Enter The Dragontape: Hungarian Music Startups Expand the Competitive Terrain
Music startups continue to pop up all over the globe and Central Europe is no exception. Eastist, a blog focused on tech entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe, recently noted four startups based in Hungary including three that are working the popular mixtape/playlist territory. All four, Dragontape, Mixgar, Noispot and 3GM, present their sites in English so not speaking Hungarian is no excuse not to check them out.
What is Dragontape?
When Eastist's Zuzana Fedorková checked in on four Budapest-based music startups, she found that the entrepreneurial founders shared a common perspective that "Hungarians are very entrepreneurial and the music industry is very broken." As Noispot cofounder David Zsigó put it, "Give a Hungarian kid a laptop and you'll get a service a day later that eases your everyday life."
Dragontape seems the most similar to current trends in online mixtape and playlist offerings that draw on YouTube and SoundCloud. Its distinctive elements are found in the timeline-based user interface as shown in the above video. The timeline can be filled with both video and audio. According to the features list, it can also be fed by Twitter and has some interesting editing and display options.
Noispot and Mixgar take more unique approaches to interactive playlists designed to provide music for parties and venues. They also charge for their services.
Noispot provides a paid hardware-based solution for venues and events that includes a Community DJ System with an optional screen. Playlists are powered by collections from pro djs and music licensed from major labels. Patrons can use their mobile phones to vote on upcoming songs on the playlist and request additional artists. Downloadable PDF's are available for further explanation.
Mixgar takes a web-based approach that streams music from YouTube and offers a bit more interactivity for partiers and patrons via their mobile devices. After creating a Place on Mixgar, one can forefront or filter specific genres for the event and choose music to get things started. The playlist can be viewed via a computer screen or displayed on computer-powered screening systems. Venues pay for use of the service.
Attendees at your event or venue check-in via Foursquare or Facebook and their music favorites automatically influence the playlist. They can also vote on upcoming songs. Mixgar strikes me as the most competitive concept of the four.
3GM offers a "turnkey white label music streaming solution" that has options for both consumers and businesses.
Though services such as 3GM are not my area of expertise, taken as a whole, these startups reveal that Hungary has entrepreneurs who are getting funding, sometimes quite a bit, and appear competitive with similar services in Western Europe and the States. They should also serve as a reminder that competition in the music tech space is increasingly likely to spring up from almost any part of the world.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He currently maintains a writing hub at Flux Research and periodically blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.