MusikFly Makes It Easy To Submit Music To Bloggers
MusikFly is a new service that facilitates music submissions to music blogs. The basic concept is simple, musicians submit music to specific blogs based on genre and bloggers unclutter their inbox while having an easier way to consider music for posting. MusikFly solves a real problem for both musicians and bloggers with little direct competition.
MusikFly, based in startup-centric Boulder, launched back in March. I spoke yesterday with Fletcher Richman who is a co-founder with a CEO role though the group of current and recently graduated students is not that big on titles.
But there's plenty of time for giving people titles as the service is currently somewhat of a side project for the group which is taking the next school year to decide if MusikFly has the potential to go beyond being a feature and becoming a company.
Side project or not, the MusikFly team is rapidly iterating their service. For now they're self-funded but they've already turned down angel investors who've shown interest. My impression is that they could probably continue on their own unless they decide to pursue some of the grander possiblities for MusikFly beyond music submissions.
How MusikFly Works
The basic concept of MusikFly is to take the ongoing stream of submissions music bloggers typically receive by email and make the submission process much easier to manage for both sides of the equation. Even 5 or so years ago this process had become unmanageable for many music bloggers and I'm sure it's become an even bigger pain point for bloggers given their still growing status for music marketing.
Musicians typically submit one song at a time, identify the relevant genres and receive feedback from bloggers who wish to respond whether or not the music gets posted. MusikFly is experimenting with various limits on submissions to figure out the right balance.
Bloggers are offered music that they can listen to in a mobile-friendly stream, comment upon and post if they so choose.
MusikFly also provides a dashboard with relevant stats and related features to support the process.
Recently MusikFly introduced a widget that bloggers can place on their site as Bear Audio has done. Now musicians can submit music without leaving the blog which has greatly reduced friction for use of MusikFly. Richman said they've seen an increase in submissions since creating the widget.
Currently they have around 30 blogs using the service with a couple of hundred registered artists. They're now facilitating around 5 or so music submissions a day.
These numbers aren't staggering but they are rising and they're plenty for MusikFly to continue growing the service and figuring out what's best for users.
MusikFly Behind the Scenes
The details will continue to shift as the team responds to users and iterates MusikFly.
Richman says their one key metric is the number of artists getting posted by blogs. He also says that seeing music submitted through MusikFly appearing on blogs is a truly satisfying indicator that they're doing things right.
Currently artists choose their own genres but Richman says future possibilities include developing algorithms to identify music by genre to aid the matching process. They even envision the possibility of scraping a blog's content and developing a profile of the perfect song for each blog.
Possible uses of the underlying technology could make their work applicable to other music submission processes such as that of record labels or venues. However Richman says a future direction could even involve branching out beyond music and into other forms of media.
MusikFly is still in the early stages of monetization but it's not an afterthought by any means. Possibilites include charging musicians for submissions and developing premium features such as multiuser accounts for blogs with lots of writers.
Figuring out monetization is an ongoing process. For example, when they first began to experiment with charging musicians, some bloggers were adamantly opposed and it generally felt like a no go. Recently newer bloggers have expressed interest in charging, which would provide a revenue stream for both MusikFly and blogs, so the situation remains fluid.
Currently the only direct competitor I can find is StereoGrid which I wrote about in early 2012. However they don't seem to have moved far beyond hip hop blogs and have been quiet on the news front in 2013.
The MusikFly team was able to quickly develop the initial version. They can also continue to iterate their service while taking care of their other responsibilities and self-funding as they go. This gives them quite a bit of space that many young startups don't have and increases the likelihood that they can create a viable base for future growth.
Given that it solves a crucial problem for both musicians and music bloggers, MusikFly is off to a solid start. And, though still in beta, MusikFly is ready for new signups.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.