“Publish or perish” is a mantra often espoused by writers and academics. The same holds true for composers. “Of all the publishing industries,” says Jennifer Rosenblatt, CEO and cofounder of MusicSpoke, “sheet music is the last to catch up.” Her husband, Kurt Knecht, is a published composer who has performed in venues worldwide and has sold over 100,000 copies, however, the traditional sheet music publishing industry retains 90 percent or more of all sales revenue and takes copyrights and control away from composers.
Jennifer and Kurt sought a better solution. Following a national music conference in 2013, they recognized the need to connect composers to conductors through a new marketplace model for self-published scores. “MusicSpoke was launched mid-2014 during the NMotion Accelerator program in Lincoln, Nebraska. We started with 16 composers and 72 scores, and have grown to 100 composers and nearly 800 scores in just over two years.”
Throughout their business development, their top challenge has been understanding their dual-sided marketplace. Most important to the MusicSpoke team is the composer-centric platform. “Our business model is designed to give the composers the most money and control. Without the artists, there would be no music.”
Jennifer cites helpful resources along her journey including NMotion, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs in St. Louis and the startup ecosystem in Kansas City. “Everyone is here to help you succeed. Entrepreneurship is hard, so it’s vital to establish a community to get you through the good times and the bad.”
Having sold her marketing business to dedicate herself full time to MusicSpoke, Jennifer says, “We were able to improve a long-standing problem in the music industry and now have a following of grateful composers nationally and internationally.”
Jennifer was announced as one of the 2017 Fellows for the prestigious Pipeline Entrepreneurs program in Kansas City.
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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.