Viinyl is a recently launched startup in the competitive and confusing music industry. There are lots of startups that continue to tackle this market: it’s huge, dominated by dinosaurs and pushed by demanding, quickly evolving consumers.
Armine Saidi and three co-founders launched viinyl just over a month ago. The best way to describe viinyl is this: About.me for Songs. Take one song and promote it on a beautiful, but simple landing page. Social media elements allow fans to promote the song and viinyl site. Add some analytics behind the scenes and an artist has a marketing platform dedicated to an individual song. Here are some examples: Alors on danse | Yellowbrite Smile | Ben Wilkins.
Armine describes viinyl as the “music-lover’s digital LP.” He says, “It conjures the spirit of how music was enjoyed in the days when you had the lyrics, artwork and felt the vibe of the artist at your fingertips.”
The company started towards the end of 2009, bore out of the founding team’s desire for how they would like to experience music on the Internet. More specifically, Armine and his co-founders found that landing pages for specific songs/singles proved very effective when they implemented the strategy for their music industry clients through their social media consulting business. They found that a landing page was an excellent medium for showcasing the music because it featured more elements around the song than just an mp3 file to listen to or a song title in a playlist format. Fans were drawn more regularly and attentively to the landing pages because it was a fun experience. Most importantly, Armine notes that the landing pages they produced for clients allowed them to gather relevant market data, which was in turn used to drive increased branding and sales. They realized that this approach to marketing – while fairly common in other industries – had not been properly leveraged in the music business.
And so viinyl was born.
The company launched in beta only 3-4 weeks ago and they’ve been pleased with the response so far from artists, industry players and fans. “We’ve already received large amounts of beta requests and its growing daily as the word is spreading across the web and more artists are using viinyl to showcase their music,” says Armine. “It’s been fun to see how fast our brand, ‘viinyl’, has been adopted by artists and is being used as a term, such as ‘listen to my viinyl’ or ‘I like this viinyl…’”
Viinyl has been approached by some heavy industry leaders who like the way the company enhances the music experience on the web, as well as the analytics generated behind the scenes. According to Armine they’re eager to explore how viinyl can help reach out to fans more efficiently, foster loyalty and monetize those relationships.
For now, the revenue model isn’t clear. Creating a viinyl is free. The company makes their money from their consulting services and custom software development for the entertainment industry, but Armine wants that to change fast. A freemium model for implementing enhanced features tied to analytics or managing multiple viinyls might be possible.
“Numerous companies offer similar band-based website creation services. Unlike those, our focus is to create an online presence for the most important element of the music industry: the song/single. We believe in the power of first impressions and that viinyl’s key strength lies in the fact that it is the first place of contact between fans and the single. Artists can create as many song sites as they want without the use of a third-person programmer and then tap into the intuitive promotional and tracking tools to conduct targeted campaigns across multiple channels.”
Complementary services such as Bandzoogle could be compared in terms of being part of the various online resources chosen by the artist to further drive traffic to enhance the artist/fan relationship.”
In our conversation with Armine he pointed out the SEO value of a viinyl landing page. One example was the viinyl launched by Montreal band Misteur Valaire. They used viinyl to launch their single “Ave Mucho” featuring Bran Van 3000, and promoted it as the default information source to fans, media, bloggers, etc. Misteur Valaire already has a full website. And the viinyl page remains at the top of Google when searched. From the viinyl site prospects and fans were then guided to the band website in order to purchase the album, register for the mailing list, concert venues, etc. We did not discuss whether the viinyl page increased revenue or brand in comparison to other songs/albums the band has released.
Beyond SEO, viinyl offers strategies and tools similar to the CRM/web marketing based landing page concepts used by companies to capture sales leads and turn them into paying customers.
Armine didn’t rule out scaling beyond single landing pages. He noted that a number of users have started asking for full-blown site development using the style and structure of viinyl. It remains to be seen whether viinyl goes into the larger CMS marketplace.