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SongTiles: physical media for streaming

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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS : concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
SongTiles: physical media for streaming
Full concept/idea title
Empowering creators through an innovative hybrid media triggered by touch
The beauty of physical media merged with the convenience of digital streaming. A SongTile is activated by gently bumping your smartphone onto it, it'll open the app and play, like magic! SongTiles wants to bring back the nostalgia of CD/Vinyl, but upgraded with technology, like AR for virtual interaction, and blockchain for security and copyright. Also, selling SongTiles will provide independent artists a much higher revenue than pay-per-stream rate, aiming for a fairer and healthier industry.
Where is your concept/idea being developed or intended to be implemented in the EU?
Rua de Ferreira Cardoso 58, apt 2o andar
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea
SongTiles are the fusion between digital streaming and physical media, a new way to access online content in streaming platforms. They work as shortcuts activated by gently bumping your phone onto them. Like magic, but it's technology! Each SongTile is made out of a 2mm thick translucent acrylic 10x10cm square piece with a cover art printed in high quality vinyl adhesive in the front and an NFC tag in the back. The NFC tag is programmed to hold audiovisual content hosted in streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, etc). It's very simple to activate it: bump a smartphone gently onto the front of a SongTile, it will activate the shortcut, a notification will appear, tap it and the content will start to play. The smartphone must have the NFC tag reader activated and the streaming app installed for it to work. SongTiles wants to partner up with independent artists, podcasters, DJs and even playlist curators and virtual parties. To gather all these in one word, we'll be calling them Talents. Streaming platforms pay a very low cut for each play artists get in their profile. SongTiles can empower Talents by sharing 30% of the selling price directly with them. This way we will attract music business clients to use SongTiles in their releases, which is good for us and also will boost up their flow of income, especially in situations where they're not allowed to perform live shows, like the current Covid-19 pandemic. Also, there's no minimum quantity needed to order for a release, Talents will be able to choose to buy them in bulk or just sell them in our Marketplace with a dedicated profile for them, all their social media links and the possibility of creating a crowdfunding campaign. SongTiles will start a revolution in the audiovisual streaming market, it will play a major role in supporting Talents in the beginning of their career as an accessible medium for outputting their work. For experienced artists, it will provide an innovative marketing strategy.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of sustainability and how these would be met
When it comes to sustainability a first question that may come up is: why should we go back to physical media? SongTiles are not disposable, they can have a great lifespan due to virtual interaction features such as Augmented Reality and Link Shift, that will be further explained. SongTiles have a purpose, they're not only decorative or collectible, they will be able to help independent Talents to make a sustainable living. Streaming market is constantly growing but not only good things come from that. It can still be very hard to be an independent artist in the streaming era. The majority of music streaming platforms pay less than 0,01€ for each stream an artist gets in their profile, making it nearly impossible for independent artists to make a sustainable living only from streaming revenue. Besides all accessible digital tools available to create content nowadays, big companies and experienced creators are the ones that benefit more from streaming platforms, huge marketing campaigns and press releases are used to boost up their income. In addition, the platform's algorithm tends to favor contents that are already trending and getting lots of streams. SongTiles can change that by providing an online marketplace, a community and an innovative hybrid media, so creators can earn more money from selling their own SongTiles and still earn their streaming income as well, being a more sustainable option in terms of living as a fully independent artist. SongTiles were designed to fit in Industry 4.0 pillars, making it work in a smarter and more sustainable way through RFID (NFC), cloud computing, autonomous robots manufacturing and augmented reality. SongTiles are digitally fabricated by laser cutting, they can be produced in almost any part of the world and sold locally, in a decentralized production process to reduce shipping costs and traveling distances, reducing carbon emissions.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met
Remember CDs? LPs? The good feeling of admiring a new release from your favorite artist, all the beautiful photos within the booklet and lyrics to sing along? SongTiles wants to bring some of these features back and add new ones through augmented reality. The artwork of a SongTile can be used as a trigger for AR Filters on Instagram or Snapchat, amplifying the experience by adding floating lyrics, 3D objects, moving artwork, animations and more. This kind of virtual experience can work really well with customers and also on press kits. AR content is a great way to extend the lifespan of the product, as well as Link Shift. SongTiles offer the possibility of a Link Shift, meaning the content stored in it can be changed, even after it's purchased. This is a new way for providing access to exclusive content, creating real time long-term content releases (like a song per day during a week) and other innovative marketing campaigns that can be designed using this feature. Current types of physical media have their content permanently stored, so Link Shift is an amazing feature that puts SongTiles away from other physical media. SongTiles are collectible, portable, they can be put on the wall to create very unique decorations, they can vary in size and can also be custom made in different shapes for special occasions. These collectible and decorative tiles also have the purpose of reminding customers about their favorite songs and digital contents, as one can be easily influenced by the algorithm that will keep on suggesting things based on customer profile might like based on their actions. Sometimes the algorithm can be handy, but it can also be overwhelming and act against a customer's desire.  SongTiles can also be customized with a customer photo for B2C orders, which makes them a very good way to materialize feelings, memories and virtual passions: a playlist of an unforgettable trip abroad, a compilation of your favorite songs or a gift for a special one.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion and how these would be been met
Nowadays, creating and releasing a song is very accessible to people but it may be more difficult to make a living out of it. As part of the plan to empower independent Talents, SongTiles will provide a marketplace for them and also a community. New artists will have access to crowdfunding tools, online classes and workshops about recording demos, mixing instruments, song writing, digital marketing and many other relevant topics to the music industry nowadays. SongTiles will sustain an inclusive platform to welcome new talents and provide technology and tools to develop their work further. In addition to that, there's another powerful and life changing aspect of SongTiles, their easy interaction makes them very accessible for elderly people and people with a disability or mobility restrictions to use. I have perceived that from a friend that has reached out to me and told me she wanted SongTiles for her son that has hand mobility restrictions as he would find it very hard to access his favorite music through tapping on his smartphone or even using voice command. This made me think about all the possibilities to make SongTiles more accessible to other kinds of disabilities such as visual or hearing impairment. Some examples to be developed are 3D printed texture on SongTiles covers for touch perception and also by creating synced vibrations on an app to be developed in the future.
Please explain the innovative character of your concept/ idea
The main innovative characteristic of SongTiles is the materialization of digital content hosted in streaming platforms, in a nostalgic way, merging old known concepts with new features, satisfying the aesthetic desire of a physical media with the convenience of digital streaming. The easy interactiveness of SongTiles through NFC technology is also very innovative since NFC is mostly used for payments and security systems, not yet for entertainment. NFC interaction is more valuable than QR code scanning since it is not visible to the user, it does not interfere aesthetically in the product and provides an easier interaction with fewer steps. In addition to the innovative aspects there are Augmented Reality and Link Shift. Besides these features, SongTiles bring more value, power and profit to Talents. Through Blockchain technology it'll be possible to achieve our goal of 30% of the product selling price profit with transparency, avoiding loss of credibility. It'll make data transparent and trackable, making both clients and Talents feel more secure. Moreover, it can register, track and store intellectual property regarding all steps of the creative process, like credits to authors, songwriters, composers and other professionals involved. This will provide power for making SongTiles an important tool on reshaping the music industry to a better, safer and fairer industry.
Please detail the plans you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea, with a particular attention to the initiatives to be taken before May 2022
I've built an MVP for testing SongTiles in Brazil. I'm currently based in Portugal but I chose Brazil because since I was born and raised there, in São Paulo, I had access to a wider audience to test the product. By now few SongTiles were sold to friends and customers to test the product and gather feedback. Upcoming plans before May 2022 include starting a SongTiles production in Portugal, creating an online Marketplace, reaching independent artists, building online classes and workshops, reaching potential corporate clients in the industry for bulk sales, press releases, events and festivals, and expanding our business to more countries in Europe. A great opportunity for SongTiles in 2022 are music festivals, such as Primavera Sound, where we could have a booth with a real time SongTiles production, where attendees would be able to take a picture and receive a custom SongTile with a playlist of the festival's lineup to bring home as a beautiful memory. For marketing actions like this, as not all smartphones have NFC technology, we plan on making it more accessible to the general public by adding a QR code sticker with the same content in the back of these distributed SongTiles, this way there would be no frustration in the experience. For marketing, development and growth strategies, we'll be using mainly Instagram and TikTok for creating content with other artists and sharing interesting topics about music. Further plans also include an app, new products such as bigger SongTiles, other formats and gadgets for reading and interacting with SongTiles. Looking a bit more in the future, as SongTiles utility models would be already registered for many regions in the world, it would be possible to license these patents and make this solution available to other kinds of uses, such as video streaming, data storage and many other uses it can have in different markets as well.  
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Rising Stars Awards more than once in the same category.


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