What was the initial inspiration or motivation to develop TheNewRecord.com? Did that change at all during the process?
The initial motivation happened a few years ago when I got tired of talking and hearing about how bad the music business was. Although it is, and was true, I thought I would try to come up with some solutions as opposed of stating the problem over and over. I would say it has definitely evolved over time but the core functionality was always to syndicate promotional music in a more meaningful way.
Did you try to approach creating the site more from the perspective of a label-owner, or music fan – or both? How does it differ?
Both. I wanted an easier way to keep up with the labels, friends and bands I was into. As a label owner I wanted to get our music above the static of open platforms. It really wasn’t different as it had to be useful and fun on both ends.
There’s a lot of action in the digital music space happening again right now, how closely do you follow the developments at other startups, and does it effect your expectations or how you are going to roll out TNR?
I check everything out. Ones I think are good or relevant to me I follow closely, but if its not something I would actually use I won’t spend much time with it. For me it has to be useful as well as fun. As far as my own expectations? “Difficult takes a day, Impossible takes a week” – JayZ
So much is made these days in press about the process of licensing music from record labels for new digital services. While mostly it’s in reference to major labels, how did you find the process of signing up indie labels for TNR to be?
Truly inspiring. 98% of the labels I showed TheNewRecord to understood it right away and really went out of their way to show support for the site and more importantly the communal aspect of it. The labels on TheNewRecord are in my opinion some of the best and most forward thinking Labels in Independent music today – so it was a nice reaffirmation about the project when talking to them. Epitaph, Sub Pop, Anti, Century Media, Daptone, Brushfire, Relapse, Paper and Plastic… and there are 30 more I didnt mention – if you can’t discover anything new and exciting from those labels I hate to be the one to tell you…. you have really bad taste in music, please seek help or always wear earphones. I also had the luxury of having been friends with a lot of these folks over the years through SideOneDummy and already had a really good working relationship with them. It has also been really exciting and inspiring to meet new labels whom I have respected over the years but hadn’t done any projects with too.
It seems like a key aspect to TNR is that it isn’t about sheer volume of music, but rather curated and filtered delivery of music to fans – which is something that is missing from a lot of digital services. Is that accurate to say?
I think that’s fair, I approached this with a less is more attitude. 98% of the music that is out there sucks pretty bad, I think we can all agree on that. I really don’t want to spend too much time sorting through the average to find the gems if I don’t have too. We are really only interested in the 2% that doesn’t suck and so far we are off to a great start.