Yes! uMusic online is disrupting the digital distribution of artistes’ works inspired by the many infringements by existing distributing platforms. Music is said to be the food for the soul and a 2nd year BSC. ICT student has found a way to feed our souls by bringing music to the general public to legally download while providing artistes effective payment system for their works.
We caught up with Isaac of uMusic online and this is what he had to tell us about his startup business.
Name: Isaac Kwame Owusu
School & Course of Study: Data Link Institute; Bsc. Information Communication Tech.
Year/Level: 2nd Year (200)
Business Name: uMusic
Contact Number: +233241558464
Kindly tell us what your campus business is about?
uMusic online is the premier mobile music download platform bringing legal media distribution to Ghana. uMusic online is a company focused on meeting the needs of music lovers allowing them to buy, listen, share, and manage music all within a user friendly mobile platform solving copyright issues.
uMusic online technology encourages the purchasing and discovery of new music while offering seamless integration and storage of the users’ music library on their mobile device. With multiple payment systems available, uMusic online makes music accessible to all. uMusic online encourages the social aspect of music by making it easy to create and share playlists to friends within the application.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I had friends who were musicians on and off campus and they were making good music but they made literally nothing from the art. They had to pay bloggers and website owners before they get their songs online. Which was not the right thing to do since the bloggers needed the musicians more than them and their intellectual rights were being infringed upon. Since we had no online music shop or platform that deals with legal music downloads, I formed a team and we decided to build one.
Which gap did you see and intend to bridge with your business?
All the online music centered websites in the country are focusing on making money from the musicians without thinking about their intellectual rights, that creates a very big gap. My team and I tend to bridge the gap of musicians making nothing from music downloads, we want to make the music art profitable again
Does your campus inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in students?
Yes. We have entrepreneurship seminars organized by the school and being on campus without doing anything profitable in this era makes you feel uneasy thus making me thinking of creating something great.
How do you manage to combine both academic work and business so you are not adversely affected?
Well, I must admit this is the most difficult part of the whole thing. I try to distinct between school hours and working hours. Thank God it is an online based business so my team and I have the liberty to work from 12am – 5am, that is midnight and use the day time for school.
How did you determine there was market for your type of business?
Everybody loves good music and if you are a good fan of a particular musician, won’t you pay a token to support his career? And the demand from the musicians to get their songs after we announced our idea on Facebook revealed clearly that there was a market.
How did you manage to raise your startup capital?
We met a “VC” venture capital company, Veew Digital who aims at helping African startups to get started. They helped us raise the startup capital and we got some funds from friends and family.
What is your business model and how do you make money?
We make money from premium music promotions, that is some musicians want more apart from the free music uploads, people buying songs from the site and amazingly donations from some fans of the site.
What challenges do you come across and how are you handling them?
Since we want everything to be free, some people tend to abuse the system by submitting un-mastered songs and some sending too much songs at a time. We have a challenge of reaching out to some of the mainstream musicians since most them are virtually unavailable to reach.
Do you intend to continue with the business upon completing school?
Yes, intend to continue with the business upon completing school. I hope it will be bigger and more improved by the time I graduate.
How did your colleagues and family respond to your new venture?
Most colleagues were impressed with the idea and its execution since we first presented it in a group work. So, seeing a group work online was something else. My siblings and cousins are proud of what I’m doing and they keep supporting.
What do you consider your most significant achievement so far as a Campus CEO?
I would say the most significant is that this whole venture inspired people to start something and I have seen about 3 businesses started after they saw the prospects of uMusic.
What message do you have for colleague students who want to start their own businesses?
I would say, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” As said by one of my mentors, Steve Jobs. Things will not be easy but start before you regret later.
Are you in any of the African tertiary institutions? Do you have a business you are running from campus? Let’s share your story to the world. Sumbit your profile here: CAMPUS C.E.O. FORM
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