Soundsuit (English pronunciation: [/saʊnd/ /suːt/]) is a French-German company that offers a music streaming service for business, at a global scale, i.e. Europe, North America and Asia. Soundsuit’s service provides an easy, legal and intelligent (i.e. AI-powered) software platform for background music in commercial spaces such as gyms, restaurants, retail and hospitality locations. Its innovative cross-platform software adapts automatically to suit the in-store audience (i.e. target groups) and the business context (e.g. sector, location, day of the week, time of the day, season, etc.). Soundsuit is a technology driven company that won diverse awards, such as the South-Germany Startup Prize and the Paris Retail Awards. The brand Soundsuit is operated by the Spherz GmbH corporation, a privately owned company with headquarters in Munich, Germany.
Soundsuit was founded in 2017  in Munich, Germany and is a privately owned corporation. The company was incorporated in time to take part in the South Germany Startup Prize "BayStartUp". Soundsuit ended up in the top 5 finalists in the competition and won the award in the category “IT & Internet”. There followed many months of Lean startup|Lean Start-up driven product development to ensure the creation of a user-centric and Minimum viable product|Minimum Viable Product and Soundsuit was launched as a commercial product in 2018. Consequently, Soundsuit is one of the latest newcomers in the industry of music service providers for businesses.
Following its launch and rapid user-adoption, Soundsuit received in 2018 the Paris Retail Award.
As an ideal setup for a tech Startup company|start-up, Soundsuit was created by a complementary team composed of one engineer (French), one marketeer (American) and one physicist (Russian). Its innovation was recognised in 2019 when it was selected and mentored by the Google for Startups|Google for Startups Program, which was further acknowledgement of the company’s pioneering technology and promising vision to disrupt an incumbent-based industry. In 2020, the company was then also selected by the Cloudways Startup Program, to support its growth and scaling in terms of cloud-operations across 3 continents .
Unusual enough to be highlighted, Soundsuit a tech startup not funded by venture capital financing. It is a so called Bootstrapping (finance)|bootstrapped company, i.e. self-funded, which re-invests only its earned revenue to finance its growth. This way to develop an early-stage tech company is very unusual, because very challenging. The main advantage of it for the founders of the company is not to dilute their equity with external investors, and to consequently fully control the decisions and strategy of their company. Few other famous tech companies managed this challenging journey:
- Basecamp (company),
- Zoho Corporation,
- Linda (acquired by LinkedIn),
- Algoriddim (known with the Djay apps),
- Atlassian (which started as a bootstrapped company years long, before raising VC capital but only at a much later stage of its development),
Founder and managing team
- Mikael Bourdon - CEO. Born in France, with working experience in France, Sweden, China and Germany, Mikael owns both an Engineering and a Business degree from Paris Sorbonne Institute of Technology and Linköping Institute of Technology in Sweden.
- Kalisa Irving - COO. Born in the USA, with working experience in the US and Germany, Kalisa owns a Master of Arts from the LMU in Munich.
- Sergey Lapin - CTO. Born in Russia, with working experience in Russia and Germany, Sergey owns a Master of Science in Physics.
Soundsuit’s digital music assistant helps thousands of brick-and-mortar businesses better engage their customers and motivate their employees through smarter music.
In building a product that works multiple devices, and eliminates the laborious playlist management work, Soundsuit works to empower business owners to control their in-store music atmosphere, effortlessly, anytime and from anywhere.
Soundsuit is a technology-driven company which provides a background music SaaS Platform for Businesses in sectors such as Hospitality industry|hospitality, retail, Fitness culture|fitness, Event management|events, workplace, Wellness tourism|wellness.
As a Software as a service|SaaS platform, Soundsuit is a cloud-based software solution in which it delivers applications to the users (i.e. the business owners) over the internet. Soundsuit provides access to its software via own and partner apps:
- iOS mobile apps (iPhone, iPad, Mac)
- Android mobile apps (smartphones, tablets)
- Sonos apps (web, mobile).
Soundsuit uses the internet to deliver its software to the end user. Soundsuit’s usage is subscription-based, with a monthly or an annual fee. Soundsuit users then don’t have to undertake costly or lengthy upgrades to the solutions. Because cloud-based, upgrades are managed by Soundsuit.
As with many innovative tech start-ups, the company was founded on a vision to revolutionise an Oligarchy|oligarchic market, i.e. dominated by a very small number of incumbent players. The market of music for Brick and mortar|bricks and mortar businesses was, in fact - since the early 60's until today - dominated by 3 big firms: Mood Media (Canada), Musak (USA, acquired in 2011 by Mood Media), PlayNetwork (USA). For years the market of in-store music providers was lacking customer-centric innovations in many areas:
- product efficiency,
- contractual flexibility,
- task automation,
- and inter-operability.
Soundsuit is the first fully digital player in this sector. The company benefited from the rapid evolution of the B2B music industry over the past few years. These evolutions were actually preceded by its even more rapidly moving adjacent industry: the B2C music industry, which well known players like Napster, the Apple iPod, Apple iPhone, Spotify, Apple Music - to name only few that remarkably marked the history since 2000.
How Soundsuit works
Soundsuit’s algorithms adapt the music to the customer’s business. After selecting the business type, target group, and the desired music atmosphere, Soundsuit will create an exclusive, personalised, playlist for a given business location, or a specific brand with many locations.
Each time the customer likes or skips a song, or adjusts the mood, Soundsuit learns more about their preferences and refines the personal music library. Based on the customer’s settings, history and personal library, Soundsuit adapts the music to the time of day and provides a new mix of songs daily.
Impact on consumers in stores
Backed by a large amount of academic and marketing studies, like the GFK study "building loyalty through positive and memorable experiences", or the very recent works in the field of Neuroscience, the impact of music on in-store customers while shopping, or eating, or socialising is massive.
- 91% of in-store customers are influenced by the right music while shopping.
- 70% of store managers see customers more relaxed, staying longer due to right music.
- 86% of customers say that the right music adds to the atmosphere, and influences their purchase decisions.
- 32% of sales increase in fashion stores due to the right brand-tailored music
- 39% of sales increase in supermarkets due to the right slower music
- 50% of customers spend more time in a shop that plays the right music
- 40% of customers choose where they eat and how often they go back based on the music played by the location
- Impact of music in store employees motivation
- 74% of employees enjoy going to work more when the right music is being played
- 30% of employees are less likely to take time off sick when the right music is played in their workplace
- Audiopro Business
Market: Music for Business
In the last 20 years, after the invention of the MP3 in Germany, the focus of the consumers, medias and scientists have been on the B2C music market. This market has indeed been agitated by iconic products (the iPod) and the disruption of historical players such as CD retail stores, record major labels (Universal Music Group|Universal Music, Sony Music, BMG Music|BMG, etc.), by the arriving of emerging players such as Napster, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, and today TikTok. And facts confirmed that this market was worth getting attention: According to the Recording Industry Association of America (Recording Industry Association of America|RIAA), CD album sales in the United States have dropped by 95 percent since peaking in 2000 and are currently at their lowest level since 1986, when Whitney Houston's self-titled debut album topped the Billboard charts.
Hidden by this fast and dramatic shift in the B2C music market, the B2B music market, mainly driven by the broadcasting of music in public spaces (cafes, restaurants, gyms, stores, etc.), has been much more discreet. But it has been moving too at a fast pace over the last 25 years:
- Switch from older compact disc (over 200 billion CDs have been sold worldwide over the past 25 years) and satellite technologies toward Internet delivered background music
- Switch from linear playlist design (i.e. one song after the other, pre-defined in advance for a given brand or location) to dynamic playlist creation (i.e. each song played at a time t is the result of a computation in the cloud, to match given context-based and customer-based parameters. Real-time data computing and analysis can analyze and count data dynamically and in real time, this has important practical significance on system monitoring, scheduling, and management.
- Switch from Store and forward|Cache-and-Forward architecture (e.g. on site music player, where the music content in stores in advance, and played by schedule) to streaming architecture which provides some innovative methods and technique that would help build an IP based radio/TV network (e.g. the music content in played in real-time from Cloud-servers)
- Switch from a passive attitude of the business owner or store employees when it comes to the music broadcasted in the store to a more interactive attitude, encouraged by the use of mobile apps, to influence, refine, steer, or control the music played, in real-time.
The Soundsuit products represent perfectly this business and technological evolution:
- Digital Assistant (Virtual assistant|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_assistant) to create the perfect tailored playlist for a given store. It requires no music knowledge, and takes only one minute. Simplifying the business life of the store managers and staff.
- Music player apps for smart control of the music mood level (similar to the use of a mobile app to smartly control the temperature in a room via a internet-enabled thermostat)
- Cross-platform compatibility, to allow every business owner to easily connect to the sound system they already use, or would like to purchase: any streaming-box, Bluetooth-enabled speakers, classical amplifiers via a Stereo cable, Chromecast compatible speakers, Sonos speakers, AirPlay 2 compatibles speakers, etc.
The incumbent competitors of Soundsuit:
- Mood Media
- Easy on Hold
- Auracle Sound
- Cloud Cover Music
The more innovative, more recently founded, competitors of Soundsuit:
- Soundtrack Your Brand
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