Monday, September 21, 2009

Innovation In Music: New Opportunities For Advertisers From MPL Music Publishing Part 2

I recently had the opportunity to speak with MPL Music Publishing. The value proposition of the label is an iTunes like interface that allows individuals to search and download fully licensed music. I found their business model unique and offered to let Nancy Jeffries, MPL’s head of Creative Development and Licensing, tell ADMAVEN a little more about how technology is constantly evolving the business of interactive advertising.

Read Part 1 of this article

How does the current market affect your business model and what tools are you leveraging to take advantage of the new way consumers purchase music?

We decided to approach the new climate in the music business in two ways, using the web site as a lynch pin for both. One was to increase the use of the lesser-known songs from the catalog and the other was to get back in the new music business in a way that makes sense today.

The site, developed and maintained by MPL’s Dan Sokol, increased its capability to include online licensing. This is true online licensing; you can pick a song, pay with your credit card and download the song and contract without ever lifting the phone or negotiating with anyone. You can do this on some other sites as well, but we pride ourselves on the quality of what we’re presenting. This is music that is filtered and vetted, made by serious musicians, both indie and well known, priced within reach of just about everyone.

So - ideally - you are providing better access to an existing catalog of content via web 2.0 tools, right?

To increase the use of the songs from the catalog, we’ve been creating our own masters, some of them less well known and some of them classics, allowing some room in a music supervisors budget to be able to afford a better-known song. Some of the versions are true to the original styles and some a new takes altogether.

Here’s a link to just a few of the new versions of classic songs:

How do you deal with acquiring fresh and compelling content for the site at a financially feasible price point?

That left the new music challenge. MPL, like most publishers, had a very record company focused policy as far as new artist signings were concerned, signing writers who could write hits for other recording artists. This was a model that no longer made financial sense and so using the site as the key we made an effort to try to expand the talent base in a new way. Using our collective connections in the music world, we reached out to interesting artists who control both their master rights and their publishing rights. We offered to use their music, on a non-exclusive basis, to populate our site. We keep a percentage (lower than the other sites) and if we win, they win. No one has to sign his or her life away on either side.

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