New Pulselocker service for DJs provides viable alternative to music piracy
“How many times have you bought a track based on the 90-120 sec sample time, and realized that you hated everything but that sample? Or bought a track with the intent to play it out and never actually did?” – Ben Harris, CEO, Pulselocker
Being a DJ is not cheap. On top of the thousands of dollars DJs pour into their gear, the cost of buying hundreds of tracks a month can add up quickly. It’s no secret why many dance music fans and DJs turn to piracy: it’s easy, it’s accessible, and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than legal means. Pulselocker is a new service for DJs that offers a third alternative. Users pay a monthly subscription in return for full access to over four million tracks. When you’ve found a track you like, the song is stored into your “locker” on your computer, where it can be accessed offline by third party apps like Traktor and Serato. We caught up with Pulselocker CEO Ben Harris for an exclusive insight into the new, innovative DJ service.
What is your vision with Pulselocker?
Coming from the music industry, we saw the evolution from vinyl, to CD to digital. Throughout this process, we noticed that artist revenues were getting hit hard by the effects of piracy. Producing records used to provide a livable wage but now it’s gone from a primary job to a serious hobby, wherein you need a day job to pay the bills. Obviously, the digital download model hasn’t really evolved over the years and its biggest vulnerability has been the ease that that content can be shared, legally or not. That said, our vision was to provide a solid user experience that also serves as a viable alternative to piracy.
Harris goes on to explain where Pulselocker fits within the music industry:
As the music industry has evolved, services like Spotify/Rdio have captured a lot of market-share because they give users the freedom to listen to what they want on demand. We are trying to fill the gap in the electronic/independent music space by providing people with a service that allows them to stream to full tracks they can’t find on those services, as well as the ability to experiment with that music on the leading DJ apps – so that they know, when they actually buy that track, it’s a keeper that they’ll play over and over. Not something they’ll purchase that sits as digital clutter on their hard drive.
Is Pulselocker a response to the rampant music piracy in dance music culture?
We see Pulselocker as a viable alternative to piracy. According to a report from the Norwegian researchers at IPSOS, piracy has fallen in that country thanks to alternative sources, like Spotify, Rdio and Netflix. However, the current dance music ecosystem doesn’t have this option available to them and so the tendency to pirate music are far greater. When content is easily available with one click, it creates a more interesting market dynamic and a better experience for both producers and consumers.
Harris then explains how Pulselocker will affect artists:
From the artist perspective, we’re also committed to helping them earn more money from their current and back catalog. This is the reason for our triple monetization approach. Basically, this means that rights holders have three ways of monetizing their current and back catalog. If a user streams a track, we pay a royalty; if a user takes that tracks and plays it in Serato/Traktor for more than 90 seconds, we pay a higher royalty; and if a user likes it enough to buy it, we pay an even higher royalty. Our goal is to build a sustainable business that helps the artists, and provide users with a cutting edge experience. While we won’t solve piracy, we’re doing everything we can to put more money back in the artists’ pockets.
What is the idea behind the numerous sub-genres?
Technology has made it easier than ever to produce music, and as a result, a new sub-genres seem to appear almost daily. To support the burgeoning growth of the types of music out there, we decided to expand the categorization of our genre pages and list as many of the most popular sub genres as we could. We feel that this ultra-customized approach gives users a more relevant and valuable experience than simply searching for a particular sound under the broader genres.
We will say that we don’t simply accept all genres and post them to our genre page. If you were to create a genre, 50 other people would have to add content to that genre for it to show up on the page. That way, we use crowdsourcing as a way to help the most relevant genres bubble up to the top.
This is just the beginning for Pulselocker. Having just signed a deal with Merlin Networks, Pulselocker will soon be doubling their catalog of tracks. Expect many more major labels to be integrated soon. Pulselocker is currently offering a free two week trial of the service.
Sign up for a free trial at Pulselocker.com.