Tag Archives: music website

The Beat-Play Experiment Entry #6


Just got off the phone with my lead developer. We are still in beginning stages of internal beta, and next Tuesday we’ll be finally uploading to our server, which is a Rackspace server, the same company Youtube used before they got bought out by Google.

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The Beat-Play Experiment – Entry 2

This is an exciting time for the crew. We’re finalizing all of the little bits and pieces of Beat-Play. By the time we’re ready to launch, hopefully in May, we’ll have everything we need in place to help our beta testers begin the journey of successfully promoting their music online, and independently. It’s coming..

We are very busy, but it’s a lot of fun.

We’ve been going back through all of the amazing designers that we interviewed in Colombia. There were 18 total. Honestly they are some of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen and I want to use all of them!

They’ll be doing work for the backgrounds of Beat-Play, which change every time you refresh the page, and they’ll also be doing the ads, which aren’t your standard everyday annoying banner ads. We’re all about the art.

We just had an awesome interview with MWL artist Lisa Lavie. She’s had incredible success on Youtube, being the #34th most subscribed of all time, with millions and millions of views. She talks a lot about her career, and her views about the industry. She’s madd cool and epitomizes Music Without Labels. The interview should be up sometime this week.

We also have some other awesome interviews in the works including a video interview in Spanish with a hot Colombian artist Lilith, an English video interview with one of the leaders of an awesome independent movement going on in Medellin, Colombia, and a written interview with a really talented indie artist over in South Korea who calls himself Silvercord.

He used to live in Cali but now lives over there. I met him on thesixtyone.com and he actually did a little bit of mastering work for me and my friend. He’s going to talk to us about the music scene over there to try and give us a wider view of the situation for indie artists as a whole, around the world. I’m really excited for that.

Also this week we’ll begin filming a new online show that we’ll be starting called Beat-Play Harmonics. It’ll feature indie music videos, interviews, live performances, industry discussions, and a lot more. The first couple episodes will mostly just include music videos, kinda like MTV when they first started, except strictly independent/unknown artists, and we’ll never lose focus on the music. We have some awesome music videos lined up for that.

We also have Jasmine Sacarello, an up and coming actress who has conducted interviews for us before, doing some video blogs for us. We figure she’s more interesting to look at that us, and videos are a better way to get the information out. Definitely look for these posts coming up in the near future.

On top of all of this, most of us are starting to take some classes on the side. We’re all over the web doing constant research, and we’re on literally a couple thousand social networks as a whole, including a lot of smaller independent music based ones. We also go out to shows and take pictures and video and help the bands promote themselves. If you click the picture at the top it’ll take you to the most recent show pics, which will be updated again soon, and if you click the second pic it’ll take you to that band’s website..they’re an awesome laid back reggae band from CO named Apex Vibe.

Most of us have non-profit stuff we do on the side too. Dave Botero, marketing and ad sales, runs a handball program for kids in our area with the YMCA, called Hope in Handball, where a bunch of mentors play with the kids before and after school. He’s always looking for donations.

Right now I’m helping a friend of mine with a cool project. He’s actually an artist I met at a CD release party, Nashon Walker. I’m helping him put together a preview video of a TV show he’s trying to pitch.

It’s a combination reality show/flash back show that goes through the details of his rough past, from being abandoned, to parents on drugs, stealing, dealing, and jail, to going to college, marrying, getting a good job, having two kids, and starting his own mentorship programs and non-profits to help kids who have been through similar situations, and he’s not even 30 yet.

The reality part of the show follows him on his quest to bring real change to inner cities, and the other part shows flashbacks of his past acted out to show the contrast. It’s an awesome project I’m really happy to be working on. If you want to be involved, he’s looking for donations as well right now.

On top of that I’m still keeping track of the development process of Beat-Play which is moving along at a great pace, and I’m continuing to talk weekly to lawyers who are schooling me on copyrights and licensing.

Every once in a while I’ll even get some time to write some lyrics, and I’m planning on recording a mixtape pretty soon in my studio, which is about 30 ft from me right now, but I really haven’t had the time to put it all together yet, though the material is all there.

We’re also hammering out the ad model right now, which will be the main way that artists get paid on Beat-Play. We’re thinking there will be a set flat rate that we charge to advertisers, and if an artist reaches over a certain number of views, their ad space goes up in value, and we then give the artists 95% of the increase to their ad price..that’s on top of the flat fee.

There would be different levels, or brackets the artists would get placed in based on their views, and that would determine the price of their ads. The cool thing is the artists would get the majority of the money generated specifically from their views, after hitting a certain threshold, which Beat-Play’s promotion makes a lot easier to do. I would love to get feedback on this from some artists out there.

Also this week we marked the 250th artist to sign up to beta test on MusicWithoutLabels.com

That’s pretty much the full update of what’s goin on here at Beat-Play from our end. A lot of exciting stuff to look forward to, and great content to watch out for. We’re pretty stoked over here.

Ideas, comments, disses, encouragement always welcome. We’ll keep you posted.

Peace!

Entry by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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The Loss of Competition in Tech

The key to success is knowing something nobody else knows. It seems to me that too many of the people in the web or tech fields are strictly focused on what everybody else does know, and they don’t take this information and use it to create the next big evolution, but instead, they try to create something that fits into what everybody else is already talking about, or are focused on at the moment, in order to fit into a perceived market trend.

There also always seems to be much speculation about what the next big trend will will be, but usually we end up being very wrong. For example, many people are betting on the tablet PC to be the next BIG innovation, however, I will suggest something later in this post that could make the tablet PC obsolete, and even if it isn’t realized now, the chances are that someone will realize it eventually, and it will then take the place of the tab. I will give you a very recent example of why this issue occurs.

Currently, and widely because of this years CES Convention, the web is buzzing about tablet PC’s and iSlate speculation, and eReaders. It seems to me that in both categories, there are many competitors with extremely similar products. At least all of the big brands out there seem to be following a trend. There aren’t very many different solutions in terms of features and technologies.

How could they all have come out with similar products at the same time? The future of eReaders and portable PCs is so uncertain.. How could they all have come up with the same answers to the same questions, and especially when there are many different directions left unexplored by any of them?

It seems to me something fishy is going on, like they’re all talking to one another.. However, the fishy big companies aren’t the only causes of the problem. There just doesn’t seem to be any push from new companies to completely out-do their bigger competitors and introduce an innovation that makes their competitor’s products obsolete. Maybe it’s lack of resources, but I know if I’m a venture capitalist, I’m going to invest in innovation*.

The one hardware example of a new company at least slightly distinguishing themselves from their competitors has to be Plastic Logic with their Que proReader (shown at top) that is designed specifically for business solutions. But as luck would have it, eReaders may be in danger of becoming obsolete all together due to evolving portable PCs that can do almost infinitely more.

I think the winner of this debate for the hardware would be Light Blue Optic’s Light Touch 10 inch touchscreen projector; but even this has many problems, or holes, in functionality that could prevent this particular model from going to the next level. Imagine if this product was also a mini PC, but the screen expanded to Microsoft Surface proportions. It could potentially make the Surface obsolete, and in the process maybe the tablet PC as well, due to no limitations on screen size, with much less hardware, therefor less price, and the same capabilities. Why hasn’t Light Blue Optics figured this out?

It’s the same story with websites and apps. There’s about 182,000 (not accurate) music websites out there, all with extremely similar models, and if not, with similar problems. For independent artists, they either charge you too much upfront without you being guaranteed results, or they’re free but offer you no way to actually promote your music other than spamming people, or you need to use more than one site because one provides a tool that you need that the other doesn’t have, and vice versa. There’s many similar problems from a fan’s perspective as well. Why can’t someone come up with a website that solves ALL of these problems for everybody!?! (Beat-Play)

It seems that even with all of the amazing possibilities that the web is capable of providing, with a market place driven by poor competition, still, nothing is easy.

You might say “But Dante, it’s not so easy to innovate in a field these days. Where do you even start?” And I’d say to you “But it really is! And you start with your competitor’s products.” An innovation doesn’t have to be some huge evolutionary leap, like morse code right to Telephone, it just has to solve a problem that is currently put up with by society. Be the person to solve that problem, and your company should be off to a great start.

Try using your competitor’s products. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If you don’t know what industry to start with, chances are you’re a consumer of something..what problems do you face with products? I once saw a great TED Talk by Charles Leadbeater, about the occurrence of innovation. He talked about how the invention of the mountain bike didn’t come from the R&D labs of major companies, but they came from the consumers. Avid bikers became fed up with the restrictions placed on them by the big companies, and they began modifying, and eventually selling their modified bikes. The mountain bike industry today accounts for 65% of all bike sales in America

By looking at all of the slate computers, and finding the fundamental problems, creating an alternative to these problems becomes a lot easier, instead of creating something that poses the same problems. It seems that many times the major company’s definition of “compete” is to create a product with almost identical features as the other company’s products, so when you’re in the store staring at both of them on the shelf, you’re so confused that hopefully you’ll end up picking their product. This is either lunacy, stupidity, or treachery towards the consumers. I have a feeling there’s a little bit of all three floating around in this marketplace somewhere.

People only pay attention to the products of existing companies when it comes to hardware. The web is the only medium where mass mainstream media advertising can have absolutely no effect on the success of a website. In other words, a website can completely explode, seemingly overnight, with no TV commercials or billboards up initially whatsoever.

For almost every other major industry, advertising could make or break you, which is why new competitors don’t arise very often. But, it turns out that the internet and social-ecommerce could very well offer a solution to this problem as well, especially with the massive networks of people being created by the Web 2.0 revolution. However, how the internet can make advertising obsolete is a subject for another blog.

For now, if you’re a consumer who wishes they weren’t constrained by company or brand restrictions, then now is the time to do something about it, and come up with the solutions to those problems. You might as well, the big companies aren’t going to solve them. The key to success is knowing something nobody else knows…or admits..

Written by: Dante Cullari, Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

*However it is worth noting that most venture capitalists are probably in their 50’s-70’s and they’ve seen so much innovation in their lifetimes, that to them, they kind of have the outlook that enough is enough. They may even resent the fact that the world will continue to advance without them. At least this is my theory. I also happen to think the world would be a much better place if run by intelligent people in their 20’s. I should also note that I’m 21 :).

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