18 de febrero de 2010

Tribe of Noise, worldwide community of music (I)

Two days ago this blog was 1year old and for this reason, as a present for you, I would like to post an interesting interview of Hessel van Oorschot (here the interview in spanish), co-funder of Tribe of Noise: "a worldwide community connecting musicians and companies by sharing music legally and hassle free!".
I would like to thank Hessel for his kindness and availability and also, because he has offered his valuable time to answer all the questions.

I have written an index of the whole interview because I have divided it into two parts. So you can find faster the most interesting answers for you:

Part (I)
0. Question: micropayments.
1. Question: history of ToN & how to find companies interested in the project.
2. Question: entertainment industry is obsolete.
3. Question: viability of Copyleft licenses as a new business model.
4. Question: the future of P2P networks.

Part (II)
5. Question: massive lack of content.
6. Question: advantages of the business model based on Copyleft licenses.
7. Question: the new rol of the users.

Q. 0: As we have seen, Tribe of Noise is a “bridge” or meeting point between artists (musicians, songwriters and composers) and professionals. Then both artists and professionals have found the right place to share their “interests” but your community has at least web maintenance costs (for example the bandwidth traffic of the host and downloads) and of course many others. How can be financed web sites like Tribe of Noise? Could be symbolic micropayments one of these solutions?
A: I think sites like Tribe of Noise need professional business models (profitable within 1-2 years), a team of experienced and dedicated people (we are a team of 8 professionals) and the ambition to become bigger, better and more attractive than any other B2B network out there. There are many examples of individuals running their own server from home offering a great service to tens of thousands of people but not succeeding in the longterm because they lack the business skills, funding and business network.

Tribe of Noise can not be funded with micropayments.  We believe in multiple proven business models, we don't believe in advertisement revenue models in our market (B2B).
Our core free service is facilitating a worldwide community connecting musicians & companies with Ready to Share music.All additional services (like audio engineering, pro accounts with useful management tools, tailor made music selections,  licensing music files for specific needs) are paid services.
In a couple of months we will launch some very useful (paid) services to our customers, companies in need for music. Can't tell you in detail, sorry.

Q. 1: Please, correct me if I make a mistake. I suppose musicians were the first to come into Tribe of Noise (January 2008), but after that, when did companies start to be really interested in that project? did they come by themselves or it was a difficult task make them to understand what your community propose?
A: We opened to the public on July 14th (Bastille Day) 2008 with 350 musicians and 100 other members (family, friends). Now we have over 7000 members of which 80% are musicians, songwriters and composers from over 40 countries. Amongst the other 20% are still our friends and family but also many professionals in need for great music, ready to connect with our musicians.

Finding more companies interested is one of our main focuses. Think of visiting trade shows, sales & promotion team, contacts through social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my own business network etc. The exposure from newspapers, magazines and radio stations helps too of course :-)

Q. 2: The film industry, principally the music one, wants to still hold a 20 years old obsolete business model but Tribe of Noise has read properly these changes in that industry, why the most important record companies haven't react yet?
A: Not everything is in the open yet but major record labels do react with interest. We talk with some of them. While we can adopt new business ideas in a couple of days, they need months or maybe even years. Changing directions for them means changing big time without the option to go back. They also deal with musicians who don't want to change. Many of them think change is scary. Others know it's their only chance of beating the competition. Our Tribe team keeps the dialogue alive, with recent examples and successes... to be continued ;-)

Q. 3: The new alternatives to Copyright, as the Creative Commons 3.0 BY-SA license that it is used in Tribe of Noise, are still protecting the autor's rights and even the final user can obtain their works free. However, generally it is thought that this kind of Copyleft licenses can't be a viable business model.
A: Law is something most people (musicians and businesses) are not really interested in but within Creative Commons their are several big time opportunities for musicians, composers and songwriters to make money. The basics (CC BY-SA) means a company can use a song for free IF a) BY and b) Share Alike is respected.

You can imagine that brand managers, film makers and game developers would like different options (for example the 'Share Alike' part waived). A great opportunity for us and the musician to make money. This is just an example though. There are many more licensing & sync options once the company and the musician connected on Tribe of Noise through Ready to Share Music (CC BY-SA).

Q. 4: In the last months there are a lot of news about judgments against P2P networks, but communities like Tribe of Noise demonstrate that music can be shared legally in these networks, what is going on?
A: P2P is not going away. There are many more P2P opportunities ahead of us. I know a few of them that might change the Blu Ray/HD video/film industry big time. Once again every single country has their own set of laws regarding uploading and downloading. Many of these laws were implemented decades before the internet. Seems many more court cases will have to decide how society wants to deal with sharing and distribution of digital content.

Hope we can assist by showing that a lot of content on the internet is supposed to be shared and distributed for free, the rights holder wants this to happen. In my opinion this is one of the greatest things happening: on one side the law protecting the rights holder against “evil people” sharing files illegally but on the other hand the rights holder telling the world: "Hi people, please use my content as much as possible and help me by generating exposure and new business opportunities".