Is ThrillOut The Next Digital Super-Grower

 A disruptive concept for a growing Music Industry. 

The Music industry has gone through massive developments in the past 10 years with Apple and Spotify leading the way in new ways to distribute. At the same time, these changes are forcing the entire industry to revitalize and change how it operates. A direct consequence is that the live scene is exploding with Oslo leading the way with more concerts per capita than any other city in the Nordic region.


We met with Tor Egil Ellingsen, primus motor in Thrillout to talk about how the music industry is changing and what can be done to help 90% of all artists to survive doing what they love. While the business idea of turning musicians into properly run businesses is easy enough tounderstand, the how to do it reveals massive complexity as well as a deep understanding of the underlying challenges to solve.

Mr. Ellingsen says;  “In essence, the music industry is based on a huge number of individuals and freelancers whom get together and collaborate. A recording, a music video, a tour, a festival, it´s all the same; individuals gather towards a common goal with very clear deliverables. This is very much how properly run projects operates in a company. The difference is that while corporate projects are governed and managed legally in almost every aspect, music projects are loose in its composition, legal structures and in many cases they are very risky endeavours.”

The change agents supporting the case

He says: “There are three main drivers. The first is the fact that Musicians appear a little to often in the court system. There is a very simple reason for this – they did not start with music to deal with legalities, contracts, accounting, expense management, etc. In essence they are passionate about what they do and pretty much hate everything that follows. We will solve real head-aches for the artists”

Tor-Egil continuous: “The second driver is the fact that the whole music industry has changed dramatically the past 10 years and is still changing rapidly. The artist must take control of their own IP and they need to focus more on playing gigs as well as being present online and build a fan base. This is a massive undertaking to deal with alone”.

The third driver is the need to develop new business models that allow them to live off what they love. Thrillout offers a transaction-based model where more money ends up in the pockets of the artist. Combined with strong technical capabilities, we are in a good position to help the industry develop new revenue streams”, he continues.

At the core of ThrillOut lies a collaboration engine and business management system addressing the entire value chain. It allows artists and others that are not big enough to have a back-office apparatus to solve practical day to day issues.

Tor-Egil says: “Anyone with a connection to the music industry can and should sign up and create a profile. Once done, they are in the collaboration room where they can define or join projects. The platform adds features such as contract management, intellectual property rights management, business planning, revenue distribution and much more. Today other initiatives do bits and pieces of this but no one has taken on the full picture and commercialised it. And when you do, you will discover completely new possibilities”.

The disruptive idea

Signing up for ThrillOut will be free-of charge and there are (really) no strings attached. There is no subscription fee either, so how will they make money?

“Simple enough, we will make money when the artists make money, and we make sure that our share is reasonable and below industry standards. We are passionate about music and the artist and it shapes how we make decisions at ThrillOut. The well-being and success of the artist is what keeps us going.”

Once on the platform a range of additional revenue generating services will be offered. Again no upfront fee and no subscription rates, only revenue-share.

Tor Egil says that ThrillOut will launch 2 business generators for the artists together with the core platform; ThrillCast and CareBoard. The ability of the platform to generate new business for the artist seems essential:

“ThrillCast is a live-streaming platform through which the artist can reach and manage its fan base. The platform captures data about the user, which again allow the artist to better understand who the fan really is. This can be used to tailor content, decide where and when to play, communicate efficiently through social media, and much more, and while there are streaming solutions out there, none connect the full picture at one location; by correlating data, new business can be created.”

“Our second service at launch will be the “CareBoard”. This is a solution that connects causes that lies close to the heart of the artists with organizations like for example the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, etc. This connection would allow the organizations to use music to sell and promote their business, while it generates new business for the artists. The organizations are weary and careful with their brand, so the contractual engine at the core of ThrillOut is essential to enable the partnership”.

“If there is no money in
being a musician, I will
do something else”.
Chuck Berry

How to deal with the revenue streams are important; “We do not wish to become a payment provider, nor do we want to touch sensitive payment information or credit card data. To solve this, we will partner up with a payment solutions provider with an algorithm that allows for money to be split and transferred directly to the rightful recipient without ever touching ThrillOut. This is important to us. We create 100% trust and credibility as the artist receives the money directly without it going through our systems. And more important, we prove that we are serious about placing the artist first”.

Being an entrepreneur

The biggest challenge, he says, is how to lead a team of volunteers who all work full-time jobs on the side.

Tor-Egil says: “We have done 6 or 7 lean adaptations to the platform in the last 2-3 years. Simply understanding the business has been time-consuming work and required extensive studies on our behalf. We are lucky to have easy access to artists and organizations and companies that like us are passionate about music and wish to contribute to growing the total music market. I admit it has been tough from time to time and passion about what you do really is key. My passion for music is definitely the single most important key driver. I have been booking artists since the 1990´s and I have seen first-hand what they struggle with. ThrillOut will make a difference and that is what gets me out of bed in the morning”

 At the end it dawns on me that Thrillout has the potential to actually grow the total market for music by enabling people passionate about music to come together and work under an umbrella with business enabling services. It must however be done with super simple on-boarding processes and full automation.

And if they manage to pull that off, they might just become the next Norwegian Digital Super-grower.


Name ThrillOut AS

Purpose Turning musicians into businesses

Founders Tor Egil Ellingsen partner up with develpers Jonas Syrstad and Frank Schjelderup, Aleksander Hansen.

What Collaboration and Business Support Platform for the Music Industry

Distribution SAAS

Model B2B, B2C and P2P

Business model Fair Revenue Share

Staff 4 (3 SW developers)

Author: Michael Engström, INNEOX March 2017.