Founder of viinyl Armine Saidi discusses the shifts in the way music is consumed, shared, and experienced today and how the industry must shift from simply selling music, to creating new ways to access it.
viinyl is a music site that turns an artist’s songs into an enriched microsite. When we wrote about viinyl previously on PSFK, we recognized the platform’s novel attempt to create profit and fan loyalty for musical artists. We recently caught up with founder Armine Saidi to get a better idea of how he plans to launch the site and the new features they have developed since our last post.
Key Insights From the Interview
- Shifts in the way music is consumed, shared, and experienced means the industry must shift from simply selling music, to creating points of access to it.
- Companies need to innovate across platforms to embrace visitors regardless of which devices they are using to access music.
- Bite-size entertainment works well when it has deeper connections to the larger digital ecosystem. viinyl is fully equipped to lead its visitors to other resources such as SoundCloud, Youtube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, Bandsintown
- User-interfaces must continue to further integrate audio and visual assets for musicians, each component empowering the other.
Many music platforms are focusing on music discovery and socializing playlist creation; what are these companies doing well, what do they need to do more of?
I ﬁnd that there’s a lot of great stuff out there. Music discovery is becoming fun and social again, like it was back in the day when you’d get together with friends to discover new music, mix tapes, records, etc. Thanks to Facebook’s recent initiatives, music is more social and with the help of third party music platforms, we’re no longer limited to our little personal collection of music and our choices are limitless.
I think it’s equally important that these music platforms also focus on the visual aspect of music and allow artists to brand, not only themselves, but also their songs. Typically, playlists, even the user-interface, are similar and usually present music in a non-interactive “song title by artist name” format, that may or may not come with a small thumbnail. It’s hard to feel an attachment to an artist when the presentation has little depth or dimension. It’s our challenge at viinyl to provide a vehicle for the fan to connect with the artist and come back looking for more, and we think that visuals are an integral part of it.
What is your vision for viinyl?
As the Founder and CEO of viinyl, my goal is to help artists create unforgettable entertainment so they can interact with today’s tech-savvy consumers more efﬁciently and in turn proﬁt directly from fan loyalty. Our vision is to empower artists to bring new songs to the market more efﬁciently while allowing fans to interact and be entertained like never before – it’s about creating a memorable experience. We’re still in BETA but currently have over 10,000 artists using viinyl to showcase and promote their music. We’re great listeners at viinyl and thanks to the helpful feedback we get from artists, we’re ready to launch ofﬁcially this year.
What are the latest updated features, and how is viinyl collaborating with other platforms?
We’re super excited about a number of new features and partnerships. We’re about to introduce the viinyl LP — a new digital music format which brings back the depth of experience we remember from the days of the real vinyls. It’s a break from the one-dimensional existing playlist formulas. viinyl LP is simply a more immersive, visually enhanced music experience.
Also, the viinyl platform is now HTML 5 based which means that the music sites are available on almost every smartphone and tablet.
We’ve also introduced a one button process which allows artists to publish and promote their viinyls literally within minutes. Artists can now also sell their music on viinyl via their favorite retailer and we have even added integrations with third party applications: SoundCloud, Youtube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, and Bandsintown, to name just a few.
Some examples of viinyl LP include:
What converging trends enable viinyl to be a successful platform for artists?
There’s a tremendous shift in the music industry which has mainly been spurred on by the emergence of e-commerce, the dominance of the online ‘do it yourself’ mentality, social networking, mobile devices which have lead to an entirely new way of music consumption. It’s no longer about ownership of music but access to it.
viinyl has been created to offer a unique approach to music consumption, distribution and promotion based on the conviction that the URL is the next music format and will be the primary way for fans/consumers to be exposed to it. On viinyl, artists have a unique URL and a beautiful site associated to each song and/or LP, which in turn expresses the art in a way that you won’t ﬁnd elsewhere on the web. viinyl has been created to take full advantage of all platforms from desktop to smartphones/tablets and soon smart TV’s. Artists will be telling their musical “stories” and our platform is there to welcome this change.
What are viinyl’s particular strengths, and conversely, what is it not intended for?
We believe in the power of ﬁrst impressions and therefore viinyl’s key strength is that it’s the ﬁrst place of contact between a single and its fans. Each song-site offers intuitive marketing and tracking tools that help the artist conduct campaigns across multiple channels while tracking results and effectively engaging fans and growing their audience. We make it super easy for an artist to publish and promote music across the web, mobiles and social platforms. Additionally, viinyl helps increase the online presence of an artist, thereby improving SEO and making it easier for a fan to ﬁnd the music rather than landing on some P2P, torrent or pirate site.
We don’t think that viinyl should replace a website altogether. It should become an integral part of the various online resources chosen by artists to drive trafﬁc to their sites in order to enhance the artist/fan relationship.