Sound Supply Co-Founder Talks Sound Drop #3 & More
Sound Supply has done two "Drops" so far with the third starting today. The basic concept is 10 digital albums for $15 for a limited run of 10 days. Some of the artists you may have heard of, some you may not have, but for those interested in the broadest definition of the rock genre, it's a fantastic deal for buying music. After seeing the first music Drop I got curious about what the deal was with Sound Supply and so I tracked down co-founder Tim Mortensen and asked him a few questions about the site's concept as well as music in general.
Where'd the idea for sound drop come from?
The idea came about two years ago. My brother and I were running a record label with our friend Jay called Common Cloud Records. We felt like there should be an easier way to introduce people to new music while still offering some level of support to bands. We also wanted to help curate some of the discovery process. The internet has brought on this overwhelming access to music, which is fantastic, but it also makes it more difficult to know what’s good anymore. Hand-selecting our favorite albums and bundling them together in a Drop hopefully cuts through some of the over-access to get a spotlight on some great albums.
How do the financials work out? Is this lucrative for the bands involved?
All bands involved see an as large as possible cut of the purchase price. Per sale, it’s not much, but considering the quantities we potentially deal with, it makes for a nice experience at the end of just a 10 day run of sales. I think it’s definitely lucrative from an exposure standpoint. A band gaining a ton of new owners of their album who can now come see them on tour and promote them to their friends is the ultimate goal. We’re seeing that with the awesome community of listeners that have developed so far.
Would this be possible to scale up and work on any size platform?
We think there’s a ton of growth opportunities. The current social commerce market has prepared people for discovery through these types of models. I could see it working and scaling, but I also think there’s a sweet spot for music discovery. Ideally, for us, the interest is in artists who are working hard and are touring, but haven’t gotten the exposure we feel like they deserve. My initial thought might be that at some point, if you’re dealing with bigger artists, it becomes less of a discovery site and more of just a deal site, like a bundle of Coldplay and U2 albums. Maybe that’s cool, who doesn’t like getting music for cheap? It’s just less exciting.
Favorite album from a Drop so far?
We’ve gotten to work with some amazing artists so far. It’s really impossible to pick a favorite. I am a huge Sunny Day Real Estate fan, so working with Jeremy Enigk in Drop 2 was definitely a dream scenario. We’re doing a bonus EP that purchasers will get if they purchase the Drop within the first 48 hours. The band that’s being offered as the early bonus for Drop 3 is one of my new favorites. I can’t wait for people to check them out.
How do you personally discover music?
Music is a hugely social thing for me. I get introduced to a lot of new bands through friends. One of my favorite albums of late that we included in Drop 1 was by Sophie Madeleine. Her music was introduced to me by my friend Travis.
I’m also an obsessive music blog subscriber. I’ve got a ridiculous amount of sites bookmarked that I check religiously. I fell in love with Polock’s new record that we added to Drop 2 from a great site called You Ain’t No Picasso.
Lately, we’ve gotten a ton of awesome band suggestions through our Twitter and Facebook pages which has lead to some great new stuff I’ve got queued up.
What's something you'd like to see changed with the music industry?
I’d love for things to be simpler, and I think that’s the way things are going. I love when bands are in control of their artistic destiny. There’s some great labels, like Polyvinyl Recording Co., that exemplify what I think is great about independent music in the Internet Age. I’d love to see more of that.
I’d also like to see more basketball players make music albums. Who can we talk to about that?
Tyler Hayes is a regular contributor to Hypebot.com and founder of Liisten.com, an independent music discovery site.