As a part of our Founder interview series, The Startup Journal caught up with Salo Sterental, Co-Founding father of the SoStereo, a advertising agency that allows manufacturers and artists alike to unlock the advertising energy of music. The SoStereo agency that Salo helped construct not solely streamlines the way in which Fortune 500 Manufacturers use music on their advertisements, but in addition helps indie artists construct a musical center class and earn additional revenues.
Salo constructed on his background as a music producer and engineer to see the ability of music in promoting. In his interview with The Startup Journal beneath, Salo discusses how the ability of music impacts advertising and model constructing and particulars how he constructed an organization dreamed up in a school condominium to a scaled up advertising company serving to tons of of firms and artists attain new audiences.
TSM: Describe what SoStereo does in 10 phrases or much less:
Salo: SoStereo helps manufacturers uncover wonderful music for his or her content material.
TSM: With a bit extra element, what does SoStereo do?
Salo: We assist manufacturers unlock the advertising energy of music. We give manufacturers and artistic businesses a straightforward and reasonably priced option to entry actual music by actual artists for his or her branded content material and campaigns. The corporate companions with artists, labels and publishers to make their music accessible to be used in advertisements/content material, all whereas serving to artists monetize their music whereas doing what they love – making nice music. Our imaginative and prescient is to “Unlock Entry to the World’s Music for Manufacturers & Creators” – suppose Spotify meets Shutterstock. Our platform and repair has been utilized by iconic manufacturers akin to Apple, Netflix, Goal, the NFL and plenty of many extra.
TSM: What impressed you to begin SoStereo? (Share with us what drawback you’re fixing)
Salo: Zumba Health approached Beto (my co-founder) and I with a novel drawback. They’d been licensing music from main artists, and whereas they cherished the influence these campaigns created, they didn’t at all times have these sorts of budgets.
We prompt leveraging music from up-and-coming artists and provided up just a few songs from little recognized Colombian artist, Mara, who had the same vibe with out the hefty price ticket. The Zumba instructors cherished it! And that was actually the start of the SoStereo mission.
After faculty, I moved on to a put up at BMG whereas Salo went to Miami to work with songwriters from Sony and Warner. We seen that many artists have been struggling to monetize their work. On the identical time, manufacturers and businesses struggled to seek out nice music.
Being confronted with the identical points as Zumba a few years earlier, both you spend tons of cash for main artists otherwise you’re left with commonplace inventory tracks, we realized a center floor was wanted. That’s when SoStereo actually got here to life. We wished to interrupt down the partitions of entry to music, and expertise was an ideal resolution.
TSM: So you’re engaged on the intersection of music and promoting. What are the disruptive elements in your sphere that make it so promising as a enterprise?
Salo: The most important drawback we goal to unravel is to supply entry to actual music by actual artists for manufacturers & creators making content material throughout totally different content material pillars – i.e advertisements, movie/television, branded content material, and so on. In 2022, have been 81% of web visitors is for video consumption and you may stream nearly any tune on the earth at your fingertips, it makes zero sense you could’t simply as simply discover and license any tune you need for video content material – whether or not its a twitch stream by a teenage gamer or a nationwide broadcast business for a serious model. In order that’s the large imaginative and prescient – to unravel THAT big drawback, which is intricate and layered.
The extra fast disruptive issue is that simply by giving manufacturers entry to a restricted, albeit rising, record of actual artists and mixing that with our distinctive expertise instruments (akin to data-crawlers, AI music auto-tagging, and so on.), we’re serving to manufacturers unlock the advertising energy of music in new methods. They’ll take the music price range they might usually use for drained inventory music or unique compositions and use it in a extra data-driven option to unlock a advertising edge through the precise use of music, i.e if it’s a social marketing campaign in NY, use an artist that’s from NY or a vibe that could be very paying homage to the music tradition of the town; use an artist that has a much bigger social following that may amplify your marketing campaign to their audiences. Music has energy to speak messages, hook up with audiences and seize consideration, and, for much too lengthy, the shortage of instruments within the trade and lack of entry to actual music has meant that the cash manufacturers spend on music for his or her content material isn’t reaching it’s full advertising potential.
TSM: Music is a vital software in advertising technique. Is it extra of a branding software or extra tactical in its skill to tie an emotional message to an commercial, or each?
Salo: I do know it would look like a cop-out, however this really is dependent upon the marketing campaign and the objective of the inventive. For some campaigns, music will play an integral half in from a technique perspective – you’re focusing on a really particular viewers and need a sound or artist that the viewers loves. You wish to say one thing with out saying one thing (i.e. voice-over), so that you need the lyrics to do the speaking. You’re doing a localized marketing campaign and need a native artist/sound. You wish to catch the customers consideration, so that you need a vocal tune versus a easy music mattress. These are all examples through which music performs an important position. However, there are campaigns that the viewers is fairly broad, there’s a whole lot of voice-over speaking the message, and the music simply wants to suit properly within the again, not distract the viewers, and be extra tactical in conveying an emotion somewhat than be a driving power.
TSM: On the enterprise aspect, in your historical past of launching and scaling SoStereo, what have been the first challenges in your scaleup journey? Hiring? High quality management? Capital?
Salo: The most important problem has been capital. Like different large concepts, everybody tends to shoot you down at first. “Oh that’s been tried and failed earlier than,” “that’s by no means gonna occur” and so on. And with that, it’s tougher to get capital. Satirically sufficient, trying again, all the ‘thesis’ that we had once we have been first conceptualizing, SoStereo have been confirmed out over time. So on one hand, it’s nice to be validated about our method to area, on the opposite, it’s a bit disheartening to know if we had extra capital earlier on, we may’ve been additional forward. However with that stated, the shortage of an excessive amount of capital has helped us run a very tight ship with nice unit economics and KPI’s, one thing that given present market situations individuals take discover of. Nothing substitutes operating a strong foundational enterprise, and also you see a whole lot of firms which are flush with money that aren’t as diligent and, when occasions get robust, they don’t have the foundational enterprise and self-discipline to navigate by means of.
TSM: Going again to your early profession choices, inform us what elements influenced your choice to be an entrepreneur?
Salo: I believe I at all times wished to be an entrepreneur with out realizing what “entrepreneurship” was or what an entrepreneur is/does. As a youngster, I knew I wished to pursue a profession in music, particularly as a producer & songwriter. It simply so occurs that the majority producers and songwriters are their very own companies – they’re all entrepreneurs. So with out even realizing it, that was simply the trail I used to be taking.
I additionally occurred to like speaking to different entrepreneurs. I used to be raised in a household the place a whole lot of shut relations or household buddies ran their very own companies, and I keep in mind loving listening to about their totally different experiences – particularly, I cherished the thought of constructing one thing from scratch, of attending to put on many hats, and of being challenged each day with one thing new. These didn’t sound like jobs to me, they sounded enjoyable, prefer it may by no means be boring or mundane.
TSM: What traits does it take to steer a startup success to a scaleup success?
Salo: I believe adaptability is, if not on the high of the record, no less than within the high 3. One wants to understand that the processes, efforts, classes that work for a crew of two or 3 received’t work for a crew of 10. Equally, what works for 10, received’t work for a crew of fifty or 100… so that you continually want to have a look at your processes, workflows, management, and even tradition, and adapt to the dynamics of a rising firm and crew. Even hiring may be considered a subset of adaptability whereby at first you’re hiring generalists that may put on many hats since you merely don’t have the sources to rent individualists (individuals which are nice at very particular issues) and because the firm grows, that you must adapt that hiring.
I might additionally put tradition within the high 3. Some of the underrated jobs of a pacesetter in a scaling group is ensuring the tradition doesn’t get diluted. When you’ve got a powerful foundational tradition, and as a pacesetter you be sure you rent, reward and fireplace based mostly off of it as the corporate scales, then the flywheel of robust firm tradition ought to make sustaining and strengthening the tradition simpler as the corporate scales. Workers maintain one another accountable and take accountability for conserving a powerful tradition versus it falling solely on the shoulders of the chief.
TSM: How do you deal with the problem of balancing the calls for of entrepreneurship with private life obligations and parenthood?
Salo: In a put up pandemic world the place a few of us are nonetheless working from dwelling, it’s undoubtedly essential to set limits and unplug to a sure extent. It will get straightforward to at all times be on in a work-from-home surroundings, particularly as an entrepreneur, so no matter one’s private restrict is, it’s essential to set it and be disciplined with it inside motive. Personally, I prefer to have a “close-the-office” sort hour barring any emergencies or issues with deadlines. This permits me to spend high quality time with household earlier than my son is off to sleep. I additionally prefer to restrict the quantity of labor on the weekends to emergencies – I believe it’s essential to unplug and spend high quality time with family members in an effort to be recharged. I’ve discovered that that distance typically gives area for extra high-level occupied with issues somewhat than the everyday day-to-day the place one is so targeted on executing the work at hand. I additionally occur to belong to a household of entrepreneurs so casually hanging with household on the weekends is a good time to bounce concepts and, once more, present a distinct perspective in a relaxed and informal surroundings.
TSM: What’s crucial factor you’ll be able to inform different startup founders?
Salo: Be tenacious, hungry to be taught, wanting to knock on doorways even when the reply is likely to be no (or no reply in any respect), and be humble sufficient to soak up suggestions – not simply hear it however actually internalize it. Entrepreneurship is a journey with ups, downs, twists and turns, and that you must be mentally ready for it – it’s not for everybody, and that’s okay.
TSM: Inform us one factor about your self that most individuals don’t know.
Salo: I’m an avid sports activities fan of all the Miami groups, and I like to take classes from sports activities tradition and constructing championship groups and making use of that to our enterprise. To have somebody like Pat Riley domestically and have the ability to study him and the way in which he runs organizations is a tremendous alternative.
TSM: Salo, you might have a captivating story and have given us some nice insights and recommendation. Better of luck together with your continued success.
The put up Founder Interview: Salo Sterental, Co-Founder of SoStereo, Marketing with Music appeared first on The Startup Magazine.