The Client

MusicQubed Limited

The Assessment

Metis Partners presents an exciting opportunity to acquire the intellectual property portfolio owned by Now Technologies Limited; Now Technologies (IP) Limited; Musicqubed Limited and Musicqubed International Limited (“MusicQubed” or the “Companies”).

MusicQubed developed an app that gave access to a low-cost music streaming service. It collaborated with numerous global brands including Samsung, Vodafone and O2 to offer the mobile app which downloaded up to 100 tracks that updated daily, utilising proprietary tethered download technology.

 

Opportunity Highlights

  • To relaunch this mid-market music streaming app with the confidence it carries both patent protection and trade mark protection until 2035.
  • To acquire a valuable patent portfolio comprising 15 granted patents with coverage in multiple territories including four US granted patents.
  • To take advantage of the market momentum and exposure that was achieved by this service that had 1.5m users at its peak and partnered with global media giants MTV, EE and Now!
  • To acquire this highly-rated patent portfolio as part of an active offensive and defensive IP strategy.

Key Market Data

The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)
The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)
The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)
The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)
The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)
The global music streaming market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.8% from 2020 to 2027
(Grand View Research)

Relevant Sectors

Music Streaming Services
Over-The-Top (OTT) Services
Patent Licensing
Patent Assertion
Mobile Networks

Relevant Business Background

Utilising proprietary patented technology, MusicQubed developed music streaming apps enabling users to cache music to their devices for offline listening. Initially launching in partnership with Now! That’s What I Call Music in 2011, MusicQubed partnered with The Official Charts Company and Samsung in 2012 to launch the Official Top 40 Chart App, which was exclusive to Samsung smartphones and gave users access to the Top 40 songs in the UK for £1 per week.

In 2013, MusicQubed partnered with O2 to launch ‘O2 Tracks’, which gave customers access to a rotating list of 100 songs per week, featuring the Top 40 songs from that week’s UK Official Chart along with a curated collection of 60 further tracks. Customers were charged £5 per month, or £1 per week if they were O2 customers, with the service boasting over 300k users and receiving over 100m plays.

In collaboration with Vodafone, MusicQubed expanded its international reach by launching a streaming app called Vodafone Music in November 2013, giving users access to 70 tracks including the New Zealand Official Top 40. MusicQubed also expanded into markets including Malaysia and Spain through the development of MTV Trax, a music streaming application designed in collaboration with global media giant MTV.

IP Assets For Sale

Patents

There are three patent families comprising 15 granted patents, including four granted US patents. The Companies’ patents have been forward cited widely in the US including forward citations by Samsung, Google and Facebook. Patent protection extends to 2035. The patent families are detailed below

Patent FamilyAbstract
Content Management Apparatus (I)“An apparatus configured to provide a chart of content items to a plurality of user devices. The apparatus is configured to enable individual users to temporarily access one or more content items listed in the chart. The apparatus comprises a user device interface configured to communicate with user device applications and a permissions module configured to define user access permissions, including temporary user access permissions, relating to individual ones of the one or more items of content. The apparatus also provides a distribution module configured to implement permissions defined in the permission module in relation to user devices by making available one or more items of content listed in the chart to at least one user device application.”
Digital Media Content Management Apparatus and Method“A digital media content management apparatus and method for securely storing a content file on a computer readable medium and playing the content file from the computer readable medium is disclosed. The content file comprises control information readable by a content player and payload information including content data. The content file is deconstructed into at least one control information portion and at least one payload information portion being undetectable to a content player of a user device. The control information portion and the payload information portion are separately stored, and at least one of the portions is associated with packing data, and the packing data associated with at least one of the portions comprises a reference to the location of the other portion.”
Content Management Apparatus (II)“A digital media content management apparatus and method for securely storing a content file on a computer readable medium and playing the content file from the computer readable medium is disclosed. The content file comprises control information readable by a content player and payload information including content data. The content file is deconstructed into at least one control information portion and at least one payload information portion being

Brand & Trade Marks

The MusicQubed brand is trade mark protected and has undoubtedly benefitted from its association with high-profile global partners including O2, Samsung and MTV. The brand has also achieved international exposure by launching services across a wide number of APAC and EMEA territories.

A sample of trade marks protecting the MusicQubed brand available for purchase are detailed below

 

MarkApplication NumberClassTerritoryReg. Date
MUSICQUBED0110356649, 35, 38EM10/12/2012
MUSICQUBED11806659, 35, 38WIPO13/03/2013

These trade marks protect the MusicQubed brand across further territories including emerging markets such as India, Argentina and Chile.

Domain

The musicqubed.co.uk domain is also available for purchase and provides the successful acquirer with the opportunity to relaunch the service with a dedicated online presence.

All offers and requests for additional information should be submitted by email directly to Emre Turan at emre@metispartners.com. Any offer conditions (clarifications of details or specific questions about assets) should also be included in the email. All communication regarding offers should be made to Metis Partners.