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.
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What kind of response have you seen from the online community? Has utilizing social technology worked for you?
The response from the music community was really great and we now feature tracks by all kinds of artists from the great blues guitarist Sonny Landreth playing with Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler to Philip Glass protégé Trevor Gureckis; from Edie Brickell’s “Heavy Circles” to Pokey LaFarge, a young man carrying on the country blues tradition. Dance music, film cues, you name it, they all came along instantly revitalizing a catalog and adding interest to the site.
How does this compare to life in the old (and currently volatile) record label model?
It’s actually a lot more fun to do this kind of thing outside of the confines of a record label. There you’re looking for hits, you’re constrained by the promotional gatekeepers, here you’re looking for anything that might strike someone’s fancy. It’s much less limited and crazy creative.
We’re a music company developing our online business as opposed to a tech company exploiting the killer app. It may seem a bit backwards, but we think the time is right to focus on content and affordable quality.
What about the artists? How do they feel about reaching out via social media channels and servicing fans more directly?
We never want to forget that the people making the music are artists, and so are the people making the commercials and the films. We think that by taking a position that services the artist we are doing something fairly unique.
At this point we’re just getting into social networking and ways to reach out to let the wider community know this is available (this piece is part of that). We feel it would be good at this point to go beyond our core clients to include smaller agencies, people working on spec, film students etc. Having gathered the music now and set up the site we’ve just begun getting the word out. We’re working with a consultant who comes from Topspin, the company that’s developed a platform for artists to distribute their own music online directly from their sites. It’s an exciting time for us.
What is your response to those who say the music business is doomed in the current business climate?
The heart of this initiative addresses the current creative and economic climates directly. Great music, undiscovered, filtered and at great prices is what’s called for now.
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