Interview With CEO Of LyricFind: On “Lyrics For Free” & Fighting Lyric Pirates One Site At A Time
Recently, I spoke with Darryl Ballantyne, who is CEO of LyricFind, a legal lyric solution provider. In part one of this interview with Ballantyne, he talks about recent developments at his company and the challenges of disrupting lyric pirates.
Hypebot: How will your "Lyrics For Free" option be helpful in relation to curving lyric piracy?
Darryl Ballantyne: Lyrics For Free gives web sites a no-brainer option to add licensed lyrics to their site or mobile app. Instead of using unlicensed material or being drawn into potentially difficult financial arrangements, they can have high-quality licensed content in their service for free – and if they’re successful driving traffic, they can even make a profit. We’ve knocked down the biggest barriers that existed in lyrics licensing.
Hypebot: What's the most important difference between illegal and legitimate lyric websites?
Darryl Ballantyne: Definitely proper compensation for the publishers and songwriters who put their heart and soul into writing these songs. They deserve to be compensated for their work! Aside from that, quality is a massive difference. There’s no user-generated material on LyricFind – all of our lyrics are vetted by our content team, who are committed to delivering the best quality lyrics anywhere on the web.
Hypebot: As LyricFind evolved, why did quality control and profanity filters become necessary?
Darryl Ballantyne: Quality has always been necessary for us. We’ve seen far too many places with lyrics listed that are awful, usually as a result of user-generated content that doesn’t get reviewed. From the beginning, LyricFind has used real, full-time editors in our Toronto office that sit with headphones on making sure the lyrics we post are correct. Nothing makes it in to our database without a review and we take massive pride in the quality of our content.
The Profanity Filter, which we’ve recently launched with Web Services v2.0, was something that became more and more requested by our clients. With deals with companies like Cox Radio and Bing, to name a few, they needed a way to make lyrics family-friendly to all users. In those cases, we’d previously implemented one-off solutions; now, it’s available to all our clients with the flip of a switch.
Hypebot: When LyricFind started out, what were the challenges in disrupting an illegal space?
Darryl Ballantyne: Cost was definitely the biggest one – trying to get unlicensed sites to actually pay for content that for years they’d been using for free. Lyrics For Free breaks down that barrier, which makes us extremely excited to have it launched!
Another issue that was difficult at the beginning was our catalogue size – it literally took us years to get licensing deals signed with all the major publishers, so for a while we had gaps in our catalogue that were hard to overcome. Now we have all the majors and over 2,000 indies, so those gaps are virtually nonexistent. I’ll happily put our content up for comparison against any other service out there – we win every time.