May 20, 2014
The ever-changing state-of-the-art in delivering music through digital technology goes in a new direction on May 20th, when Slyde officially debuts at the San Francisco Music Tech Summit. Slyde is a mobile app that allows artists to deliver new music and exclusive content directly to the consumer, enable artist and content providers a new way to monetize their art. While Founder/CEO Jason Peltz offers a hands-on presentation to those at the Music Tech Summit, here he fills you in on exactly what Slyde is and how its potential can be optimized by artists and music fans alike.
What were you doing before Slyde?
I was managing a large family office portfolio and then worked for a hedge fund in Manhattan. Since my business allowed me to travel and I had a decent network in the music industry, I ended up doing business development for a mobile app developer. Ed Ludvigson was their head of creative -- we got to work together and learned we had very complementary skills with like interests. Later on, I reconnected with Ed, who was consulting as a creative director and digital designer, and we set about developing product concepts and building our core team.
Exactly how did Slyde come about?
Ed and I felt like there was truly something missing from the digital music space. In the transition from tangible music products to digital, valuable discovery experiences were vanishing. So we set out to create a format that would redefine how music is released and embraced on mobile devices, while also building new monetization solutions.
How long did it take to go from concept to reality? What kind of challenges did you need to overcome to get to where you are now?
From concept to completion, we've been building Slyde for two years. From a product perspective, it was a challenge to shape a content format that was both flexible for artists' creative and promotional needs, but also scaleable with some familiarity from release to release. Another challenge has been to create a business strategy that spoke to the needs of all stakeholders and solves for pain points in the business. We wanted to create a genuinely innovative offering that is artist-first, attainable and easy to adopt.
Is this essentially an app? If not, what's the difference?
Slyde is definitely an app, but there is a much larger enterprise platform behind it.
What kind of cost is involved here - for the artist or user?
None. As we introduce our monetization products, Slyde generates money through revenue sharing.
Who is the market for - the artists who'll use it for their work, or the fans who want more than the typical download?
For fans, we think Slyde is for everyone. If you want more than streaming playlists or algorithmic radio, or if you remember what it was like to go to record stores and unwrap that new single or album, Slyde is for you. If you like having content pushed to you directly through your mobile device, or if you like being more involved in the artist's mission as a superfan, Slyde is for you.
On the other side, Slyde is for artists, management teams and labels who understand that engaging fans with meaningful content is the path to increasing your fan base, loyalty and revenue. It's not just about sales or sponsorship, but also knowing what keeps fans engaged and returning for more.
What's the potential for generating revenue to this - and does that all go to the artist, or is it shared with Slyde?
We think the potential is enormous; there are several businesses and industries we're driving revenue both to and from, and we believe it could be a $10-20 billion per annum opportunity. Our view is that by establishing the dominant content format that is widely embraced by both fans and the industry, introducing our new, unique monetization products becomes a much more organic and friction-free effort.
Describe the artist reception so far.
We had two "no" answers, but that was before they even heard the pitch or saw the app. Everyone else wants in before we even talk about our road map and revenue products. They fall in love with the product, the look and feel, and how easy it is to publish. It's really encouraging.
What artists have used or are considering using Slyde so far?
Our early adopting artists who are launching with us represent a really broad range of style and fan base. We're really excited to have house music legend Joi Cardwell releasing a new record with us. We have established and rising R&B stars such as K. Michelle, Lundon Knighten and Tuko Proby. There are amazing electronic groups like Hundreds, Kito & Reija Lee, (We Are) Nexus and rock bands like The Soft White Sixties, who have come on board as part of our launch at SF Music Tech Summit. We anticipate announcing the first major artists on Slyde following our launch.
Any case studies of artist (and/or) fan reaction to Slyde?
Not yet as we will conduct several post-launch. However everyone in our launch roster or in our closed beta is extremely excited.
What kind of promotion/marketing will you do for the artists using Slyde - or are the artists responsible for that?
Artists and their management teams are certainly their own first line of attack when it comes to getting the word out to established fan bases. The beauty of Slyde is that it gives artists a single stream through which to focus their promotional efforts. Anytime they post new content inside their Slyde, alerts automatically go to everyone following those singles on Slyde.
Secondly, it's very easy for app users to discover all the music on Slyde, given how intuitive it is to dive in and explore. We are also releasing a deeper website and social media presence, and a full-scale PR campaign, through which we are actively promoting all Slyde and all artists on board.
We have an aggressive plan for localizing Slyde for many global regions and building relationships with multinational telecoms for unified carrier installs. This will provide a global stage for artists to leverage and find new fans in markets they've only begun to think about.
Is Slyde strictly geared for independent artists, or can you see this being used by indie labels for their artists, too?
We think Slyde can be a perfect fit for everyone. As our discovery tools evolve, it will get easier and faster to on-board larger groups of artists and labels across many genres. Slyde scales for both emerging and major artists, who can produce revenue in the same ways with accessible tools at their fingertips.
Have you approached labels about using this for their artists - what was their reaction?
Yes we have ... both indie and major. Again, reactions were all positive, but naturally larger labels are slower to adopt new technology solutions. Heads of digital at all the labels we've spoken with have all intuited themselves that adoption of this kind is artist-driven at first. Now we've started contacting/informing artists and managers.
If everything pans out the way you see it, what kind of penetration do you see Slyde making in the industry?
Ultimately, we see Slyde as the promotional platform the industry needs, from artists to labels to major brand sponsors. We haven't set out to disrupt established revenue pipelines, but rather enhance and build upon them. Everyone needs to diversify when it comes to generating revenue, and music artists are no different. Slyde is the focal point to drive new revenue streams while giving fans a better experience and glimpse into their worlds. We think this can apply to markets all over the world and drive revenue from avenues that have never been tapped.