TL;DR – one of the reasons I built a media company with an audience & brand people cared about was to serve as springboard to launch things around it, be it storytelling canvases or soundtracks to our lives. If you’re an artist or music industry professional looking to help us take our/your dream from concept to reality… reach out to me soundmojo [at] watchmojo [dot] com.
If you look at what we cover on WatchMojo, it’s not surprising to learn that I am a fan of movies, and TV shows, but if there was one thing that spurred my imagination most, it was music. Yes, I spent as many hours watching — and to a lesser extent playing — sports, but music turbocharged my desire to tackle media and storytelling. First up for me was writing biographies on musical artists I admired, then, of course, researching and obsessively ranking top 10 lists. Lots of lists. From pop, to rock, hard rock, metal, rap, classical and eletronica – my tastes in music are as eclectic as my interests in life.
Having successfully built WatchMojo into one of the most successful brands ever on YouTube, the time is right to focus our sights back onto music.
Having produced one of the largest catalogs of biographies and profiles and top 10 lists, cutting across genres, themes and eras, WatchMojo went deeper into covering movies, TV shows & gaming. Even while putting on not one but two live shows in NYC and London throughout 2017, sports and music took a backseat, for a few reasons – mainly because while music generated for less than 10% of our views, abuse of YouTube’s ContentID by music claimants accounted for 99% of our head.
Over the years, we have always gotten aspiring musicians offering us music to be used as background in our videos. Of late, we’ve started exploring, with the largest record labels, how we can promote their catalog artists and new releases to young and older fans alike. Here are just a few examples:
But our ambitions aren’t limited to promoting up-and-coming signed artists at the giants, but to help the underdog and unsigned talent, too.
Before diving in, I’m looking for the right person to head up this initiative. As the head of one of the largest truly independent digital media companies in the world (not being part of any larger media corporation and never having raised a dollar of outside investment), and managing a team of 75 full-time employees, I’ve learned that without the right person heading up an initiative such as this, success will be fleeting.
That said, the reality is that a label means different things to different people. In 2019, the landscape has changed:
And this is just the beginning, because though the established giants in music are stronger than they were in the past two decades after technology and file sharing disrupted their businesses, and streaming has given them all a new lease of life, I believe that fundamentally the bigger change to their industry is yet to come.
Our objective is to create a vehicle to
– promote musical artists in our existing videos,
– create playlists promoting young artists related to established acts,
– drive users from our videos on YouTube & elsewhere to platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon to create value for our artists & label,
– fund music videos, which we’d then debut to our burgeoning audience of 150 million monthly viewers across 30 international channels across the world,
– live shows. The one regret I have about our 2017 shows in NYC and London was being distracted by too much. Now I can take the time to focus on things, and execute things across a timeline that makes one project propel another forward, faster.
Imagine producing videos and, overnight, translating these to promote a given artist in every corner of the world.
Over a decade ago, we foresaw the trends that today shape pop culture.
The dramatic shift in the discovery, distribution, promotion and marketing of musical artists will only accelerate. We’re also interested in the development, coaching, management of artists. The latter are areas that WatchMojo is uniquely positioned to lead in; the former are areas that I am personally passionate about, as reflected in our new brand ContextTV, which sits at the intersection of Work/Life/Play. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, but everyone – including artists – need to be entrepreneurial. Our model won’t be for everyone, but I feel like there’s a void in this space and we can succeed in it.
WatchMojo can assist with recording, music video production and of course, distribution and marketing. We also have the larger labels express interest to partner with us. Our goal is to partner with artists and then help them land the best deal for themselves, so there’s a need to delicately balance our objectives with those of the artists, and that of the larger labels. It’s a balancing act, we get it… and that’s why, honestly, at this first phase we want to do some asking, listening to find out what we can do and help most with. We want to announce that we’re venturing in this space and seeking guidance from the community: artists, managers, labels, platforms.
Our organization’s statement of purpose is “here to serve”; given our reach of 250 million unique viewers on a quarterly basis & our track record as curators and tastemakers, we believe we can deliver on that.
To conclude, the success of this initiative boils down to people — not just the talent we strive to partner with but also the person who’ll serve as steward of this initiative.
If, upon reading this, you think you’re the right person to lead this initiative, please reach out to me.