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04/09/2020
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The FUTRSPRT Interview Series: BMAT Manager of US Business Development Dani Balcells

FUTRSPRT Interview Series presents conversations with some of the sharpest minds in sports tech. Leaving no angle of competition or fan experience unscathed FUTRSPRT showcases those creating the future of sports right before our eyes.

FUTRSPRT’s Matt Bowen had the pleasure of speaking with Barcelona Music and Audio Technologies’ Manager of US Business Development Dani Balcells about how BMAT creates software to systematically identify copywritten audio during broadcasts and reports it for licensing purposes.

Ever hear a sound bite during a sporting event and wonder how the broadcasting network obtained the rights to use that song?

Rights? Yes, copyrights. The network-at-large has to pay royalties to use those sounds bites that make the hair-raising intro to the broadcast juuuuust right.

Until recently, and thanks to BMAT, the production team had to track which songs were used and how long they were played by hand via a cue sheet. How archaic. Oh, and if that sound bite was used halfway across the world and went unreported — the rights holder was left without a payday.

Luckily, BMAT emerged in 2005 as an industry-facing service as an audio identification technology through AI. The company monitors roughly 5,000 radio stations and 1,500 television channels around the globe 24/7 with its patented “audio fingerprinting” technology.
BMAT is Universal Music’s Global Monitoring Partner and also helps people and organizations that need help acquiring music rights for productions.

Dani Balcells, BMAT’s Manager of US Business Development is “by trade, a telecom engineer.” He has a master’s degree in music technology. Look closely and his strands of DNA are actually sound waves.

After starting at BMAT as an engineer he moved to the US a year ago to lead business development in the States.

What’s BMAT’s Next Tech to be Released?

“We’re always driven by demand”, begins Balcells.

“Whether that demand comes from radio, TV, venues, or the charts BMAT will be ready. This is true for influencers as well.”

“Everyone in the company loves music in one way or another. For the future, we will be the data layer that connects any two points in the industry.”

It doesn’t take Balcells long to plant BMAT’s flag and leave little doubt that the company is the best in the world when it comes to audio technology surrounding copywritten material.
BMAT now partners with the Tennis Channel for its broadcasts.

“Tennis is such a tech-friendly sport”, adds Balcells.

For those who aren’t too familiar with tennis, it’s frequently on the cutting edge of sportstech as BMAT is further evidence.

In Your Personal Life, What Tech Has You Captivated at the Moment?

“I’m a fairly analog kinda guy — I like to journal and I always have my backpack.”

Balcells then moves back to music, “I’m into analog audio equipment lately — I like to mess and touch stuff with my hands.”

He’s genetically engineered to gravitate to all things music.

Has the Unfortunate Pandemic Caused the Company to Pivot in Any Way?

“Now, everyone is streaming and broadcasters are using old content that has never in the past been logged.”

“Archived content had looser restrictions so we’re finding new areas of growth in logging old content. It was unexpected but it’s been fun.”

As a Leader, How Will You Challenge Yourself in the Next 12 Months?

“I want to push our team to grow. At the end of each month, everyone on the team will make a list of three things that they learned about BMAT and the music industry. The neat thing is people can see their growth and over time they look back and see how far they’ve come.”
Balcells is wise beyond his years with this statement. He said it in such a way that would make anyone trust him as a leader. It was purely inspirational.

In 3 Years BMAT Will Be Known for _______?

“BMAT will become the OS of the music industry.”
Sold.

Next time you watch a sporting event, whether it be old or actually *live* know that BMAT was likely involved. Fascinating technology that’s driven by better leaders like Balcells.