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Music League Connects Friends + Helps Them Discover New Music

Music League

January 9, 2023


During the latest Small Business & Startup Stories DSM podcast, Eric West, CEO/Co-Founder of Music League, discussed his entrepreneurial journey with Greater Des Moines Partnership Startup Community Builder Diana Wright. Music League is a competitive, objective game to discover new music, build community among colleagues, family, and friends, and ultimately find out if you or your friends have the best taste in music. 

The Idea Behind Music League Started in an Office Breakroom 

Co-Founders Nathan Coleman and Matt Keller came up with the idea of Music League while working at Workiva in Ames. This is where they began debating who had heard which bands first or discovered certain artists before the other, leading to the creation of the original Music League game, first played on thumb drives and mp3 files. Coleman then went on to create a web application to facilitate gameplay. The result was more and more players learned about the game and shared with their friends. Today, thousands around the world play Music League, reconnecting with old friends, colleagues, and strangers through the nostalgia of music.  

West, who went to high school with Keller, had heard of the game, but it wasn’t until the pandemic turned his career on its head that Music League became a business opportunity for the three. When it comes down to it the company brings a human element back to music discovery. The language of music brings people together who might not have anything in common otherwise. Players can comment on why they submit a particular song, and that’s usually personal to that person, so people get to know each other on a deeper level. Memories are often tied to music and playing Music League can take you back to a time and song in the past when it’s a familiar tune submitted by someone else. 

The League Experience 

To participate in Music League, a team will get together and create a league. There is no limit on how many rounds the team plays. Rounds are comprised of a theme, or prompts — a favorite song, the best third song on a band’s third album, songs that remind the team of a certain time period, etc. Once you start playing with friends, it’s easy to begin to play with strangers. Each player submits a song based on the theme. The game creates a playlist that the players then listen to and vote on which song fits the theme best or which songs they like the best. 

Making Money at Music League 

Music League creates revenue through app advertising and eventually will add a subscription service to turn off ads. Other features will be added as well, including paid and non-paid features. Business opportunities down the road will allow Music League to work with other brands, including local musicians, well-known bands, and music festivals and event organizers. 

Get to know more about Music League and how discovering new music has never been easier. 

Listen to the entire podcast above. 

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Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.