Intrigued upon hearing about these StartupWeekend vets, I managed to track down Cannon.fm founders Ryan Cox and Mat Marcum in order to get a little more info about their interesting and imminently launching streaming music startup.
Cannon.fm is like a lot of other streaming music services out there — Pandora and Spotify come to mind — however this lean team of eight or so have an interesting spin on the concept: the content is comprised completely of local music. Nary a Lady Gaga, Jay-Z nor Walkmen tune in the lot. All local music.
Brilliant, I say!
But will it work? I mean, building the streaming app and the service is probably the easy part and according to the team, it’s right on schedule to launch at the end of June during (or slightly before) Columbus OH’s epic, annual Bacchanal/Local Music Extravaganza known as Comfest.
The hard part will be signing up enough local contant to fill the airwaves with music. But these guys are hard at work. Indeed, right after we spoke, they hit the pavement and showed up at a local rock show and signed up 100 interested fans and 10 bands. Not bad for a couple of guys walking into a bar with a box of T-Shirts.
We covered some interesting ground in the video interview below like: how they are funded, whether or not they could end up becoming a record label, how will the service monetize, and what will they do with their analytics. And their demo (video below) shows some interesting advantages the service will have over rivals with national content (like a replay button).
I’ve seen some other music sites built around promoting unknown bands come and go. This one feels different to me though because network enabled mobile devices have finally become entrenched and, more importantly, because this concept is built around locale not only around style or influence. People love and take pride in their local music scenes and this could be the much needed apparatus to share that experience.
However, I do wonder about long term content curation. As much as I like to take pride in my local music scene, I’ll be the first to admit that not every band in that scene should be in it. Some of them suck. Will there be an initial deletion of simply awful music or will every single submission be allowed and merely eliminated in a Darwinian cycle?
In any event, they plan to eventually scale the service outside of their launch market in Columbus and bring it to cities all over. If it works out, fans of local music out there (like me) could be in for a great summer.
I’ve got my eye on this. We’ll see what happens.