As the DJ song request app One28 expands its reach in the U.S. after its June 2022 launch in Monte Carlo, its success is a reminder of the importance of innovative thinking. On the surface, an app that connects DJs with partygoers may seem redundant, as people have been communicating song requests to DJs – be they a professional or a teen at a party – for decades. How could a simple process that is familiar to almost everyone be improved? The answer, say the co-founders of One28, CEO Adrien Crastes and CFO Alexandre Coyette, lies in one particular truth about business: the best ideas are discovered in places where no one else is looking. In the case of One28, Crastes and Coyette have managed to change the club scene on two continents simply by noticing how often people were not dancing even though the music was playing.
“All of us, whether we prefer to stay at home with a good book or like to go out to a party, know what it’s like to walk into a venue that has loud music, yet everyone is at their tables, not dancing,” says Crastes. “It signals the night is going to be very long, and if you forgot your phone, it’s going to be even longer.”
Coyette adds that people also know how it feels when their favorite song is played: energized and more interested in everything around them. “That switch from boredom to excitement is actually a scientifically proven fact,” he says. “Your resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, but when a really good song comes on, it increases to 128 beats per minute, the meaning behind the name of our app.”
It became the two men’s goal to help more clubgoers to experience that pleasure simply by making it easier for them to communicate their song requests to DJs.
“To get more people dancing and engaged at parties, we wanted to streamline that submission process,” Crastes states. “We decided on our app because everyone has their phone when they go out, and they can use our app no matter how dark, crowded, or loud the venue may be.”
Crastes, a D-1 tennis player who majored in math at Bucknell University before going on to graduate studies in actuarial mathematics at Institut de Science Financière et d’Assurances, used his analytical and engineering abilities to create the One28 User App and the free One28 DJ App (which is also available in a web version and will be released as a Mac OS DJ app).
Coyette then stepped in, using his extensive connections in the Monaco club scene to talk to the DJ community about One28. “We strategized with DJ Chris S to help us launch One28 at the MK Club last June, and that was a night to remember for us,” he says. “He was impressed with the app’s features, including the ability to set minimum prices for song requests and to keep full control over the song list.”
Crastes says that as the app has spread, including to the Maya Jah Monte Carlo, a restaurant; the Twiga Monte Carlo; and clubs in Corsica, Nice, and now America, audiences have been very receptive to using it to incentivize DJs for song requests.
“At the MK Club, where the minimum song request price was 15€, DJ Chris S took over fifty requests and turned half of them down,” Crastes remembers. “When One28 debuted in the U.S. at the Faena Miami, DJ Yacine set the minimum price at $50. I think it proves what we have always known: hearing your favorite song at the right venue helps you to enjoy your night even more.”
Now, with the ability to accept GBP along with USD and EUR for payouts and payments to DJs, the One28 app appears ready to expand to new global markets. Its success, Coyette states, stems from noticing a long-standing problem and deciding to solve it.
“Our whole business plan for One28 is based on a simple idea: no one should have to experience so much difficulty when telling a DJ what they want to hear,” he says. “Instead of accepting that yelling into the DJ’s ear is just the way song requests are submitted, we have changed the process. Because of it, whether a person is at a party in Europe or a club in the States, people are having more fun as they go out on the town.”