NYU startup Stereotheque is using geolocation and AI in music discovery

Julián Duque is a Music Business graduate student from NYU Steinhardt. Music festivals and music technology are his greatest passions. He is the co-founder and COO of Stereotheque. Throughout his career, he has worked in the trenches across marketing, event production, product development, client services, partnerships and sponsorships. His previous work experience include Apple, Publicis, BMG and Superfly. His speaking credentials include SXSW 2016 and The Business Factory.

This post is part of the NYU Summer Launchpad 2017 blog series featuring NYU entrepreneurs’ first-hand accounts of challenges faced in starting a business and the lessons learned along the way. Learn more about the NYU Summer Launchpad 2017 participants here.


It’s been reported that more millennials have experienced geolocation-based content and offers compared to any other generation before them. What is it about geolocation that excites millennials and how is it improving our lives? The answer is very simple, when businesses and brands can leverage geolocation to make customer decisions easier, they are able to trigger specific behaviors even among large audiences. Now let's talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Merrian Webster dictionary gives a great definition: “The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” From well known apps like Uber, Tinder, Airbnb and Seamless to phenomenons like Pokémon GO, probably some of the most popular apps out there are powered by geolocation and AI. The reason these apps are so popular is the possibility of saving you time and money, or give you an experience that is unique to your location or interests.

So how can geolocation and AI influence music discovery? At Stereotheque, we call it ‘Music Scenes.’ A music scene is a story that puts in context the music you like by analyzing different elements of your life such as: Which places did you recently travel to? Where were you born? How old are you and where do you live? Julian Duque - Institute Team MemberFor eg: I was born in 1982 in Bogota, Colombia. Because I was born there, people might think I would only like traditional Colombian music such as Vallenato, Cumbia or Salsa. The truth is, I like Jazz, Funk, R&B and Rock, but I also like Salsa. Why? Because of my context. My mother loved American TV shows and she always showed and talked to me about American music and classical movies. My sister received Michael Jackson´s “History: Past, Present and Future” CD as a birthday gift and I used to steal it and listen to it again and again. My best friend at high school introduced me to Guns and Roses´s “Use Your Illusion I” when I was a kid and I have enjoyed rock music ever since. Putting all these situations together is what defines my ‘music scene’, which is formed by the different musical experiences and special moments and places in my life.

As music enthusiasts explore new sounds and genres influenced by their unique 'Music Scenes', they may find themselves inspired to experiment with different sonic textures and effects, such as delay fx pedals, to enhance their musical expression. For guitarists seeking to incorporate these innovative effects into their playing, platforms like Stay Tuned Guitar Blog offer a wealth of resources to guide them on their journey. With expertly crafted articles, tutorials, and recommendations for incorporating delay fx pedals into their setup, Stay Tuned Guitar Blog empowers guitarists to explore new sonic landscapes and elevate their playing to new heights.

StereothequeSo, how is Stereotheque making this happen for its user? We are connecting information from different sources and API’s that have relevant music history information and matching that information with your musical preferences. We also use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to match music preferences with news and articles from the artist you are listening to. For instance, imagine you traveled to Cuba in 2016 and followed several Cuban artists either on your social media activity or music streaming platforms. We extract that information and put it together with some of the most relevant artists that were featured in Cuba to prompt you a music scene. We also feature relevant articles about these artists in your ‘music scene.’

Take another example, you are currently living in New York City and want to discover New York’s music scene? By matching your previous music preferences and finding correlations between those and popular music in New York right now, our algorithm will be able to show you the most relevant ‘music scene’ for New York City in 2017.

Along our customer discovery journey over the summer, as part of the NYU Summer Launchpad accelerator, we want to build the best platform that leverages geolocation and AI to help millennial music lovers discover and travel with music through time. Do you want to join us on our musical journey? Stay up-to-date on Stereotheque news.