Kevin Arnold On How OpenAura Helps Musicians Control Their Image Online

openaura logoLate last month Kevin Arnold, the founder of IODA Music and the Noise Pop Festival, launched OpenAura, which gives artists more control over how they appear online, along with a new revenue stream. We published a first look at OpenAura when it launched. Recently Arnold shares more about the new service and his motivations behind launching it.  

OpenAura curates content and delivers it to music sites. Uniquely, in addition to pulling from the web, artists can “claim” their "Auras" and  take control, adding photos and other visual content.

Kevin_ColorHYPEBOT: Is OpenAura available to all artists?
ARNOLD: Yes, it is available and free to join for all artists worldwide. There are hundreds of thousands of Auras pre-built for artists in the system today and we're adding more all the time. Artists just search for themselves and claim their Aura to get started.    
HYPEBOT: What is the verification process to claim an Aura?
ARNOLD: For artists or managers, it's as simple as logging in with the artist's Twitter or Facebook account to claim. Once you've claimed your Aura, it takes just a few minutes to add other social media accounts, if desired, and review the current photos and info we've already amassed for that artist's Aura.
HYPEBOT: Beyond content added by the artist, where is content drawn from?
ARNOLD: The platform starts with our robots crawling the web to identify trusted sources of content, like social accounts and crowdsource sites for every artist we can find.The "Aurabots" then catalog all this information and build default Auras for the artists. We ask the artist (or their curator) to claim the Aura and take over from there. Initially we're asking curators to just review our work, add additional online sources, and verify basic artist information, but over the next few months we'll roll out additional functionality including content from premium partners including labels, editorial publishers, and image rights holders that will also share in platform revenue.
HYPEBOT: You have a long history in music tech, is this an outgrowth of your work at IODA or a departure from it?
ARNOLD: I think it's both actually. I was ready for a departure after nine years with IODA, and certainly wasn't planning to be in the distribution or aggregation business. As the concept for OpenAura came together I got very excited about the possibilities that a comprehensive, well-organized source of authentic and modern visual artist content could bring to the marketplace. It wasn't obvious to me at first, but somewhere along the way of building the platform I had the realization that OpenAura is actually quite similar in nature to and very much an outgrowth of IODA: we aggregate artist-related visual content and metadata from many sources and distribute it to the places where fans engage with the artist and consume their music. 

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