Students create online platform for musicians

The site’s developers were inspired by their high school friend and SoundCloud musician who approached them in August 2017 who wanted a strong platform to help him distribute his music to the public. (Photo courtesy of David Yoon)

This past summer, junior business students David Yoon and John Depriest launched an entrepreneurial venture — Jive, a live-streaming platform for musicians to perform and receive feedback and donations in real time.

Yoon and Depriest teamed up with three UCLA students with the shared mission of helping musicians make more profit. For the most part, the development and coding aspects are headed at UCLA while Yoon and Depriest handle the business components of the start-up.

“We like to have musicians come in and perform really intimate studio  -— we’re not trying to have concerts streaming,” Yoon said. “We’re trying to keep the fact that an audience can interact with the artist and vice versa, and the best way of doing that is through small intimate sessions, like you’re set up in your home studio on your bedrooms with your webcam on your computer  and jam out in that kind of environment.”

Yoon and Depriest came across this problem in the music industry after Elias DeFaria, their close high school friend and a SoundCloud musician, approached them in August 2017. Aside from SoundCloud, DeFaria didn’t have a strong platform to distribute his music and didn’t know how to pursue a career without profit. To help their friend, Yoon and Depriest began forming the website this past spring.

According to Depriest, no one on the team had experience starting a business. A few of the members had small projects, but none had embarked on a project as big as Jive. Throughout the creation process, they faced many difficulties entering the entrepreneurial world and learning how to work with the livestream platform being used.

Depriest explained that due to the nature of the platform, it’s important to get the musician and viewer on the platform at the same time.

Another concern Jive had was with copyright issues and possibly receiving donations from performing covers; however, with advice from Georgiana Nikias, an associate of the litigation department at law firm Eisner, they were able to overcome this challenge. Since their platform is a live-stream, musicians are protected from copyright infringement and are able to perform covers.

Although the Jive team has launched their site, they’re taking steps to make the platform more interactive and specialized to host music. According to Depriest, some new ideas include inviting influencers to do a live-stream of their studio session, collaborations with other artists or hosting competitions where producers and artists collaborate to create a beat live over a weekend.

“Our whole motivation is, ‘How can we help the musician the most?’ … through things like collaboration, competitions and just being able to give the artist every single chance they can possibly have to reach a larger audience, make money off doing it and find their niche,” Yoon said.