Via Kristy Dorsey
After the website, built as a “community” for heavy metal fans, was unveiled today, the founders of a new music streaming service based in Scotland are aiming to raise up to £ 350,000.
As its first brand ambassador, Rockifi has tapped legendary drummer Richie Ramone as it looks to tap into the global hard rock and heavy metal music market of £ 19 billion. An approximate fan base of 530 million people worldwide will be drawn by the service.
Rockifi runs on a pay-per-view model and claims to be the only dedicated hard rock and heavy metal genre streaming site. In the music scene affected by Covid, it will allow fans to watch live events, discover and rate new artists, purchase merchandise and donate money to help bands and staff.
During its two-year growth, the owners of the venture, Ruaridh Currie and Felicitas Betzl, invested £ 150,000 in the platform, including grants from Scottish Enterprise. They adapted their business model to the radically altered world when the pandemic struck and ushered in the end of live music events.
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“We used all of our savings and everything we could get our hands on to do this – I sold my car to get us to this point,” said Mr. Currie. “This is the kind of thing you do when you really believe in something.”
The death metal band Ingested will stage two live Halloween events from a hidden location in its hometown of Manchester to mark the launch. There will be one for the U.K. And the European crowd, the other one for North American fans, where the band toured recently.
Edinburgh-based Mr. Currie said Rockifi has benefited from suggestions from former executives of Team Rock and Warner Music. To secure performance dates with other artists, the firm is in talks with several labels, including U.S.-based Rise Records.
Also under consideration are tentative proposals for an appearance by the brand ambassador of Rockifi, the namesake of the New York punk band The Ramones.
Ruaridh Currie, and Richie Ramone, respectively
Mr. Currie said Rockifi is focused on building a community that is missing on other sites including Ticketmaster for like-minded fans. Both current and new entrants have been using live streaming since the outbreak of the pandemic to meet demand for live shows and generate revenue for artists and those involved in the industry.
He said that “really staggering,” is the appetite for hard rock and heavy metal, with research showing that consumers spend an average of four times more on music each month compared to other genres.
“Rockifi is a two-way platform that also helps hard rock and heavy metal artists get their music out to an international community, even in this time of pandemic-related challenges,” he said.
“Although we are based in the U.K., Rockifi will have a strong focus on the Brazilian, North American and Scandinavian markets, which have the highest concentration of hard rock and heavy metal fans. These audiences have been underserved by music streaming services.”
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The platform was partly built in-house by Chief Technical Officer Greg Fyans, with the help of Bad Dinosaur, a Scottish agency. In order to recruit two to three new developers while creating two new marketing positions, Rockifi is searching for new funding.
“We are looking for additional investment to help us execute our longer-term global strategy, which includes reaching fans and artists in their native languages in every major market,” Ms. Betzl said.
“We also have plans to further develop Rockifi technology in other music genres where we are exploring white labeling and licensing options for record labels, artist management agencies and festivals.”
In late 2018, as the first Rockifi prototype was available, Mr. Currie met Richie Ramone. Introduced by a PR agency, the two met for “a few beers” in London to discuss the project and have since kept in touch.