DAVID MORICCA ON MIXIFY’S INNOVATIVE, ONLINE DJ BROADCASTING AND INTERACTION PORTAL
Mobile Beat: We found out about a new service that DJs can use to spread the word about their mixes, about their style and a lot of other info. We’re here with David Moricca, the founder and CEO of Mixify. David, tell us a little about your background and where Mixify came from.
David Moricca: Sure. So our company has actually been in existence for a little over a year, but we really kind of got to Mixify through the buildout of an initial platform called Breakout Band. Breakout Band, which we launched in 2011, is an online music production platform primarily targeting younger kids, which enabled them to make their own beats online and record their own vocals. What we found in building out that platform was that the audience, even the younger audience, was trending away from pop and hip-hop, which Breakout Band was predicated on, and much more into what is now being called EDM, dance music and kind of the whole DJ world.
And so at that point we took a step back, really explored the whole space of dance music and the DJ category, and we thought, given our visual expertise, that we could build a platform where DJs could really market themselves and live-broadcast themselves to fans all around the world; something we saw was not really being addressed in a very fan-friendly way when we started looking at it.
M B: The first thing that comes to mind is that this is going 10 generations past what DJs used to do on MySpace to spread the
word about themselves. We?re talking a live kick and hearing the whole mix and stuff like that, right?
D M: Yeah. The whole concept is predicated on the live stream or live broadcast. It?s basically connecting DJs with their fans in real time. And DJs have three ways that they can live-stream on the platform. They can do a pre-recorded mix if they like; but they also have the ability to plug in their external hardware and live-stream, say, from physical events or from their homes.
And we also have a new feature that leverages IceCast, with no plugging in at all, but to live-stream stereo using your CDJs or your hardware. And this all occurs in virtual venues where fans congregate and can basically socialize with the DJs, socialize with other fans. They can hype out their favorite parts of the mix; they can chat. So it’s meant to be to not only a great audio experience but also a very social one.
M B: So the disc jockey doesn’t really need to much, other than installing a little plug-in that actually takes it and sends it up to you guys, correct? He or she can sit there and mix like you normally would with Serato or whatever, and then just feed it to you guys?
D M: Well, even better than that. There’s actually no plug-in.
There’s no software download. That’s kind of the differentiator.
It?s all web-based. If they do a pre-recorded mix, obviously they’re uploading the mix to the server. But in the case of a live stream, there is no software download. You can plug in your hardware or you can leverage our IceCast solution to basically be live-streaming without downloading software.
M B: Okay. So can you take us through a bit of this?
D M: Sure…I actually just took us into an existing event at Mixify.com, which is happening with an up-and-coming DJ, some young DJ from Chicago who goes by The Mu.
By the way, the platform, the way it works is DJs can have events on here anytime, whether they’re the bedroom DJs just getting started all the way up to the biggest DJs who kind of are supporting the up-and-comers and the established DJs alike. Here we have a DJ who just scheduled an event for today, and fans have congregated in here to hear him livestream. So he’s using a direct Mixify stream. Basically this audio’s being live-streamed from his hardware.
And from a fan perspective, they obviously get to chat; there’s a group chat. You can see;if you click over to the right you can see the attendee list of all the different people who are in there. And if you like various parts of the mix, you can click the “hype” button. This DJ already has 583 hypes in his mix. And so ultimately that data is going to be provided to the DJ so they can see how people hype their mix along the arc of it;when was it really hot, when were people less interested in the mix?so you
can make yourself a stronger
mix maker as you go.
And from a marketing perspective
— as you’ll see, the
DJ’s represented as an avatar,
and you’ll see some of the
visual changes we’re making.
But in front of the DJ is all his social media assets. So not only is it about promoting this DJ on Mixify, but it’s about driving this DJ, fans and followers in their other social ecosystems.
We integrated the 1-click Facebook “Like” so you don’t even have to leave the page to become a Facebook fan of this artist. On Facebook, Mu has 1,246 fans right now…and we also his Twitter feed, and his SoundCloud links so that you can ultimately follow him in those other places as well…
From a fan engagement perspective, they can really grow by engaging some of their distant fans.
A lot of DJs who produce their own tracks will do release parties where they basically release some new mixes and some new tracks for their fans, and oftentimes will do some kind of giveaway as part of that. And obviously DJs who play at live venues will often use this as an extension. Like “Hey, I know you can’t be with me at this venue or at this festival, but I’m bringing it to you digitally on Mixify.” So those are some interesting and different ways that DJs use the platform.
M B: So tell us more about how Mixify came about.
D M: Just to give you a little bit of history on the company, we went live in public beta late July, so we?ve very new.
We’ve only been live with the platform for about three to four months; we’re obviously coming out of beta. But during our beta period we’ve gotten a pretty strong adoption, especially from the small and growing/emerging DJ community.
We have about 200,000 unique visitors on the platform, and I think in the ensuing months we’re going to be seeing a lot of partnership activities with the launch of our new interface that’ll enable even more fans and DJs to connect on the platform. We’ve also just introduced a new interface.
…After our first three to four months out in the market, both in talking to our current audience?a very active and vocal community of DJs;as
well as talking to some of our
strategic partners, really got
a sense of where they wanted
us to take the platform to
really enhance it, particularly
from a visual standpoint. So
what we realized was that
bringing in custom visual or
video would be very, very
powerful to enhance that
visual experience; essentially
transforming Mixify from an
audio streaming platform
into really an audiovisual
experience. We call Mixify
“the never ending electronic
music festival.” With this
new interface we’re getting
pretty close, I think, to what
we believe a digital festival
should feel like. Essentially
the big changes are that
a DJ (or a label, a festival,
a partner like that) will be
able to customize the visual
…You’ll see the DJ’s information, all his social media links on there. But behind the DJ now is actually a custom visual experience where a DJ can program a YouTube playlist of videos to play behind them or even upload their own videos to have a visual experience that’s custom for the event and mix what they’re sharing.
M B: Okay. So it’s not necessarily music videos by any means, but the video’s expressing the mood of what they’re trying to do with their music.
D M: Exactly…We’re going to have a whole slew of really high-quality visual assets from VJs that are going to be provided for basic users. They?ll be able to pick a visual theme that fits with their mix. And ultimately if a DJ wants to customize, they will be able to; it will be part of our subscription platform.
M B: Fantastic.
D M: That’s one major change. And then the other big change is we have moved away from avatars for the fans and have replaced that with actual user images;talking to a lot of the fans and realizing that our audience was a little bit older in age. Really, our audience is about 15 to 28. That’s really our sweet spot. The more they talked, the more they said they want to be represented as themselves and be able to really socialize with other people in an easier way.
M B: What do DJs need to know to get involved?
D M: Sure. Well, first of all it’s totally free to use and there’s no limitation on the number of events a DJ can have on the platform. We literally have DJs who do events every single day. A few of them have actually become pretty high on the fan charts on Mixify. So
it’s free to use. Onboarding
is pretty straightforward. We
have kind of a really pretty
clean, easy onboarding dock
to help people quickly get
started, depending on what
their preferred hardware is;
or if they so choose, pre-
…DJs can do events, as
many as they want. The way
this works (and this is going
to get modified a little bit
with the new interface),
basically there’s event information.
So you name your
event, describe it, because then it gets featured on the home pages. You put a start time to your event. Currently you select a venue for your event, which is going to get changed to select a visual theme for your event. And then you also select your mixing options. So as I mentioned, there’s three different mixing options: the direct input, the IceCast input, and then there’s the upload mix.
And that’s it.
And then you basically set up your event.
Between setting up your event and starting your event, it’s all about promotion. So tweet it out, share it on Facebook, let all your friends know that you’re doing this live event, live mix.
And then you have the event and post-event.
You also can record your mixes so that the mix then lives on your profile on Mixify post-event. And you can also share that mix out into your social media as well, as it’s playable within Facebook.
…So, again, to answer your question, it’s free to use. We are going to be offering a premium package or a subscription service which enables you to upgrade and get more services on the platform; basically significantly more storage, you’ve be able to customize your visual experience. You’ll also be able to get in-depth analytics on your events such as full access to the chat log; the hype meter, which measures the hype of the mix throughout the course of the mix; and also some information; geographic and age demographics on the fans that came through to your
M B: Is there anything you want the average disc jockey to know at this point about Mixify, other than get in there and try it?
D M: I would just say get in there and try it. We’re seeing some really nice growth around the platform; got some really interesting strategic partners starting to get involved and bigger DJs even using the platform. For example, recently Crystal Method did a live stream using Mixify from Philadelphia, PA. So that’s been one really big DJ that’s using the platform. And there’s a host of other larger DJs that are starting to adopt the platform. So what we’re finding is that Mixify can certainly support the emerging DJ as well as the really established DJs alike, and I think there’s a really nice cross-pollination between those.
I think the other big thing is that this platform really services the fans in a way that most other live streaming platforms we’ve seen before haven’t. So we want to make it a great experience and a marketing platform for the DJ, but also a great experience for the fans who will keep coming back, both to see DJs they already love and find new DJs on the platform. MB
Filed Under: Digital DJ, Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #147, Music, Performing
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