How a conversation over a cup of chai and love for music created BC Jukebox
Music played at social venues has become predictable and if one may, boring. The world of cassettes and CDs are long dead, the digital age caught up with music long before hitting other aspects of our lives. However, social venues seem to be stuck in an older era when it comes to music. Thus, BC Jukebox was started by IIT Bombay alumni to cater to background music and customer engagement requirements of social venues.
A device is placed at the venues where it not only plays background music, but also hosts song requests via an app. The app is free and available on iOS and Android devices. The requests simply get queued in the playlists, and one can also view the scheduled playlists.
Apart from a device, the BC Jukebox is also available via a web version, which a venue can use on any device with Internet access. Vaibhav Antil, one of the Co-founders, says that today everyone has access to millions of tracks, and a platform like BC Jukebox not only enables people to listen to the kind of music they like but also explore the music around.
Bonding over chai
Four IIT Bombay grads and a hardware engineer from the aviation industry happened to meet over a cup of chai in Powai. While each had their expertise and skill sets, they shared one common passion -- love for music. Over the course of their conversation, they realised that the music playing in the background of bars, cafes and restaurants was putting off.
This gave birth to the idea of BC Jukebox. "Our initial struggle was with educating both our clients and customers about the product offering. For some, there was a struggle to understand the complexity of the tech involved despite the fact that the device was eventually just a plug and play system. It was also difficult to convince clients to pay for a service that they had never paid for before," says Vaibhav.
Over time, they got the support from some key clients and early adopters making it easy to test the results and quickly iterate under live conditions. This helped them build a stable and easily scalable product suited to the requirements of the market they were entering.
How does it work?
Content providers and content creators have been at war with the thought leaders of the internet in copyright battles all over the world. The team believes that their unique business model allows both parties to form a truce and monetise the systems appropriately.
End users pay for the privileges, not for rights. Business owners on the other hand, have been trying to solve the problem of curating music for their audience ever since public music existed. All across the world, crowd sourcing has worked wonders, as the end user enjoys the control more than being force fed someone else's preferences.
The team believes in social experiences at restaurants being more than just about the food and the pricing. The aim is to develop a platform, where like-minded people can find each other via their cultural preferences.
The product automatically does tempo match, volume normalization and cross fading. These features ensure that the venues don't need any other service when it comes to music and engagement. BC Jukebox is currently active in Mumbai and Pune. The team plans to expand to Delhi and Bengaluru and reach to eight cities by the end of the year.
"The response from customers has been better than we expected, often the time restrictions don’t let us fulfill all the requests at the venue (something that we really dislike). The gamification aspect of the app (upvotes) has also caught on and we have observed different groups interacting and engaging based on the competitive nature of song selection," adds Vaibhav.
The team charges the venue a monthly fee for the entire service. The song requesting aspect for the consumers is free and is simply targeted at increasing customer engagement.
Challenges and the jukebox market
The team states that its biggest challenge has been operations apart from building the initial challenge. Similar players entering this field are Moojic and Jammupdj. With the growing need for better ambience and environment at social settings, there's a huge untapped market to capture.