iMusician is a Swiss based music start up offering musicians everything they need to sell, manage and monetise their music online. Run by a small, international team who are passionate about music, we do the hard work so you can concentrate on what’s important to you: making music!
Our small team is made up of 8 nationalities including 2 DJs, 2 record label owners, 1 singer, 1 radio moderator, 1 bass player, 1 guitarist, 1 booking agent all then headed by a CEO with absolutely no taste in music; but hey we can’t be perfect! You can find us all hard at work in our Zurich office, so feel free to pop by and say hello!
A brief history
But whereas labels were suffering, musicians suffered even more. In the recording business, musicians are not the “customer” of the label, they are the “supplier” (the consumer is the customer). And in times of economic duress, companies screw their suppliers to reduce costs and boy, did we get screwed.
It was 2007, and Shigs Amemiya and Tobi Wirz decided to make a new brand of Music Company. One that would:
- Not rely on sales as the key income driver.
- Put the musician first.
And that’s where iMusician was born: a company which sold a simple online music distribution service directly to musicians for which it was paid upfront. The musician would be the “customer”, upfront fees would be the “key income driver” and that meant the business model would have to be “longtail” and highly automated. Once those parameters were fixed, the rest fell into place.
By 2010 when iMusician customers were entering the Swiss Charts, the annoying itch that was iMusician had turned into burning rash on the back of the Majors and they rewrote the chart rules to block it from “The Official Swiss Charts”. Not one to accept this lying down, iMusician initiated a class action Anti-Competition case against IFPI and the Majors who settled instantly, preferring a US$3.5 million fine (probably over US$4 million with legal fees) than facing a public lynching. The rest, as they say, is history.
iMusician broke even in 2012, almost unheard of for an “online startup” let alone an “online music startup” attracting attention and investors from the absolute pinnacle of industry. Today, it is part owned by the State Bank of Zurich (ZKB) and its board consists of members such as Joachim Schoss (founder of Scout24 and one of Germany’s most respected entrepreneurs), Tim Renner (ex-MD Universal DE), Timm Degenhardt (CMO Sunrise) and Jost Wirz (Honourary Chairman of WIRZ Group).