ONErpm is the latest digital music distribution company behind the digital growth of artist with one goal in mind ONE Revolution People’s Music. Starting out in Brazil, ONErpm saw a tremendous opportunity in Latin America within the Do it Yourself digital music distribution space. Emmanuel Zunz, CEO of ONErpm speaks on how they were able to tap into a growing market for digital consumption in Latin America and beyond.
Africa: What is the motivation behind the ONErpm movement?
Emmanuel: I saw that artists around the world have very little access to digital distribution so I wanted to start a business for those markets. As time I went by, I also saw an opportunity for the US market, where digital distribution is already abundant. But it’s not enough. Getting artists on stores is easy, but creating value for them on these services, by getting them in-store retail placements and features, is where we can create real value. Moreover, our site is designed to build a community, so we can present our artists to the fans that have signed up.
Africa: The music industry has been suffering tremendously, but you all still found a way to fit into the world of digital music distribution and provide something new for artist. How was ONErpm able to complete this task and how are you filling in the gap that other digital distribution companies have missed?
Emmanuel: There are several aspects to our business. We started our company in Brazil because there is a tremendous opportunity in Latin America in the DIY digital music distribution space. The second area of opportunity is the growing market for digital music consumption in Latin America. iTunes launched there in December of 2011, RDIO recently arrived, and Deezer and Spotify are coming soon. The local companies are also being forced to improve their services as competition intensifies. Given our relationships in the region, we have been hired by several large distribution companies to distribute their catalogs in Latin America. This brings the total amount of tracks we’re working with to close to 2 million.
Africa: The world is familiar with iTunes, Tunecore, CD Baby and other digital music distribution companies, and they have been more than fairly successful, I hate to ask the typical questions but people are going to want to know what sets ONErpm apart from other Digital Distribution Companies? What are you all doing to remain competitive in the space with similar businesses who have the same model?
Emmanuel: In the United States and Europe, there does indeed exist a lot of competition. On the other hand, we know that getting on iTunes and other platforms is relatively easily. So we’re focused on what comes next once you are on these platforms, which is making sure you sell music and get heard. So rather than charge artists an annual fee, we have structured our financial incentives to match theirs, meaning we make money when they make money. Therefore, we’re very active on the promotional side of things once an album has been distributed and we continue to focus our efforts on in-store retail marketing, so that our artists make more money and get the attention they deserve. In addition, because we have a direct-to-fan component, similar to Bandcamp, we’re getting more and more fans to sign up. We leverage this community of music fans to introduce them to new music, thereby promoting our artists in the process.
We believe its our combination of affordable distribution combined with hands-on marketing that sets apart from other DIY distribution companies. Add our massive catalog and a growing music community to the mix and we have a formula that works for us.
Africa: How is the Internet changing how artist promote themselves and the world of digital distribution?
Emmanuel: The internet is making it easier to reach more artists, but its a double-edged sword as the market is cluttered with too much info and false promises. Just like its harder for an artist to rise above the noise created and exacerbated by the internet, it’s just as hard for a company to separate itself from the rest of the clutter. But authenticity and patience wins the game, and slowly but surely we have carved out a niche for ourselves and a growing artist base.
Africa: Are than any artist that you would love to partner with in the future?
Emmanuel: Yes, I would love to partner with Mos Def, because he has remained true to his art.
Africa: Could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind for onerpm and digital distribution?
Emmanuel: Ultimately we want to help develop the market so that fans support more independent music. We also want to educate independent artists on how to successfully navigate the new music industry. I see too many artists, in the US, Brazil, etc. squandering opportunities because no one is giving them direction. If our goal is to make the music industry successful for independent musicians, then we need to work together with these artists to change people’s behaviors, both fans and other artists.
Hopefully you all will get the opportunity to work with Yasiin Bey I think that would be a great partnership, a great artist as well as a revolutionary.
If you are an artist who is looking to build a name for themselves or you are just interested in learning more about onerepm visit their website, onerpm.com, follow them on twitter at @ONErpm and Like them on Facebook at the Official ONErpm Fan Page.