Download music for free, while artists are paid

Main Achievements

In 2015, we embarked on a journey to create an innovative music app that would not only change the way people listen to music, but also how artists are rewarded for their talent. We named it MonkingMe. Based in Barcelona, we aimed to establish a platform that would offer a legal and free way for users to stream and download music

The Birth of a Revolutionary Model

Our groundbreaking platform was designed to house an extensive catalogue of free music, allowing users to discover new tracks and download popular music for offline listening. We introduced a unique feature: a virtual currency system, known as 'bananas'. Listeners could earn these by interacting with video ads and quizzes and spend them on premium features within the app​.
The revenue generated through these non-intrusive ads allowed us to pay artists, creators, and record labels in return. This business model led to maximizing payouts for right-holders and helped us generate revenue from users who might otherwise have accessed music through copyright infringement.

The Birth of a Revolutionary Model

We were thrilled to see the success of MonkingMe, as evidenced by the more than 5 million downloads of the app and more than 6 million tracks available on our platform. One of our key achievements was partnering with global distribution platforms like Fuga, Symphonic or Altafonte. We successfully catapulted our app to the pinnacle of the music category charts, clinching the number one spot in Spain.

Navigating Complex Negotiations

In the pursuit of offering the widest possible range of music to our users, we found ourselves at the negotiation table with the three major record labels: Sony, Universal, and Warner. These negotiations were a pivotal point in MonkingMe's journey and marked a significant milestone in our pursuit to establish MonkingMe as a leading music streaming platform.

The discussions with these industry giants were complex and lengthy. We were negotiating on multiple fronts, all of which were crucial for both us and the labels. The negotiations involved matters of equity, setting minimums per plays and per subscribers, advances in money, Most Favored Nation (MFN) clauses, and minimum market share clauses.

Equity discussions revolved around sharing a part of MonkingMe's ownership with these labels, a common practice in such negotiations. Minimum per plays and per subscribers were about establishing a baseline for payouts to these labels, ensuring a certain level of income for them from their music on our platform. Money advances were about upfront payments to the labels before their songs were even streamed.

The MFN clauses, a standard element in many entertainment contracts, were designed to ensure that the deal offered to one label wouldn't be outdone by any subsequent deal with another label. This means if we struck a more favorable deal with another label in the future, the terms of the existing deals would be adjusted to match it.

Lastly, the minimum market share clauses were about assuring the labels a certain percentage of our user base, ensuring their music reached a substantial audience on our platform.

These negotiations were a testament to our commitment to providing our users with a diverse music catalogue, while also ensuring a fair and rewarding model for artists and record labels. This was a challenging yet rewarding part of our journey, as it allowed us to engage directly with key players in the music industry and work towards a shared vision of transforming the way music is consumed and artists are compensated.

Embracing Change: The Rebrand to Offbeat

As the negotiations with the major labels continued, we found ourselves in a period of reflection and reassessment. We recognized that the pace of these negotiations was slow, often bogged down by the complexity and scale of the agreements. This speed did not match our vision and aspiration for rapid growth and constant innovation.

Moreover, we felt a growing need to refresh our value proposition. Our dedication to serving our users and artists had always been at the core of MonkingMe, and we saw potential for a rebrand to renew and strengthen this commitment. We envisioned a platform that would continue to disrupt the music industry, but with an even sharper focus on user experience and artist compensation.

But perhaps most importantly, we saw a burgeoning opportunity in the intersection of music and Web3. The advent of blockchain and cryptocurrencies was reshaping the digital world, and we believed that it could also revolutionize the music industry. With a vision of a more decentralized and equitable music ecosystem, we saw an opportunity to pioneer this transformation.

Thus, we made the decision to rebrand MonkingMe as Offbeat. This wasn't simply a change of name—it was a signal of our renewed commitment to innovation, a testament to our adaptability, and a bold leap towards the future of music streaming.