Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Christoffer Bolinder Wallin, CEO of Pindify.
1. What’s the history of Pindify? How and where did you begin?
CBW: My passion has always been creating and performing music. I However living as a creative artist with slim chances of making the industry, limited my options in life down to working a normal job, week in and week out under fluorescent light.
I have the utmost respect for hard/smart working folks, but after 5 years without music, my brain simply was on creative fire, and I needed an outlet. So I tried to shortcut myself in as an artist via the Swedish Idol. During the 9 hours in a freezing cold line in April, I got to experience great passionate entertainers, poets, singers, songwriters, musicians who all got rejected because that did not fit the TV-format.
That's when I realized that we the providers of music, arts & media, needed a Marketplace
to manage, engage and directly monetize on our content, stories & fan relations.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Christoffer Bolinder Wallin, Chief Executive Officer
Pindify was founded by artist, economist and developer Christoffer Wallin in 2011 as Jamclouds. Between 2007 and 2011, Christoffer served as a Developer and Project manager at BTS; a global leader in building strategy alignment and execution through the use of business simulations and experiential learning programs for blue chip companies worldwide. Christoffer is an active musician, prolific songwriter, and previously a lead singer for five different rock bands. In 2004, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics with Honors of Highest Distinction from University of Utah and minored in Business Marketing at David Eccles School of Business. In 2000, he received the Green Beret from the Swedish Airborne Rangers, K3.
Johan Lindgren, Chief Operation Officer
Former product manager at the US record company MCA’s Swedish office in the early 1990s. MCA then became Universal Music, where the role of Marketing Director topped a 17-year-long victory. After a few years as a consultant in the music industry, 5 years was spent as the marketing director at Sony Music. Now he has just assumed the role of General Manager at our digital marketplace Pindify. Johan’s enormous network of labels, publishers, artists, producers, and media is a true driver for Pindify’s future relations.
Mathias Mattsson, Chief Design Officer
Mathias spent 5 years working at the reputable advertising agency DDB. Prior to that, he was Head of Communicative Design at Eton, a leading global shirtmaker. He has also been the Director of Design at Grau Design Agency in Stockholm, that creates exciting and useful design solutions for clients such as SEB, Vattenfall, Bukowskis, Swedavia, and Storytel. We are amazed by the extensive digital design and attention to detail Mathias has infused into Pindify’s products, which align perfectly with the services we are offering the market.
Pavlo Shabat, Chief Technical Officer
Pavlo is leading our growing development team and managing the rollout of our web and mobile applications and customized IT infrastructure. He has over 11 years experience in web development and systems integration, leading teams in major tech industries such as e-commerce with companies like Shopify. Pavlo manages a specialised IT team consisting of 4 senior Ruby developers, 1 QA/Project Manager, 2 iOS and 2 Android developers, 1 UI/layout, and 1 designer, with additional developers close by, ready to scale up.
Mikael Friberg, Chief Marketing Officer
Being the Creative Director at Svenska Spel (the largest games & entertainment gambling company in Sweden) and having his own operations, RAF and then Grand, since 1985. Micke first graduated from Bergh’s School of Communication, and became a respected senior adviser in marketing departments at companies around the world. Today Pindify has the great privilege of having Micke formalizing Pindify’s marketing strategy and strengthening our brand to create and a clear roadmap forward for our clients and their customers.
Sara Öhman, Chief Social Officer
Sarah is in charge of our clients’ digital communication strategies such as content marketing, social media & community management, e-mail marketing and newsletter tactics.
Owner of one of Swedens most popular blog about social media. Former Brand activation manager of Sportamore and Zaark. She truly makes social media efficient.
3. What problem are you solving? Who are you solving it for?
There is no current market system that can help providers of music, arts & media such as
Creators (musicians, videographers, artists, writers), influencers (podcasters, radio, journalists, magazines), businesses (labels, publishers), to collaborate and directly earn on their content, stories, and fan relations.
Problem for the providers of music, arts, and media
Providers today are finding new professional-quality, affordable ways of making music, producing film, writing articles, designing art, recording podcasts and much more. What is missing is a service that strategically navigates traditional and emerging business channels, engages and interacts with their target audience, and provides clear, viable revenue streams from them.
Problem with streaming services
Currently, the only efficient way to promote is on social media. However social media distributes content randomly and encourages and promotes payment over subject matter and quality. Furthermore, it’s hard to organize content for providers in one portfolio and it offers no subscription revenue from new or existing fans.
Problem with social media
Consumers enjoy access to online libraries reaching multiple streamed content 24/7. However, providers have real issues when leading streaming services, including:
1. Keeping promotional influencers firmly in-house
2. Distributing subscribers’ payments unevenly between providers
3. Don’t offer direct interactivity or special relationships
Problem with the industry
The former industry model was designed to publish and promote top-level entertainment via traditional channels. Today those channels are disappearing and former industry providers such as radio/tv-channels, magazines, publishers, and labels, are now searching for online outlets with clear pay-rails and good promotional options.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
CBW: Provide a marketplace for providers of music, arts & media to organize, engage and earn on subscription, trading, funding, branding. All secured by a decentralized system of identity, rights, ownership, ownership allocation, storage and payment processes.
Pindify aims to create a symbiosis for creators, influencers, and businesses within the arts & media sectors, to coexist with subscribers and free users, as they would in any commercial shopping center. Pindify is free to join, and users are free to organize and post social or promotional audio, video, text, and images on their portfolios.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
..we systematically overestimate the change that will occur in two years, while underestimating the change that will come in the next ten.. Bill Gates.
Not a single sector has been more disrupted or forced into more change than the entertainment & media industry over the past few decades. This vast global industry will continue to evolve rapidly over the next decade as business models shift.
The latest shift by Providers is to avoid the culture and development of “clickbait content”, especially through advertising. Now, Providers are creating fan-centric, direct-to-consumer business models, and deepening their engagement with fans. No new service encapsulates this potential for such change more than Pindify, with its fair and direct-to-consumer market system, backed up by the assurance of blockchain technology and those who embrace it.
Pindify foresaw the disruptive shift of the industry and built a full-stack marketplace for direct commerce of arts & media, which is rapidly growing into the leading subscription-based service, providing easily accessible, personalized media at a great price, while stabilizing our clients’ rights and revenues using the underlying blockchain.
6. What’s the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: Avid or loyal fans, who typically represent 10-20% of a provider’s user base, can drive 80% or more of the provider’s overall business value. Exclusive content and special relationship efforts therefore must prioritize initiatives, specifically aimed at serving them.
Prediction #2: As user behavior and content consumption trend more toward social media, mobile devices and streaming, only providers who embrace and distribute into powerful new showcase destinations will grow, along with their broad and deep network of premium-tier fan-centric subscriber networks.
Prediction #3: Providers have to be both strategic and dynamic to fully capture the potential monetization from their fans. Subscribing fans, after all, have different requirements than simply selling ads to accommodate the subscription tier of free users. Providers need to balance the factors that drive relevance and emotional connection, as well as strong promotional efforts to amplify the quality and intensity of a fan’s experience and ensure efficient financial returns. As this industry transitions to a direct-to-consumer world, providers must ensure they are well-aligned for profitable and sustainable growth during this transition. Re-allocating resources in order to grow, is a difficult task that requires identifying the potential of significant new market and distribution partners, such as Pindify.