Interview with David Evans, CEO of In the Chair Pty Ltd
Below is an interview with David Evans, CEO of In the Chair Pty Ltd. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.inthechair.com/. You can also view a one-minute demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axYphCe1GGo or a six-minute demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YG1yFDVyS8.
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
In the Chair: There are 112 million people in the US alone who play a musical instrument. Less than 1/5 of 1% are professionals. In the Chair is for the rest, who can only dream of becoming a star. In the Chair puts you in the band, you hear and see the other musicians as you play along. Just like having your personal coach, it ‘listens’ to what you play and gives immediate feedback on your pitch, timing, tone and dynamics. The combination of playing with professionals together with immediate feedback creates the ideal learning environment for every student.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
In the Chair: In the Chair is a content distribution platform like iTunes except, that instead of music to listen to, In the Chair adds value to media by combining existing formats and delivering music to play along with. And it works with pre-recorded or live performances.
Our patent pending music judgment system has been developed so that content can be delivered in real-time. Instead of just buying a ticket to sit in the audience at a concert you can buy a ticket to play in the concert in real-time over the internet.
We’re continuing to develop groundbreaking IP including a chord and rhythm judgment algorithm, built upon 5 years of research by our CTO, Dr William Thorpe.
The strategic partnerships we’re developing are second to none. In January we formed a partnership with Sibelius Software that gives us access to the Word doc of sheet music enabling user generated content. Sibelius has 180,000 users including every major publisher in the world. The partnership with Sibelius also allows us to leverage their distribution channels. When Avid recently acquired Sibelius, Avid cited Sibelius’ education channels as the primary reason.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
In the Chair: With In the Chair you use your own instrument – no need for MIDI. Using the simplest of microphones, just plug in and start playing.
User Generated Content
In the Chair 2.0 lets you record your performance of one of thousands of popular tunes and share it with your teacher in preparation for your next lesson. Or send it to grandma for praise.
But musicians don’t just play other people’s music, they make their own. In the Chair 2.0 lets you write your own music and share it with other users to play along with. At first this will just be sheet music, with MIDI accompaniment. Soon users will be able to upload their own audio and video accompaniments too.
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
In the Chair: School music students studying band or orchestral instruments.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
In the Chair: Right now I’m in San Diego. We’re shooting a masterclass with renowned Jazz composer Sammy Nestico – he’s 82 years old and still full of energy and passion for music.
Also, we have a rock guitar product in prototype. Imagine playing live on stage with your favorite band from your living room or competing with your mates to see who can play the most like Jimi Hendrix.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
In the Chair: It’s about the content really. In the Chair’s mission is to be a platform for music participation, learning and content distribution, not a content producer. So, we’ll be putting these tools in the hands of the publishers and concert producers too. Our business model is to take a cut of the revenue generated from music sold on our platform.
In the Chair 2.0 is a Mashup Inside. The first examples of Publishers selling their content directly from inside In the Chair will use APIs from their digital content warehouses. In this transaction, In the Chair acts as a retail platform for publishers. This content can then be remixed with user-generated arrangements – if you’re a teacher and a particular piece is too hard for one of your students, you can change it so they can still play with the band.
A large part of In the Chair’s interface is a browser window, allowing us to serve up any 3rd party content. In the Chair will act as an affiliate selling music downloads, musical instruments and other related products.
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
In the Chair: The biggest criticism of version 1 was content, which we’ve fixed with version 2 by incorporating the Sibelius Scorch format.
The other major criticism has been the web-based nature of the software in some school situations. We’re releasing an offline version in January and a boxed product with Sibelius in March.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
In the Chair: Creativity breeds passion. That’s important for the kids we’re making software for, but also I always make sure my team has every opportunity to use their talents. Start ups need every ounce of passion possible to even get to the starting blocks. That’s something everyone I work with has – creativity and passion.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
In the Chair: As per 6.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
In the Chair: We’ve raised an Angel Round and are currently evaluating when to do our Series A.
TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?
In the Chair: We launched the beta of version 2 at web2.0. The commercial release of In the Chair 2.0, called StarPlay is on December 19 at Midwest Clinic.
Entry filed under: Audio, business, communication, download, emusic, entertainment, Interactive, mashup, music, music education software, online, online business, software, startup, startups, tech, Technology, web, web 2.0, Web 2.0 technologies.