Vinylmint is a Norfolk-based startup that aims to assist musicians in creating their music. It’s essentially a recording studio in the cloud. You record uncompressed audio right into the computer, the service uploads it to the cloud, and then you can listen to and edit tunes in your browser. Think of it as a mixing board with microphones all over the world.
“Musicians can seamlessly store and manage their music projects from a single location,” said CEO Byron Morgan. “Whether it be a professional or amateur musician, Vinylmint easily fits into your existing production methods. Vinylmint enhances the creative experience ultimately providing our users efficiencies in speed, cost, and productivity.”
The service is launching today and there are plans for a freemium model that offers faster turnaround and more storage space. All of the founders are avid musicians who just wanted to make the process of jamming online a little better.
Q & A:
q: I think you did a fabulous job telling the story. I love that you’re tapping into trends that are out there. Collaboration is happening all around us. And the human desire to be on the internet is just as strong.
Where do you see the business in two or three or four years? Who pays you, and how do you build revenue around that?
A: First and foremost, accessing VM is subscription based. the other part is that the underlying tech allows individuals to share raw data files at a quick rate. That’s a scalable technology. Media and film and 3D modeling industries are looking to transfer raw data files as well as allow two remotely different systems to communicate and collaborate with one another.
That’s where VM sees an evolution.
Q: What are the barriers to entry?
A: Our API fits into those systems. It allows us to tap into their users so they can collaborate and then create content through that. It also functions as a repository for that content. Our API also allows individuals to customize the solutions to their needs. They can add productivity tools to the system, and other collaboration functionalities and add-ons. We then function as a project management tool.
Q: But what is the barrier to entry? If you discover a huge market and Apple says that they like the idea, why can’t they do it themselves?
Well, Apple confines themselves to their own devices. There are other tools that users are always trying and using and that’s where we lie, outside of the Apple universe. New tools continue to arise every day.
What kind of feedback have you had from musicians, and what’s most surprising?
I’m a music producer myself, and working with other music producers across the world, I’ve learned that the issue is wanting to be able to reach or access sounds in other places. Because that’s where new things develop. There needs to be a central location where people can access each other and collaborate and that’s essentially where VM built its niche early on.
We’re saying here’s a tool where you can now manage your products you’re creating with each other and collaborate in real time and overcome any technical obstacles you may be having like bandwidth speeds, etc.
Q: Is there a discovery aspect of this? If I’m in Namibia and want to connect with a drummer in Munich, can I do that on the site?
A: We’re in our early development but that’s part of an update in Version 1.
Q: You talked about this being subscription based. Are you planning on charging subs straight from the get-go or making it free and then charging subs?
A: It’ll be a 60-day trial period. From there, a user would pay for a container of 30 projects for $10. They can put as much as they can in that container until they have to upgrade.
Q: Why doesn’t the product exist now?
A: Competitors want to confine people to different recording systems called DOS. These sites are confining individuals to these DOS systems. We don’t want you to learn anything new. Use the tools you’re comfortable with to create your content. That’s where our value add is.
Q: Once someone has collaborated and created music, what tools do you provide for editing, exporting and format?
A: What’s currently in development is allowing them to render files from our platform. In the meantime, you can download tracks from the recorders. Then they can use ProTools or Reason to render the files and edit the files outside of the recorders. We give power to the users.
Q: Have you thought about helping musicians promote their music after they use the platform?
A: One of the cool things we’re interested in is using crowdsourcing initiatives and using the power of our content creation community to teach people who are using the site and help advertising campaigns to better promote them and our platform.
Q: Have you thought about distribution?
A: We’re currently in talks with digital distribution partners. There’s a supply chain there, and we’ve identified a place where we fit in the supply chain until we can continue to grow.