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Say it isn't so – WhoSampled reveals the rip-offs in music

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whosampled_logo_lowres[UK] As the saying goes, there are no original ideas – only original people. It’s this concept that drives the latest music-related startup to come out of London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout‘, that concentration of tech startups around the Old Street area. has been in public beta for a year, and officially launches today. Founded by Nadav Poraz, the community-driven site focuses on sampled music and cover versions providing side-by-side embedded video for comparison. WhoSampled users can buy the songs or albums featured on the site, either as a download, CD or vinyl. Interestingly, most people buy the original track, rather than the new one.

Poraz has the ideal background, it seems – he’s a software developer and a one-time producer/DJ who ran what he describes as a tiny independent record label. Originally from Israel, he moved to London nine years ago and ended up doing an MBA at London’s Imperial College, which pushed him down the entrepreneurial path.

Poraz started a year ago with a few hundred samples. With the help of the hardcore music geeks that flocked to the site, that database is now sitting at the 10,000+ samples mark. Like most crowdsourced community-driven sites, there’s an active core of around 30 volunteer moderators responsible for quality control.

The site has been bootstrapped thus far, though it has small but active and growing affiliate revenue streams. Poraz says that WhoSampled exposes music lovers to previously unknown back catalogues, which has great potential for ‘long tail’ sales.

Although there is potential for commercial syndication of the service or data, Poraz is still exploring these avenues, and sees the long-term best-fit solution is for WhoSampled to feature as a complementary add-on to existing music sites.

  • Oron

    Congrats to Nadav and his team. Great idea and site ! wonderfully executed ramp up and launch.

  • Kai

    I would like to see this integrated with Shazam. You could then find the samples of a song you are currently listening to.

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  • Danny Mac

    Looks like a great site, I’ll get my guys to do a bit of ed for our Cool Sites section. Good to see some more projects popping up at silicon roundabout.

  • Aj

    Cracking site, spent most of my morning on it. Called my self an R kelly fan and found out Sadie was sampled…

    Keep up the good work

  • Marc

    Congratulations to Nadav and his team, the site looks great!

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  • Dan

    The article header is misleading and offensive to producers/beatmakers who spend countless hours making sample-based compositions. Sampling isn’t “ripping-off”. When done tastefully (see Dj Premier, Pete Rock, Dilla (RIP)), it is an artform that requires talent and technical ability and should therefore be given the respect and recognition it deserves.

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