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Start Your Business Success Stories

Q&A: GrooveZoo CEO Reinvents How Musicians Connect


GrooveZoo, a new online music site that allows musicians, songwriters and producers to find each other, collaborate on music and find a distribution channel for their work, is putting an entrepreneurial spin on making music.

The website was founded by CEO Jeremy Korn, a musician with a background in Web design and technology.  Korn told BusinessNewsDaily how his business works why the startup is unique.

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BusinessNewsDaily: Tell me what GrooveZoo does. How is it different than what exists now?

Jeremy Korn: We connect songwriters, musicians and producers using an inter-rating system where they categorize and rate each other. The ratings are kept private and used for matching purposes only. We leverage the fact that people see each other more accurately than they see themselves. This yields highly accurate metadata that is used to quickly match people to each other so they can spend less time searching and more time creating.

Furthermore, when someone joins an online session, a contract is put in place to describe the rights and terms of the work that will be performed. Then when the music is sold in the GrooveZoo store, we automatically distribute the money to the musicians according to the contract. This is reestablishing professionalism in the music industry for all levels of musicians so that they can monetize their efforts once again. All other sites that connect musicians use self-ratings, which make it very difficult to find the person you would like to work with. They also connect musicians using Creative Commons, asking musicians to give away their work. I figure if these sites are experiencing success with a broken business model, then we stand a good chance of success.

BND: What is your business model? How does the company make money?

J.K.: We offer three levels of subscriptions: Free, Musicians ($10/month), and Producer ($30/month). The free version limits the number of sessions, storage size, etc. The Musician version offers more of each, and the Producer offers unlimited sessions, and 1G of storage.

BND: How does having artists as customers different than regular consumers?

J.K.: Artists have a lot of passion about what they are doing. Their motivations are different. As an artist of many years, I understand this and have a good handle on how to help them meet their goals. However, we will also cater to the nonartist as we will have a store open to the public by end of March.

BND: How do you balance creating a business that understands being creative with the “business” side of things?

J.K.: Balancing these comes from minimizing the impact of the product offering on the balance sheet. The product offering comes from a natural deep-rooted understanding of how creative [people] think. Managing our balance sheet comes from many years of doing business and product planning. They meet in the middle with knowing how to separate the customer “needs” form their “wants” and then prioritizing their wants and delivering enough of them to sooth the savage beast. In short, it comes from exercising pragmatic desire.

The biggest challenge is handing the details associated with delivering a quality product with new, regularly released features, and maintaining a strategic, birds-eye view. Both aspects are critical, but take different mindsets. These two aspects must be unified in my mind to consistently factor each into account when making tide-turning decisions. While this is the biggest challenge, it is also the key factor in how much of this new market we can grab.

BND: How do you market your business? Do you use social media?

J.K.: We have monthly promotions, sweepstakes giveaways and tradeshows planned for the year. We will reach our target customers using a combination of existing social networks, targeted email blast and most importantly, virally within our own product.