Intertainment Media Inc. has announced a 20% ownership investment in Toronto’s Tunezy, Inc., a startup company featuring a disruptive social platform for the recorded music industry. This investment by Intertainment is yet another in a growing list of technology startups the Company is becoming involved in that are poised to deliver new modes of consumer engagement. Tunezy recently won an entrepreneurship competition held at the National Business & Technology Conference (NBTC) in March, which helped validate the company’s business model.
Tunezy is a direct musician-to-fan “social record label” where individuals can closely follow and help promote their favorite independent musicians. The company is a player in the $20 billion independent music arena that is primed for new ideas and revenue models given the new emerging trends in music and technology. Set to launch the private beta this summer, the site will provide a social platform where emerging musicians can grow their careers.
Tunezy competed against 32 startups across North America at NBTC and placed first overall. The event attracted over 80 startup teams and those that made it through the first cut presented their ideas and strategies to a judging panel of venture capitalists, executives, and fellow entrepreneurs. Tunezy won $5,000 in cash from KPMG, BlackBerry Playbooks from RIM, and $30,000 worth of advisory services from MaRS Discovery District, as well as news coverage in the Globe & Mail. A complete list of the competing teams and more information can be found online.
In addition to its financial investment, Intertainment Media is providing Tunezy with multiple resources to ensure it attains fast and sustainable growth including office space, operational support and direct access to its executive team for mentorship and guidance on the company’s direction, strategies and commercialization.
“Intertainment Media is focused on making strong investments in socially-focused companies where we see a smart team and robust technology combined with a quality market opportunity to change the status quo,” said David Lucatch, CEO of Intertainment. “We believe Tunezy can drive deeper social engagement between musicians and their fans, which will help grow the platform into a real force in the independent music industry.”
“We are thrilled to have Intertainment Media as our financing partner and also benefit from their operational and strategic support,” said Derrick Fung, Chief Executive Officer at Tunezy. “Intertainment Media has been invaluable to us. The company has helped us focus our product strategy and, as we prepare for our launch, it has also given us great operational support—something that is essential for any early stage startup. We’re working hard to perfect our technology so we can offer the very best music experience.
“The Tunezy platform will provide global independent musicians and their fans with a social environment to share in the love of music,” Fung continued. “It allows musicians to thrive even if they aren’t signed to a label, giving them exposure to a broader audience of engaged fans. We believe that the current direction of the music industry is to diminish the role of a traditional record label. Tunezy aims to bring power back into the hands of musicians, so they can leverage the new trends on the Internet and social media to grow their careers.”