Ryan Fyfe from Eyeball.fm (reviewed here) was kind (and patient!) enough to sit through the MusicKO interview in full. Thanks, Ryan! This is the first part of the interview, the second section (“Music & You”) is here.
Full Name: Ryan Fyfe
Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?
The idea for Eyeball.fm came to me when I was working on my personal homepage. I wanted a way to quickly share the music I was listening; both in real-time, as well as show people what was in my library. As I researched more and more and started tying this into my homepage – I realized the wealth of music information/content that is readily available; At that point I scratched my personal project, and drew up a plan of an all-inclusive model that would wrap this information together in a way that hadn’t been done before. Eyeball.fm was born.
What was the original launch date?
What has been the response so far? In which countries has it been more successful?
I’ve received an overwhelming response from people who have uploaded their iTunes, for example into the site. These people are addicted to browsing through their old favorites and re-discovering their music along with the videos and all the other content.
The majority of our users come from North America, although there is also a big spread around the world in places like Europe and Latin America. Eyeball.fm isn’t bound by any of the regional copyright restrictions that affect most of our competitors; which is a big advantage for attracting international users who are shut-out of other services like Pandora,etc.
Tell me a little about the tagline, “Music you can watch”. How does it apply to your startup? Because (as much as I liked it) I failed to see a direct connection when reviewing it.
Eyeball.fm is for people that want to truly discover & re-discover music, as it’s build on the principle that ‘music is more than music’. It’s more than what we listen to, which is where the name and tagline come into play. All music on Eyeball.fm is in a video which is where the tagline comes from, but it’s also about images, bio’s, lyrics and more!
What features can we expect to see implemented in future revisions?
I would love to see more social networking features developed into the site to make it even easier to share and discover music with friends. I’m also working on a few things now to bring more content to Eyeball.fm and make it more of a content service as well. For example on our Facebook group I am currently doing a ‘Song of the day’, and I would love to take this feature further and provide more options right onto the site as well.
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?
The music/video industry have been the loudest, and now we’re starting to hear alot of noise from the news publishers who feel that their business are being ruined on the internet. They are picking a particularly big fight with Google right now as I type. The internet has no doubt changed all of our lives, and affected every industry. Information is so readily available, and new companies & services can literally jump up overnight, which is intimidating for the big players that dominated the industry before. I think by not embracing this change more, they are only effectively cutting away from their potential market share, when they finally do jump on board. By embracing the changes, the entire industry will be able to adapt more efficiently, benefiting us all.
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?
The online music space is so crowded now that if you’re going to join in, you need to be doing something unique. The tighter you can integrate with initial social networks and services the easier it will be to launch your product on top of theirs.
Continue to Part 2: “Music & You”