Believe me, you’re surely not wanting to pass on this interview with Jonas Brander from Restorm, the platform for licensing music online I reviewed last month on MusicKO. I praised the service quite extensively back then, and the conversation I was fortunate enough to have with Jonas simply exemplifies the way of thinking of those with the vision and the skill to create revolutionary digital services.
You can read Part 1 of the interview below. Part 2 (“Music & You”) is right here.
Full Name: Jonas Brander
Position: media & communication
Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?
We built an artist-based music platform that offers solutions for the challenges of the music industry. There should be one place for everyone who loves music, one meeting point where artists, labels, promoters, media representatives and music lovers can connect to share their music, offer gigs and tickets or talk about music.
At the moment we focus to build professional and completely free tools to help artists to earn more money and create more attention while saving time. For example restorm.com allows bands and labels to sell music directly to their fans. It only takes a few minutes to set up a personal download shop, which can be embedded on their homepage or on Facebook. 90% of all sales go directly to the artists. Another feature is the connect tool that allows you to synchronize Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Soundcloud, Youtube and large Eventdatabases with each other at once. With the so-called Minipage you can embed the entire restorm.com profile anywhere on the web. Just to mention a few of our tools.
What was the original launch date?
restorm.com was launched in 2007, but it had another focus back then. Our CEO Philippe Perreaux became the main shareholder of the company in 2008 and in the course of this change we had a big personal and conceptual shift towards the vision we represent now. So the real starting point was at the end of 2008. The following two years were mainly programming to get a unique profile and stand out from other music platforms.
What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?
Since we have a clear profile, the feedback has been really good. For example, just recently there was a huge survey from a university and the biggest German independent music association. They analyzed 13 music platforms in eight categories and restorm.com won far in front of well-known services such as Bandcamp, Spotifiy or Soundcloud.
As we started in Switzerland its consequence was that we first had the most members in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. But since we are available in five languages and have a global approach, we daily get more and more bands form all over the world. So this discrepancy should be history soon.
What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?
One of our main ideas always was to simplify the really difficult process of music licensing, so that everybody can profit from it. We are really close to finishing this project. The system is called rightclearing.com and will be a modern and innovative licensing platform. Every step of the process is fully automated, from finding songs to creating legal contracts and paying. The state-of-the-art technology behind rightclearing will open up a previously exclusive field to all potential licensors and licensees.
At the moment it’s only open for musicians and labels. They can set up their songs and integrate them into rightclearing. As soon as we have a big soundpool of good music we will launch an additional homepage, where licensees like advertisers can find the right song for their project in less then a minute. The launch will be within the next few months, for sure.
Our team is full of creative and dedicated people, so there will be a lot of other stuff coming soon. Just to mention some: customizable business profiles on restorm.com, a Facebook App for Labels and a new version of the “Minipage”.
There is a certain tendency to demonize the Internet in the music industry. I think it is all a matter of perspective – it all depends on the uses it is put to. What is your opinion? In which areas has the Internet left an unquestionably positive mark?
I agree with you. The Internet also offers the possibility democratize many processes of the music industry, thereby creating the possibility for many independent musicians and labels to run their own business without big majors. Many of the big music companies just overslept the change of the business and are now lamenting all the time about the troubles. What we need, and what we do with restorm.com, is to develop new models with a positive approach that help artists to earn money.
What advice could you give to anybody who is launching a music-related startup in the future? What are the obvious mistakes that should be avoided?
To always keep the passion for music and the creativity to think outside the box. If somebody tells you there is a problem and this solution is just not possible that’s exactly what a good start up should start with. A really obvious mistake would be to try to do the same thing as restorm.com
Continue to Part 2.