Open letter to Robb McDaniels, Founder and CEO of InGroovesBy Philip Kaplan
Dear Mr. McDaniels,
This is in response to an article you wrote on HypeBot (here) entitled, “5 musings from a digital music exec who’s been doing this a long time and isn’t even that old.”
My company, DistroKid, is the only service I know of that does that. For $19.99/yr, our artists can distribute unlimited music to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, Beats and others — and keep 100% of their royalties.
Your company, InGrooves, helped define the the digital music distribution industry. A lot of the behind-the-scenes technology that makes DistroKid possible was defined, in part, by companies like yours.
When an album is submitted to DistroKid, our automated system processes the music files and artwork, scans for copyright & compliance issues, and then immediately sends everything to the stores. The entire process takes less than a minute per song. It runs 24/7 and requires no human interaction.
I’m new to the music industry. But I’m not new to scaling large technology businesses. A previous company I founded, which had around $100M in sales and was later acquired, was a digital ad network called AdBrite. We handled more than 1 billion pageviews per day. Each pageview performed a real-time auction to select the best ad from millions of potential ads—and did this all in less than 50 miliseconds per pageview.
Several years ago, I read an inspiring article in Forbes about you and InGrooves (here). You had a quote about the criticism you received when starting InGrooves. It stuck with me: “People thought I was nuts,” you said. “I didn’t know anything about the music industry. I just said, ‘Here’s how I think the business should operate.’”
One last thought- If InGrooves has an incremental cost problem, which it seems you may, perhaps you should use DistroKid to distribute your artists’ music. We’d be happy to have you as a customer and partner. I’m serious.
Ps- The founders of our peers TuneCore and CD Baby, have publicly endorsed DistroKid (see the first comment here, and this tweet here). In your HypeBot article, you endorse ReverbNation (without disclosing that they rely on your company, InGrooves, for distribution……), but I think you might find DistroKid inspiring if you gave us a try.