By Christine Thompson
A new digital company, OUVEER, has initiated an ambitious plan that will provide a platform for distribution of music which allows the artist to keep 100% of the profits Ouveer’s advisory board includes some industry heavy-hitters like Jakob Kuznicki, COO (previously Senior Director of Universal Music Group, Vice President of The Orchard (Sony Music)), Barry Hills (Vice President of Adobe), Vern Stevenson (Advisor of MobiTV and COO of Cetecom), Javan Mershad (CEO of MondoTunes, Digital Music Distribution) and Fred Chow, CTO (three successful exits), Ben Carlton (Co-Founder and VP of Product), and Patrick McClanahan (Head of Artist & Label Relations). CEO Grant Stevenson talked to us last and week to offer an overview of the company and explain how Ouveer differs from what is out there today.
AMFM: How is Ouveer different from the other music platform entities like iTunes or Spotify?
Grant Stevenson: We are advociates, a helping hand for musicians, a place they can call home. We are being upfront with our business model, because there are plenty of ways to monetize music. How we are different is we give the musicians 100 % of sales…merchandise sale, digital album sales. From there, they are able to post free music and news and events, and have all the analytics on the back end.
It’s really important to understand your content flow, where you are going to be streaming it, and how you transition a regular listener into a purchaser. It’s harder than ever, you can reach a wider audience now, but monetization is the biggest issue.
AMFM: So your platform is different from any of the others how?
Grant Stevenson: I’ll dig a little deeper. Soundcloud and the others are good platforms, they allow the uploading. But analytically speaking, they follow the play. We follow the play and the purchasing, ticketing as well as merchandise, but we accumulate that information and show it on the fan profiles. You can see which fans are listening (and how many times), which fans are sharing and which are commenting, which are doing all of it. You can start to understand “ok, this percentage of fans are the ones commenting,” and from there you can start to segment your fans. figure out different engagement strategies and loyalty programs to help run yourself as a small business.
At the same time, we understand that there are artists who don’t want these types of analytics, but managers and record labels are really all about these features, because it helps create momentum in all aspects of their business.
AMFM: You have three different categories, Ouveer for the artists, the fan, and the labels. What is it that is different from the other platforms for the fans? Is it all independent artists, or larger artists?
Grant Stevenson: A lot of the platforms that have direct access to independent artists, the artists usually stay independent… like Bandcamp or CD Baby. That causes friction because fans will go to the larger iTunes rather than even soundcloud because they can then access all their favorite musicians.
We are getting everyone involved, from major musicians to Johnny down the street that has a dream.
AMFM: How do you interface with the labels?
Grant Stevenson: We gather their content from whatever distribution platform they currently use, whether it’s InGroove, Orchard, or Mondo Tunes, we will gather the analytics – who’s listening, purchasing etc, and connect their musicians all on one simple dashboard, so they don’t have to click in and out, or go on different profiles. We are allowing them to dig deeper. If they are an independent labels, they can choose the price out, the free music, different do genres do different things. We allow them to control their desktop.
AMFM: For the fans, is it paid to listen or free?
Grant Stevenson: We do have free music on there from musicians. If you want to buy an album, it is free to hear a snippet, just like other store fronts. But if you want the whole album, it’s something you are going to have to pay for. However, completely independent musicians are allowed to sell an album at a different price point.
AMFM: How did you come to be CEO of Ouveer, are you a musician yourself?
Grant Stevenson: Yes, I put up that basketball jersey in the closet a long time ago, quite frankly there were a lot of people way more talented than I was. I started recording in college in the Bay area, I did get a song on the radio in the Bay Area, it was a lot of fun and but it really drove home how hard it is to make music as a full time job.
AMFM: Can you tell us a little bit more about the merchandising aspect of Ouveer?
Grant Stevenson: We allow people to sell whatever they want, whether it’s a t-shirt, a Skype session, a phone call, a signed autograph. It’s about the musician controlling their career. It’s more important in this age of digital streaming that the musicians be craftier than ever.
Editors Note: Ouveer is signing up indie artists on their WEBSITE