At JAAK, two friends aim to upend the music industry

Vaughn McKenzie and Freddie Tibbles are proof that sometimes you need to leave your job to discover that your coworker is actually the perfect business partner.

The two first met when while working in separate departments at the same digital marketing agency in Windsor, England. Though they never worked together, they did stay in touch. It wasn’t until later, after becoming friends, they realized they wanted to collaborate.

“We came up with a ton of ideas, about 50, then narrowed that down to 20, which we took to our friends,” says McKenzie.

Some of those ideas included a way for multiple people to book a ski chalet, a food delivery service pairing home chefs with local customers, and a one-stop gym membership for busy people. The ideas ran the gamut but had a consistent theme: all were businesses based on the sharing economy.

Then the two music lovers came up with the idea for JAAK. Short for “audio jack,” JAAK tackles the music industry from the business side—creating a platform that connects musicians and content creators and allows for sharing with fans and users.

“We wanted to make a better experience for music and we started thinking about streaming,” says McKenzie, a member at London’s We Work Old St. “What if they could share music and share the stream?”

What makes JAAK so innovative is that it is part of a growing movement of companies that are using blockchain technology. It works by embedding the music with a code that tracks who is downloading the product, so musicians are paid immediately.

“The idea is to incentivize,” says McKenzie. “We are trying to make sure that every single time you share a song with friends, you get a cut. Call it social sharing.”

JAAK is planning its official public launch this October.

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