Music Collaboration Platform Blend Launches Community Sourced Record Label

Erin_barra_redefinedBlend is a music collaboration platform that allows you to upload your music publicly or privately and to collaborate with and remix the music of others. They've been in private beta but are now open to the general public. In addition, they're launching a label for their user community which starts with digital distribution for releases from community-selected artists. Label manager Guy Licata shared with me some of the details of this unique opportunity.

Talking Of A Master Plan

Blend is a cloud-based music collaboration platform that allows musicians to upload and store music and collaborate on projects with other musicians. It is a Betaworks project that went semi-public in August 2013 apparently with a strong early community and a variety of interesting plans.

DJ Tech Tools interviewed CEO Alex Kolundzija at that time who said future plans included:

"A platform where fans can not only discover new music, but also participate in the creative process (by up-voting, commenting, etc) is also interesting. A Blend label for releasing most popular, completed projects is also something we’re considering."

It sounds like they're combining the two in the new Blend Label. But check that interview for a lot of other interesting ideas with potential such as a marketplace for hiring musical talent with Blend handling payments.

Blend Launches The Blend Label

Now fully open to the public, Blend is launching the Blend Label (which needs a real name, y'all). The label landing page says "Get 100 likes on any of your projects to qualify for a release!"

I chatted with label manager Guy Licata by email who explained more about how the process will work for member artists.

They're getting started with digital distribution provided by The Orchard though they are planning limited vinyl releases and want to do more with physical media further down the line. The first two releases will be the "TwoDots Original Soundtrack" and Erin Barra's "Redefined" [see thumbnail image above]. But future releases will be based on upvoting by the user community.

Seriously, 100 Likes?

Given that fake likes and related phenomena are a big topic these days I asked about fake likes speculating that such things would be a bit more obvious on a platform like Blend where people actually do creative work. Licata concurred stating:

"We do have the tech in place to thwart that kind of abuse, it's something that was very much on our minds out of the gate and our devs are some of the best in the biz!"

Note that this opportunity is available to all users who, yes, will become eligible after receiving 100 likes from other users for their project.

Blend has to check things out at that point including such restrictions as:

"no uncleared samples, previously released material, or if you’re under exclusive contract with another label, age restrictions, in a territory that does not allow for us to formally execute our contracts"

But beyond that it's the community that's going to make the decisions.

It Takes A Village

Licata shared more about that community and how Blend plans to support it:

"What we've been able to foster via private beta is an inspiring community, and through our partnerships have made Blend genre and (DAW) platform agnostic…and that's very important to us. Now that we're opening the doors a bit more, we're excited to see where things go."

"We've watched Blend grow exponentially over the past year or so. While our infrastructure scales with the user base, we're sticking to our core mission which is to help artists succeed, whether that be finding inspiration through collaborating with another artist around the world, working with their favorite producer's sessions, accessing a new product, or now with proper releases."

Sounds like a great opportunity for folks who want to be part of a strong community that can lead to something more.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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