Community building doesn't only happen on Facebook, and a new indie music discovery site founded by Bill Armstrong of Side One Dummy hopes to build a community of indie music fans more tied to the creators than to Mark Zuckerberg. To help make that happen, Armstrong assembled a unique partnership of 30 top independent music labels to launch TheNewRecord.com.
The site is designed as a digital newsstand offering a free filtered environment to play and download new songs weeks in advance of release. Anti-, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Kill Rock Stars, New Century Media, Nettwerk, Daptone Records, Side One Dummy and VP are among the 30 founding labels.
"As a fan, I felt that new music wasn’t being organized in a way that made it easy to find," says Armstrong. From a label's perspective, Armstrong's solution was to create a music discovery community with other independent labels. “I wanted a filtered environment with what I consider other high quality artists whom we might share similar or even some of the same fans.” The New Record is a result of those two concepts and "a lot of shop talk with other labels to try and define an idea that could be approached as community".
Other participating labels include: ANGR, Asian Man, Bar-None, Brushfire, Dualtone, Equal Vision, Fat Wreck, Hellcat, Hollywood Waste, Hopeless, Inside Out, Lefse, Long Live Crime, MapleMusic, Paper & Plastick, People Like You, Prospect Park, Relapse, Rhymesayers, Rise, Sabot, Sargent House, Superball and Volcom.
“TheNewRecord approaches the digital promotions arena with a focus on selling records, tapping into the familiarity of the social environment, and ultimately driving people to our store. Which is why we are into it,” said Cathy Bauer of Daptone Records. Jim Mahoney, VP of industry group A2IM, adds, “Every A2IM’er I know who has seen how TheNewRecord works has been blown away.”
With a free one-time sign-up, a user can play and download unlimited free MP3s, use a built-in widget to embed songs or playlists, create and swap customizable playlists, and share on Facebook, Twitter, email, or other social networks. Using the “Follow” feature, users will have new music delivered to them directly from the record label or artist before release date. Users can also follow each other, filtering new music through their friend’s tastes.