This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.
On 21st June 2016, Tech North is hosting a Northern Powerhouse reception as part of London Technology Week. We’ll be highlighting technology companies from Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sunderland.
To tie in with the event, we’re talking to a company from each city to find out why they’re based there.
If you were a music publisher looking after 90,000 artists and half a million songs, you’d surely want to be based somewhere like London or LA, right? Not if you’re Sentric Music; this technology-led publisher is proudly based in Liverpool.
Traditionally, music publishing companies work with artists to collect their songwriting royalties and get their songs placed in ads, films and the like. Sentric takes a platform-based approach to publishing songs that means it can work with many more artists than its rivals. Now 10 years old, the company has five offices across Europe and into the US, and 38 staff. And yet despite its success, it was started almost by accident.
A decade ago, CEO Chris Meehan was a student at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, gearing up for a work placement. When that placement fell through, the college agreed that he could launch a business instead. And thus Sentric was born.
Although Meehan is a Liverpool native, he could have taken his new company anywhere. So why stay? ‘Why not stay?’ is essentially Meehan’s answer.
“When we started, trains to London were expensive and slow, and there was one flight into London City Airport, which is how we’d get down there. Now transport is better, but we’re increasingly finding people want to come to us from around the world, and when they arrive, they like it.”
Sentric’s 3,500 square-foot office is a size they could only dream of in London. It’s in Liverpool’s thriving Baltic Quarter, a part of the city that has in the past few years been reborn as a home for creative and digital businesses. That means there are plenty of bars and restaurants on hand, plus likeminded businesses and even a rehearsal space for bands in close proximity.
Meehan finds Liverpool’s local universities are a good pool of talent for Sentric’s graduate programmes. The city’s own airport and proximity to Manchester Airport is a boon for travel, something that’s important given the company’s international footprint.
“Our international expansion started around 2011 when we started to collect royalties directly in territories where we had a lot of customers. We put our first people on the ground in 2013,” says Meehan. Sentric already has offices in London, Amsterdam, Hamburg and New York. Australia and Scandinavia are next on the hitlist.
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