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We interview Damian Cranney of Belfast Startup RollTV- An innovative new music platform

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by Startacus Admin

As you probably know (and if you don't, where on Earth have you been?) that May is our Startup Cities… Belfast month, a whole 31 Days dedicated to shining a spotlight on the vibrant and fast evolving startup scene of the Northern Ireland capital.

What's particularly striking about the Belfast Startup scene is the number of high quality tech businesses which are being created, so to kick off we have interviewed Belfast self-starter Damian Cranney one of the clever clogs behind a fab new music platform RollTV that intends make video work better for music… its a very ambitious plan, but we will let Damian fill you in on all the details.We interview Damian Cranney of Belfast Startup RollTV

Hi there Damian, we recently met you Friday Night Mashup and you won the chance to pitch RollTV at this years The Summit. So, first up, pitch us all RollTV - what's it all about and in no more than 100 words!

Roll is project we started about 9 months ago. It began as an a journey to find a better way to organise video. We were blown away by research showing the migration of audiences from TV to online video and again onto mobile devices. As we went deeper into R&D, we realised we needed to focus on a single genre and that's what brought us to the application for Music.

Basically we're trying to make video work better for Music. That means being able to create a more engaging experience that lets content owners (musicians, labels and publishers) connect and transact with fans.

There seems to be abundance of music discovery Apps that are currently coming to market - so whats makes RollTV a standout platform?

We're not really sure that music discovery is a problem that needs solving. We're more interested in what we think is a much bigger problem. Musicians make money from live events, merchandise and brand partnerships. Music video tends to sit outside these commercial channels. Roll is an attempt to try and connect the dots.

RollTV are based both in Belfast and London - how comparable are the two Startup scenes?

Sure, we set up in Shoreditch to give Big Motive a face in London where many of our clients are. Being in East London is amazing in terms of accessing people, networks and brands. They're fundamentally different in many ways but I think the obvious difference is that the scene is pretty mature in London.

There are lots of accelerators, funding options and really great startups with serious traction and scale across the gamut of business sectors. It also helps that London is a hub for media, design, retail and financial services.

Relatively speaking, there's awesome talent in Northern Ireland but we have a way to go before we can boast the strength and breadth of London's startup community.

We interview Damian Cranney of Belfast Startup RollTVAny advice for any 'wannapreneurs' out there, looking to do something with that big or small idea?

If you're searching for a big idea, reframe that thought and search for a big problem instead. It's probably something you already know so stick to your recent experiences and it's likely to reveal itself. Other than that - meet as many people you can that are close to the problem. The more you talk to them, the better able you'll be to clearly define what you need to do and the better able you'll be to communicate it to everyone else.

Hindsight makes it sound so simple!

So whats next for RollTV - any sneak peeks you can share with us all?!

We're taking some time to catch our breath after a whirlwind 9 months. The rest of 2014 is about validating our hypothesis on our next version of Roll. We've built a mobile experience exploring curated playlists as an effective engagement model. Now we're interested in going much bigger with a business to business focus.

It's a distinctly different approach - but engaging with potential customers and pitching at numerous startup events in the last few months has given us amazing clarity on the problem for the music industry. We're super excited about ‘rolling’ out a new product towards the end of the year. Ah, and there's that recurring pun. We'll try and resist that going forward…

Thanks Damian, what a great example of Belfast born tech innovation, best of luck and i'm sure we will catch up again soon!  Why not check out Roll in a little more detail by visiting their website?

Eager to explore the belfast startup scene a bit more? Then head on over to Startup cities...Belfast to see what else startacus has unearthed this month!

Oh, by the way, If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free...

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Published on: 30th April 2014

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