We asked Pete Downton (Deputy CEO at 7digital) his views on the Tech & Music field, why he accepted to join the jury of Rockstar Paris #Music and what he’s looking from the candidate startups.


Why did you accept to sit on the jury of Rockstar Paris #Music?

For the first time in a decade or more, the context now is right for startups to innovate in music. There are companies in the music space which are beginning to turn a profit. Labels are smaller and more agile. The digital music market has matured. At 7digital, we want to be encouraging new blood into the industry with fresh ideas and the energy to drive positive change. Of course, we’re also constantly on the lookout for people and businesses we will be partnering with in the future! If you’re not looking ahead, you’re falling behind…


What do you expect from candidate startups?

They need to be able to understand both sides of the market (music and technology), as well as consumers’ behaviour and experiences. Candidates also need to have a good awareness of the business context of operating in and around music. It has its own quirks and complexities, so you’re much more able to hit the ground running if you have that understanding. Ideas and creative solutions, business savvy, determination and resilience – those are probably the most important attributes to progress from startup to scale-up and beyond. I’m looking for potential: no one and nothing is perfect, but a great idea and a solid foundation of those key attributes to start from go a long way.


What fields in tech & music are of particular interest to you at the moment?

There is still a lot of work to be done in making music more easily accessible. The whole industry is still built around that core group of enthusiasts, meaning that there are huge audiences left under-served. In business terms, the majority of the marketplace remains untapped and there are significant opportunities that could be opened up if we make digital music accessible and rewarding for those who don’t fit within the ‘enthusiast’ mould. Approaches to solving that particular issue are most interesting to me – I hope the startups at Rockstar will challenge the status quo and have really considered the needs of those millions of consumers the industry has yet to reach effectively!


How can entrepreneurs become rockstars?

Business plans and strategies are necessary building blocks, but circumstances change – the ability to adapt is really key. The rockstars in business are the ones who aren’t phased by shifts in the market: either they’ve seen them coming and have a contingency plan, or they recalibrate calmly and quickly. The real rockstars even use it to spark a new opportunity. That attitude will take them far in business, and in life.


Thanks Pete for answering our questions!

We look forward to welcoming you at Rockstar Paris!


If you are a Music & Tech startup, don’t forget to apply to Rockstar Paris.

If you want to attend Rockstar Paris, please register here. Hurry up, the event will sell out at 150 people.