Doesn't hold process of finding a in our talent producing distributing getting it done. It's like massive shotgun wedding when nobody calls the shots. Everyone is dependent on each other in order to get the circle to work out. Well, and they don't really have the same incentives, and it doesn't really work out. So initially what we want to do said that we wanna be self sustaining. We want to build an ecosystem where we're not dependent on everyone. That's going to take a very long time. But we want to understand the end user we want to understand the musicians we want to be able to control a in. Our we need to own the data sets. We'll put together the business pans will put together the payments allusions will make sure to take care of the customers and the musicians and create an ecosystem that actually works. So launching that I initially was everyone that's a terrible idea..

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