Omnifone describes itself as having music in its bones – and with its previous head office at Island Studios and many of its people coming from a musical background it’s clear to see why. That musical know-how helped the company develop the world’s first ever cloud-music technology platform in 2007.
Omnifone also decided to remodel itself as a pure business-to-business provider. "Direct-to-consumer digital music companies rely heavily on continuous funding to acquire paying subscribers one at a time," Jeff Hughes, CEO, explains. "We felt there was a real opportunity to support these companies which had the capability to promote a music service and manage end-users, but not the ability to develop complex global music distribution and licensing.
"Put simply, we thought there was a real opportunity to power these services rather than directly competing with them."
2007 – The year that Omnifone was launched. It has since grown into a global business
The plan worked. Omnifone made £3.8 million profit in 2012, while its platform is now live in 34 countries. Along with success has come the challenge of managing growth. "Retaining our entrepreneurial culture and technically innovative mindset that allows us to be what we are is critical," Jeff says.
Omnifone expects the music market to move more towards access or subscription models such as its own, but Jeff says UK businesses will need help to capitalise on any opportunities that arise from this trend. "We need new policies to drive competition and restore vibrancy among banks to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to access growth capital when we need it most."
Region: Greater London