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Audimated is a social platform, which helps artists and fans share, discover and monetize music. This is the first platform that gives fans the ability to make money sharing their favorite independent content, while giving artists the tools they need to make money in their music career.
Here’s how it works: artists submit their musical works and products for sale and allow their fans to become commission based sales affiliates for that content. Audimated charges a ten percent transaction fee and up sells premium services to artists and fans who want enhance their experience on the site.
MO: Can you tell us more about your personal background and what gave you a passion for creating Audimated?
Lucas: I have always been an independent musician myself. I received my first guitar when I was 11, I started my first band in high school and my freshman year in college I built a recording studio in my dorm room. Music has always been a passion of mine and throughout college I began to merge my business degree with my love of music. I started charging artists for studio time and over time I began to help these artists with websites, social media and online marketing. After realizing the need for independent artists to market their music, I started building what Audimated is today.
MO: Congrats on winning $25,000 in the WeMedia PitchIt Challenge! What do you believe made Audimated standout in the sea of competition at the challenge?
Lucas: Audimated stood out at the WeMedia competition because of the passion and energy behind the presentation. Many business presentations get lost in the numbers, competitive landscape and business model. While these things are integral to any business, it is important not to lose sight of the people you are actually helping with your product or service. Rather than focus on entirely what the business is, how it works and its technology, I told the story of one independent artist and their struggle in the online music space. Throughout the story I weaved in Audimated as a solution and ended with a strong “help us save independent music” as my closing call to action. Other presenters had larger market sizes, better technology and stronger teams, but Audimated had the strongest emotional appeal to the audience. People buy on emotion and I feel Audimated ultimately won the competition based on its emotional appeal to the judges.
MO: How do you convince people that they should share music through Audimated rather than downloading it for free?
Lucas: Well that is a question with multiple parts. We don’t actively convince people to use Audimated rather than downloading for free. We actually don’t do any marketing at all for the site, but grow organically as our users share the message with others. Free downloads from websites or software are usually illegal and not endorsed by the artists or record labels. In addition, the musical content that is being sought after and downloaded for free is typically major label artists. Fans don’t feel bad “stealing” from these major artists under the false assumption that they are “not stealing” and that their actions “do not impact the artist.” Audimated is a platform focused on independent (mostly unknown) music and not major label music. Fans of independent music are much more likely to purchase the music rather than download it illegally because they have stronger personal connections with independent artists than with major artists. In addition, our independent music is typically not found/available on the popular peer to peer and other “free” download platforms.
MO: Can you delve into the process a little further and explain as a fan how I would make money from Audimated?
Lucas: Making money as an Audimated artist is pretty straight forward. Create a free profile, upload your music, set your prices and tell your friends. Each artist gets their own profile and ecommerce storefront to sell their music and merchandise.
Making money as a fan is a little less intuitive, but just as simple. Fans can also create a simple music profile on Audimated with ecommerce functionality built right in. Fans simply create a free profile on audimated, browse the website and add the music they like to their profile. Fans can then share their profile with friends and earn a commission on all of the sales purchased through their profile.
Artists turn their fans into their sales force. Fans become affiliate sales people for the music they love.
MO: How have over 9,000 followers on Twitter! Can you explain to our readers how you have utilized social media to grow your Audimated community?
Lucas: Relevant, valuable and timely content is the secret to social media. Make sure your posts and updates meet those three criteria and building social relationships will be easy online. Audimated started early on Twitter and Myspace (still relevant for music) by creating brand ambassadors and content contributors around the country. Even before our website was launched we had amassed several thousand “relationships” online. We used these initial connections to market and promote our launch. Audimated has never marketed the site outside of social media to this day.
MO: What new features/expanding do you foresee Audimated taking on in the next 12 months?
Lucas: Some of our new features we would like to keep private, but what we can tell you is that we are developing a music based “feed” similar to the feeds you experience on facebook, twitter and linkedin. This feed will be your interface and algorithm for discovering new independent music sort of like Twitter meets Pandora. Beyond the news feed, we will be re-launching our tickets and merchandise features. Both of these features are aimed at helping smaller independent artists create and monetize their live music performances.
On the technical front, there will be tons of features behind the scenes which front end users might not notice. They include moving our media files (photos, music) to a cloud based CDN (content delivery network), optimizing our SQL and PHP and improving our server infrastructure. As a result, the site will load much faster and the user experience will improve.
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