There are many obstacles en route to becoming the best band in the world. Firstly, not anyone can write a hit song; secondly, not all those who can have the coin to get their sounds recorded and mastered professionally.
CloudBounce CEO and co-founder Anssi Uimonen knows this. The people behind the company are musicians themselves, and they knew first-hand how essential – yet expensive – mastering a catchy tune can be.
The company was set up in the summer of 2015. Fast forward to now, and CloudBounce’s instant digital audio mastering service is being used in over 60 countries worldwide, its main target group being amateur musicians, bands, DJs and sound designers.
Price goes down, quality doesn’t
Mastering is an important part of a song’s birth process. According to Uimonen, a musician would have to put up minimum of 100 euros for getting a tune mastered by a professional. CloudBounce’s automated cloud service that analyses and processes the audio track has a price tag of less than five US dollars – which is not only way cheaper, but also much more convenient for the band.
“Mastering tools can be laborious to learn,” Uimonen says. “We wanted to solve the problem on behalf of the masses we care about, which is amateur musicians.”
He claims that for the 99 per cent of musicians around the world, an automated service like CloudBounce is good enough.
“If you’re Rihanna and have thousands to spend on a mastering, yes, then it makes a difference. However, an amateur doesn’t need that level of service and interaction, and the difference in price is at least 20-fold.”
Mastering the business of music
Amateurs aren’t the only ones who have sat up and taken notice. The tech startup was also selected as the member of the Abbey Road RED incubator, run by the legendary London recording studio, Abbey Road, which continues to host many of the world’s biggest music stars.
Furthermore, CloudBounce recently raised a 250 000-US dollar seed round. The investors included the UK-based VC Ascencion Ventures and a group of business angels from Finland and UK.
The money will give the company a kick towards its next goal: improving the cloud-based service even further and boosting its marketing and sales efforts globally.
“The funding can be deemed an impressive achievement, especially in times like these when money for music startups is scarce,” Uimonen notes. “This, together with being chosen to be a part of Abbey Road RED, goes to show we’re onto something.”
At the moment, the team is working on making the service even more adaptive. On top of that, there are some big things in the horizon, but Uimonen doesn’t want to spill any beans yet.
“I could say that what’s coming up will radically change the way music is consumed and experienced in the future,” he states mysteriously. “What that means, will be seen later this year.”
The market is out there
CloudBounce was founded by three people, and now the team consists of five people working full-time and an extended team in Finland and the UK.
In addition to its own team, CloudBounce’s partners include other music industry tech-heads, like Tracktion T7 Digital Audio Workstation, which offers its users the option to get their recorded tracks mastered on CloudBounce with the click of a button.
CloudBounce isn’t the only group in the music business bandwagon, but one thing that helps it stand out in the crowded confines of the industry is being Finnish.
“We’re known as the nation of perseverance, high technology skills and education,” Uimonen points out. “What we’re building today is world-class in terms of quality.”
The vast majority of the service’s users come from the US, and second on the list the UK. This is because the two countries are inundated with bands wanting to break through. Finland forms only a small percentage of the overall sales.
What is universal is that CloudBounce suits all music styles. According to Uimonen, CloudBounce is particularly popular among electronic, hip hop, r’n’b and rock music.
But what kind of music is most appealing to this front man’s ear?
“We play anything,” he says laughingly. “From drum & bass to rock’n’roll!”