Few weeks ago, I discovered mySpoonful, which is a music discovery site and newsletter. Initially, the service made me skeptical. Why send busy people more e-mail?
In my mind, there had to be a better way. Readers also pointed out that sites like Rcrdlbl and Track in the Box do similar functions. In search of answers, I spoke to Dan Cohen, who is the CEO and co-founder of mySpoonful. In this interview, he makes his case about why mySpoonful is different and why it matters.
How will you differentiate mySpoonful from similar sites?
Dan Cohen: We think we're unique in several ways, including our particular combination of format, focus, and frequency that is geared towards the busy independent music fan with limited time.
First, we deliver new music in our "spoonful" format, which is a concise and consistent way of presenting a new artist, profiling them with our original writing, offering a free sample of their music and video, and more.
Second, each spoonful focuses on a single artist, so the reader can get to know an individual band. Third, is our frequency - we focus on a single artist only three times a week, which avoids information overload. In addition, we provide a mobile site experience that allows a user to play and download an artist's music right to a mobile device.
I should also add that we maintain editorial independence from any particular label, so our curated recommendations are solely our own.
Is sending busy people ever more e-mail the best idea?
Dan Cohen: We actually offer our content several ways, so that people can choose the format that best suits them – email, our website, our mobile site, twitter, and Facebook. In this manner, they can get the content through either "push" or "pull" at their convenience, and they can do so on either their desktops or mobile device. We find that people that do choose email like our concise format and love receiving their "surprise package" of new independent music three times a week, and find that it is a nice break from their other emails.
Will the hyper-localization – as you expand – be what sets you apart?
Dan Cohen: We do think that localizing our offering will be important in the future. Today, we offer a link to local live performance listings for each artist.
Why must we connect artists to real people in places where they live?
Dan Cohen: Recommendations for local artists can add another degree of relevance and build a new level of connection with fans. People take pride in where they live, and often like to be part of their local music scene. Further, partially due to social media, fans are now more than ever expecting to have more direct relationships with artists. Having a local connection to an artist further fosters that relationship, and helps artists gain exposure.