Kevin Deakin is the founder and chief executive of Musicplode Media Ltd, the people behind music gamification app Beat the Intro. In this post, Kevin will share his journey of how in 18 months he managed to develop a successful app influenced by a popular party game and the role that Amazon has played to their business growth and future opportunities – including becoming Alexa’s 10,000th skill in the US.
What was the inspiration behind Beat the Intro?
Around 14 years ago, Kevin Deakin invited all 30 of his London colleagues to his home in the Cotswolds. By late afternoon they needed further entertaining. Someone, he recalls started trying to guess the song on the CD that was playing as quickly as possible – and it caught on. Soon, the whole party was playing, shouting names at each other as the first few beats erupted; eventually forcing Deakin to fetch out his entire CD collection. Five hours later they had exhausted it; Beat The Intro was born.
Beat the Intro is a music gamification app. Deakin explains it as “Players try and guess a track by listening to up to 15 seconds of music – and it appeals to everyone, everyone likes music!” Beat The Intro’s concept is not unique, but Deakin’s team has a vision for the app that Amazon understood and liked.
What is the business strategy behind this app?
“Gamification is an increasingly important trend within the apps industry, and we’ve made a special effort to include this kind of feature in our product. That way, we have more potential opportunities to access an audience like that of Amazon’s.”
What makes your app different from the other apps on the market?
Deakin has owned businesses within media, working in commercial television and radio sectors. He knew the music industry well. He quickly realized a key differentiator for Beat The Intro would be music licensing. And in an industry where music piracy is rife, the team spent significant money and time (years in fact) building relationships with a host of music labels, producers, and publishers to secure the best selection of music snippets.
What has been your experience as an Amazon Developer?
“Throughout our journey, Amazon has been there. They have a terrific app store program, and the team often spoke to us even before Beat The Intro was a finished product. They helped us mold the game so it was suitable for their customers and supported us in our promotions, considering different markets, time-zones, even languages,” Kevin adds.
Developing the app for Amazon Appstore was fast and incredibly easy. They were also “never dismissive of our concept, but patient, readily available to sit down [with us] to talk intentions and directions.”
What else are you trialing and testing?
“Thanks to our support from Amazon, and our relationships with music labels, producers, and publishers, we’re in a perfect position to create specially branded packs for particular artists,” says Deakin.
In fact, Musicplode has been working with an award-winning singer. They have a tour coming up this year, and their fans are highly engaged on social media. Deakin’s app’s strategy saw an opportunity here: they have created a version of Beat The Intro which is tailored to this artist’s music only. The singer promotes the game to their fans, and they compete to be the best fan by guessing the music quickest, where the winner may win a gold disc or a chance to see them in concert.
“Amazon and the Amazon Appstore, in particular, has always helped support where we want to go; they’re proactive about where, when, and how our customers access our game which has always been incredibly important for us.”
Watch the full video interview with Kevin Deakin here.
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