Saturday, August 4, 2007

LA & NYC - The Music Industry Continued

In the past two weeks I've taken 19 meetings in LA and NYC. Some meetings were with managers, some with management firms, some with live music promoters, still others with entertainment industry lawyers. The purpose of these meetings was to outline what we were intending to introduce in the marketplace and learn what we could about what the reaction might be to our services.

First off, a huge thank you to my friend and VP Finance / VP Business Development, Ted Guggenheim, who arranged these meetings. Ted has been in the music business for nearly 20 years. And it was clear from our reception that he has a lot of friends in this business. Our dance card was full, and people took these meetings expecting to hear that we are about to do something significant.

We described an approach to the market that began with our target demographic, the audience that will be our focus as iggli launches its service. We went on to detail the basic elements of the service and articulate something about why we think the things we are doing are going to be interesting to all of the key players in the industry. The best part about all of this: people got it. With the exception of the first meeting in LA - a meeting that was more diffuclt than the others because our arrival in LA was at least an hour later than we'd planned (thank you United) - our connections with everyone in the industry had people nodding their heads in agreement.

So what are we planning? Without spoiling the launch, I think I can say that a couple of things. We're focused on the consumer. We want to deliver surpassing value in the context of the consumer's experience of connecting to music online. We're social network oriented. And we're planning to offer music to our customers but do it in a unique way.

We hear, over and over again, that the music industry - particularly with respect to the recording industry - is awash in gloom & doom. More than one of the persons we talked with has said to us that they believe this coming holiday will prove to be the season that shows the industry that they have gone "over the cliff." Not, mind you, that they are about to go over a cliff. Rather, that they are in freefall after having passed the point of no return. As the CD sales, on which the industry still depends for roughly 80% of its revenues, plummet, there will be nothing to cling to, nothing to break the fall.

And that's where we come in. Not that we think we can be a net or a parachute. But we think we do have a solution to a few problems. And based on our 19 conversations, the industry seems to think so too.

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