Three-year-old music startup Trebel, whose app lets users listen to music for free on-demand and offline, is going public via an A + settlement offer, according to a new SEC filing.
Why is this important: The company differentiates itself from other music broadcasters by allowing consumers to listen to free music on demand and offline with advertisements, which is a game-changer for people in developing markets.
How it works: Trebel earns money from advertising and shares that income with artists and labels, says Trebel CFO Bob Vanech.
- It also begins to build a business where brands can sponsor an ad-free premium music listening session for a user in exchange for user consensus data, often purchase data.
- Trebel is currently working with Uber Eats in Mexico to offer users a certain number of Uber Eats sponsored ad-free listening days in return for providing Uber Eats with information about users’ food orders, with their consent.
- The company has a patent that allows it to market itself as the only music service in the world where users can download music and listen to it on demand and offline for free.
Driving the news: Billionaire fashion retailer Chris Burch will pledge $ 250,000 in Trebel when it goes public. Burch told Axios that after meeting with the leaders of the team, “I came to believe that they had the experience, intuition and motivation to succeed in an increasingly complicated world. . ”
Be smart: Right now, the company is focused on serving users who aren’t likely to pay for a premium paid music subscription, which sets it apart from Spotify or Apple Music.
- “We are targeting a market that is five times the size of the paid subscription market,” said Kevin Mills, Latin America operations manager at Trebel.
- “Goldman Sachs estimates that by 2023 there will be 690 million subscribers. That leaves some 4 billion people looking for an alternative … Our total addressable market is huge,” he said .
The big picture: Trebel hopes to bring a new business model to the music streaming industry.
- Executives tell Axios that Trebel has forged relationships with the three biggest labels – Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group – to offer 100% of their catalogs free of charge to users in exchange for reduced revenue that Trebel does from advertisements and promotional partnerships.
In numbers : The company currently has over 3 million monthly active users, most of them in Mexico. He is currently in talks with record companies to expand to countries in South America, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.
- In May, Trebel surpassed Spotify as the # 1 app on Mexico’s Google Play Store in the free music category.
- Based on December 2020 revenue, the company’s annual revenue rate is $ 4 million, according to executives. It is not yet profitable. The company spends most of its profits on growing the business, including marketing.
- It currently has around fifty employees around the world.
What to watch: Sources say a current C-level executive from one of the three major record companies will join Trebel full-time as chairman in July.
The bottom line: “We have developed a system and a patented business model to meet the needs of the billions of music listeners for whom music is medicine and having access to their music on demand and offline is not a luxury, but a luxury. necessity, ”says co-founder and CEO Gary Mekikian in the new SEC filing.