Welcome to 5 Questions with FinTech Founders, where we sit down with the next generation of FinTech innovators to hear about how they got started, and where they are going.
In this installment, we spoke with Lior Tibon, Co-Founder and CEO of Duetti, a music financing platform that enables a wide range of artists to sell master catalogs and individual tracks - an opportunity previously only accessible to a small group of A-list artists.
Prior to Duetti, Lior was the COO of TIDAL, the artist-centric global music streaming service. In January 2015, Lior joined the core team that launched TIDAL under the ownership of Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter and its original artist owners, and has led the company's major strategic business, revenue and operational efforts for over 7 years, up until his departure in May 2022. In April 2021, Block (formerly known as Square) acquired a majority ownership stake in TIDAL. Lior previously worked in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank in London.
1. What inspired you to start Duetti?
Duetti was founded to bring more opportunities for catalog monetization to a broad group of artists - not just to A-listers. By using transparent and sophisticated data analysis, we are able to offer clear and fair pricing for catalog tracks, providing many artists with additional financial options that previously were not available to them. We are not only expanding financial options for artists, but also investing heavily in maximizing reach for any song that we partner on - all driven by our extensive expertise in music streaming and new music formats.
Duetti has quickly become an essential business tool for many dozens of independent artists including CVBZ, Sylvan LaCue, and Croosh partnering on deals across 100 tracks.
2. What problem were you trying to solve in the market?
Duetti set out to address a significant market challenge by empowering independent artists to achieve financial independence and success in an industry where opportunities are often too concentrated at the top. Simultaneously, the company aimed to create new investment avenues in the music industry. Through the use of innovative technology and data-driven scalability, Duetti also aimed to provide artists with the insights and tools necessary to confidently navigate the complexities of the music industry, thereby amplifying diverse voices within the ecosystem.
3. What key music industry trend is impacting Duetti?
Streaming is still a relatively new phenomenon (mass market adoption only took off globally ~5 years ago) and there will be various long term fundamental shifts in the underlying dynamics of the music market as a result. On the creator side, it is easier than ever to release songs into the main streaming platform - but it is also challenging to get noticed. On the consumer side, there are ongoing significant shifts in consumption patterns, with more diversity and willingness to discover new artists. These shifts would ultimately require significant changes in the core fundamentals of the industry - and Duetti aspires to be a key change agent in this context.
4. What's the best piece of advice you ever got?
Having a strong foundational understanding of core unit economics is key to ensuring long term strategic success. Before we started Duetti, we spent a lot of time modeling different financial scenarios and execution paths, taking into account various market assumptions and other considerations. If there is no path for strong ROI on core unit economics, it is going to be much more difficult to build a lasting business.
5. What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs on raising capital?
Proving your team's execution capability - especially in today’s environment - is one of the most critical ingredients for fundraising success. Even if a startup requires capital to start scaling, any steps that can be taken to demonstrate an ability to efficiently execute from the start can go a long way in raising capital. This can include building out a pipeline with concrete feedback from prospective customers, alongside detailed thinking around execution plans and tactics.
To learn more about Duetti, visit duetti.co.