Day after day, there are a lot of releases in the music market of several artists/musicians/groups. But also, there are a gap between offer and demand: the fans of the artists/musicians/groups can’t know with enough opportunity the date of release and they lose the opportunity to get special editions of their albums/LPs/EPs and so on.
The team of The Echo Music reached to Andreas Mahringer, co-founder of Record Bird, an innovative enterprise which uses the “bots” and also a new beautiful, intuitive and friendly app, to talk about how Record Bird can help to the fans to know that their favorite groups are releasing new music. Also, you can find in this app news and links to reviews of this new releases.
Question. Who is Andreas Mahringer? How did you become an entrepreneur?
Answer. Andreas Mahringer. I speak for everyone at Record Bird when I say that music always played an important role in our lives. So naturally we spent most of our savings on buying records. What really frustrated me personally over time, was that I frequently missed out on new releases, especially when it was a limited edition soundtrack, a colored vinyl and so on. It’s just so frustrating when you bought music by artist XYZ in the past, only to miss out on their newest release.
So we just set out to solve this problem for ourselves. It was only later, once we realised that many fans share this problem, that we made the necessary steps towards forming a company around our solution.
Q. What is Record Bird as enterprise?
A. Record Bird is a free app that notifies music fans about new releases by their favourite artists. If want to be the first to learn about a new release and check out new tracks before your friends, then Record Bird is for you.
Q. Which is the Record Bird mission and vision?
A. At Record Bird we work towards a future, where no music fan will ever miss a release by their favourite artists again. A future, where all information about a new release will find you frictionless, at no cost and effort.
Q. How many people work on Record Bird?
Q. Which is the Record Bird market sector?
A. I’d say we’re having one foot in the music, the other in the tech industry.
Q. Which is the problem that Record Bird are solving in this kind of industry?
A. The digitalization of music, brought down many barriers to consuming new music. The marginal costs of music declined, accessibility went up, mobile technology helped us to bring our collections everywhere we go. The only thing that really sucks is the flow of information. We only find out about new music once it’s already on Spotify or Apple Music.
In the digital age, where we can listen to any song on a given day, the time leading up to a release — and the conversations prompted in that period — are as vital to a successful release as the music itself. As fans, we need to be curious, we need to bite our nails while counting the days leading up to a release.
Still, no one succeeded in cracking this nut. Some just accept the ill flow of information, others simply hope that their release miraculously goes viral. The biggest step towards improving today’s flow of information were playlists – I just think we can do a lot better than that.
Q. Who is the target customer of Record Bird?
A. Music fans who are either frustrated by missing out on new releases or put an unreasonable amount of time into finding out about new records on/offline.
Q. Which is the competitive advantage of Record Bird in contrast with other music services?
A. With Record Bird, music-fans not only stop missing out on new releases by their favourite bands and musicians, they also learn about new records long before the actual day of release. The result is an information advantage which triggers valuable discourse amongst the target audience.
This opportunity to communicate release information early, also differentiates Record Bird clearly from release notifications by Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services.
Q. Have you ever had a problem with any group/musician for announce their album release before its get announced?
A. Haha, well you know… it happens. Every now and then someone screws up and suddenly a release pops up in our database even before the artist announced it. The last time it happened, we received a call from a very stressed out music executive who thought we were somehow leaking internal info. We were like: “Man, we’re happy to take it down but you should speak to your distributor, ‘cause that release is already all over the internet and not going anywhere.” We ended up doing a joint promotion of the record instead! 😀
Q. If this is a free service for the people… Where comes from the revenue? From the artists? From the labels? From the publicity? Which is the Record Bird business model?
A. Right now, our sole focus is on building the best possible product for music lovers like you and me. It makes little sense to focus on the monetization of a product which likely changes several more times. Generally speaking though, if we can help the music industry to better understand who actually pays for their music (inc. streaming) and how to reach them efficiently, I think a lot of people benefit from what we do.
Q. Recently was launched the Record Bird app… Why people should download the Record Bird App?
A. …’cause someone on Twitter said: ” the web is 1999”. Speaking seriously though, our iOS app offers a much better user experience than currently possible on web. Although we’re working on a new web version that seriously kicks ass and has a very “app-like” feel to it. Then again, iOS is also where we’ll launch new features first.
Q. How does the Record Bird App works?
A. With a single click, users can import their favourite bands and musicians from services like Facebook or Spotify to Record Bird, which are then matched with the startup’s database. If any of the artists plan to release a new record in the upcoming days or weeks, users get notified about the release long in advance. Furthermore, users can already preview selected tracks and preorder releases. With the app launch, we also integrated “News” updates for selected releases, such as a track that is already available on SoundCloud, the first video on YouTube or the interview where the band opens up about the recording process to the album.
Q. Where do you source release data from?
A. We are working to have a unique setup in each country, whatever suits the local market best. In order to get this right, we need to approach each market individually, working with labels, distributors, retailers, artists and fans respectively.
Q. Why only import artists from Facebook or Spotify and not from Apple Music?
A. We’re working on it, Apple Music integration will come in one of the next updates.
Q. The app have a part of recommendations of similar artists.. This selection it is by Record Bird or comes from Spotify?
A. Oh man, this is the most embarrassing part of our entire app! 🙂 The recommendations are really terrible, which is also why we call it ‘People Also Like’ and not ‘Your Recommendations’. We’re already working on an improved recommendation algorithm.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the Chatbot for Facebook/Kik? What are the bots? How do they works? Why are useful and improve the experience with the people?
A. In a nutshell, a chatbot is a small program which sits in your favourite messenger app and you can chat with like a friend, directly through the app — no download, registration or login required.
With a few clicks, users can now learn of the top new records that just got announced. Also an overview of every week’s top releases is only a tap away. Finally, users can ping a specific artist to find out about any upcoming records of more than 4 million bands and musicians worldwide. In a playful manner, more than 1 Billion people on Messenger and Kik now have their first experience with Record Bird at their fingertips.
At Record Bird we share a strong believe, that bots can offer a playful way for users to interact with our product with the smallest friction possible. Users remain in the well known environment of their messaging app and little to no effort is required to evaluate the potential of a new product within seconds rather than minutes. All barriers of downloading an app, typing URLs into mobile phones, signing up, putting in credit card details are being eroded almost entirely for a first product experience.
Q. With the release of the app, Record Bird will abandon the Chatbot?
A. Just the opposite, we’re working on a new, much more elaborate version of the bots. We simply believe bots and apps fulfill a different purpose in today’s landscape. Bots help users to easily experiment with new products. They make a first contact painless. Also, they can be very helpful to deliver short pieces of information to a user within a highly relevant environment. Native apps is where the deep engagement takes place.
Q. Which are your insights about the future of Record Bird?
A. We need to reconsider what we think of as a music release in 2016. A track that an artist drops on SoundCloud is a release, even if not distributed through standard channels. The same goes for a lyric video on YouTube.
On top, the flow of information is drastically limited by a few gatekeepers. Whether the information about a release makes it onto your screen becomes a matter of budget and targeting – that shouldn’t be the case.
At Record Bird we’ll work hard to bring every so little release onto the fan’s radar – so they never miss a beat.