As the digital age cracks the multinationals' stranglehold on music, Corey Katouli's company ArtistDriven strives to offer a few more ways to help musicians stop sucking corporate cock.
What is ArtistDriven?
We are an artist resource for music marketing. The reason we call ourselves a resource is we're a company artists can go to to find tools to help them to succeed. That's the goal: to help the average artist who doesn't get MTV play, who doesn't get tons of radio play to go out and promote themselves and make money off doing music. Marketing is the best way to go about growing your fan base and getting your art and your name out there.
What are these tools you provide artists?
The one we've been doing for a while are these tools we call tix. When artists play at a venue, they hand out these promotional download cards. The idea came, believe it or not, from the pharmaceutical industry. I worked sales in pharmaceuticals. What pharmaceutical companies do is go to a doctor's office and give the doctor compelling data for why a doctor would prescribe a particular medication. Then they give the doctors small samples of the medication so a patient can try it before they have to spend their hard-earned cash on the medication.
A lot of our tools are based on the conversations we've had with artists. I'm a musician myself. My brother's been in a band pretty much since he could walk. I've been around music. Artists need a way to get their music out. They currently use CDs, for example. So you go on the Sunset Strip in front of the Whisky A Go Go, and you see artists handing out their CDs. CDs cost a lot of money to press, and you're giving away your whole album. What these download cards allow the artist to do is give a sample of their music. We give away $2 of free music. The reason we give away $2 of free music is because, on our website, artists have the liberty to price their songs anything they want. They can see how they like it without committing their money to it. And artists don't have to commit their entire album or CD. What the artist gets in return is we know which song the fan downloaded, so we're collecting marketing data for the artist as well. With the method we use, we collect ZIP codes as well. We're also launching something by late summer in which artists can choose to have their storefront at their own website instead of having to get eCommerce and a merchant account. We created a technology that allows an artist to subscribe to this service that gives them a storefront. That's when we're going to be very aggressive in marketing our company.
Do you have a title?
I'm the founder and the president, but to me, titles mean nothing. I could be the janitor.
Are there any special considerations running a company like yours in Orange County?
There are a lot of bands in Orange County that have influenced me personally. This is my home. We think big, and I personally think huge. I would love for this company to explode and say, "Yeah, it's out of Huntington Beach, California."
Do you have any local favorites?
Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Slayer—and I love my brother's band, the Bredrin Daddys. They've been around for years. They just got signed by a Japanese label, and you can find their music on artistdriven.com.
So you're not an iTunes alternative?
Absolutely not. From day one, our focus has been marketing. Marketing includes advertising, PR, distribution. Distribution is a natural byproduct of what we do. If you're a hustler, we're going to give you the tools to hustle, and then let the music speak for itself. That's what the ultimate goal is.
VISIT WWW.ARTISTDRIVEN.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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