Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Start-up firm Parrot keeps artists in the digital picture

Parrot Analytics says its software is designed to help musicians like Beyonce connect with fans and consumers and to track content online.Picture / AP
Parrot Analytics says its software is designed to help musicians like Beyonce connect with fans and consumers and to track content online.Picture / AP

An Auckland start-up backed by Sir Stephen Tindall's investment company and chaired by a former Telecom executive hopes to help the likes of musicians and film-makers track how their content is being consumed online.

Parrot Analytics' software, soon to launch in a beta stage, provides information to its users on where in the world their digital content is being accessed and in what ways,

Parrot's chief executive and co-founder, Wared Seger, said the company was developing technology that "helps content creators connect with their fans or consumers".

"You speak to managers and musicians, they have problems of tracking all the different places their content is distributed ... you've got YouTube, you've got Spotify, and iTunes and SoundCloud and Pandora - an endless number of [platforms] that they need to keep track of to really understand what's happening to their content on the internet," the 24-year-old said.

Seger said the information gained from these searches allowed musicians to learn where their fans were and where to direct tours.

As well as cloud-based software, the company is also planning applications for smartphones or other mobile devices.

While Parrot's technology could be used to track digital piracy, this was not what the company was focused on, Seger said.

The firm will close its seed funding round this week and already has backing from the likes of Tindall's K1W1, Ice Angels and Angel HQ.

Former Telecom retail chief executive Alan Gourdie has also come on board as Parrot's chairman and is one of its lead investors.

In developing the software, Seger said the start-up had been in discussions with international music labels and managers, including members of Jay-Z and Beyonce's team in LA.

The company had spent time talking with Hollywood film studios gauging if there is a market for what the start-up is developing, Seger said.

Closer to home, Seger said the firm had worked with Neil Finn's manager, Mike Bradshaw, and music entrepreneur Murray Thom.

Seger said Thom has joined Parrot's advisory board and was a "big supporter" of the company and "the value it's going to bring to the music industry".

- NZ Herald

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