Garrett Dodge wants to get a new generation of music lovers hooked on the old jukebox, so he co-founded a start-up called Rockbot to pull it off. The company crosses the old school jukebox with the modern day smartphone, and it's already making its way into gyms, bars and restaurants where Dodge believes the new music model will lead to rockin' good times and a rockin' great business.
“Our goal is to make our businesses successful by creating great experiences for their customers, and music is the starting point,” he said.
CNBC gave him 60 seconds to prove Rockbot has what it takes to top the start-up charts. See if Dodge can win over the PowerPitch panel, and more importantly see if he can win you over with his big idea.
Music to your ears?
Rockbot’s mission is simple—create an unforgettable, personalized entertainment experience for people when they go to places where they shop, drink, eat and workout. And the plan is to do so by putting control of the music at the bar, restaurant or gym you go to into the palm of your hand.
Here's how it works: Rockbot has created an app that allows users to dial up music on their smartphone and pay to have it played in the establishment where they're hanging out. Dodge explained the system works on credits and most songs cost 5 credits or about 50 cents. Along with paying to play music, users can also discover and purchase music through the app that links to iTunes and Google. And for no cost at all users can vote up or down on the songs being played.
“We've all had that moment when a song comes on the jukebox and you want to share it with your friends. Picture that in the Facebook generation; millions of people at that business sharing that moment,” said Dodge.
Rockbot allows users to check in to their location, and they can share their music selections on Facebook and Twitter. The app works on Apple and android devices but only in businesses that have signed up for the service.
Rockbot takin' care of business
For businesses, a monthly Rockbot subscription ranges from $25-$100 per month and connects to existing audio systems. The service allows business owners to pre-select music from the company's library of 12.5 million songs to match the mood of their business. For example, if it’s a 50s diner, the owner can choose Motown and Rockabilly music so customers can pick music only in those two categories.
“With Rockbot, businesses create and control the vibe while engaging customers with a jukebox app that drives increased dwell-time and promotes their location online.”
Rockbot faces competition from services like Muzak that already pump tunes into thousands of businesses. And while Muzak does not allow the customers of a business to make music selections TouchTunes does. TouchTunes has been around since 1998, and according to its website, the app has been downloaded 1.7 million times and the service can be found in 60,000 locations in North America.
Rockbot would not disclose the number of businesses currently subscribed to the service, but so far the company has raised $1.2 million from investors like Google Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, and Accelerator Ventures.
See whether or not Garret Dodge can convince the “Power Pitch” panel that his idea is the next big hit. The Power Pitch @CNBCPowerPitch is hosted by CNBC’s Mandy Drury @MandyCNBC, with panelists Matt Serletic @mattserletic, Grammy-winning music producer and Hany Nada @hnada, co-founder and partner of @GGVCapital.
--Additional reporting by Joanna Weinstein and Brian Abolins.
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