Life’s too short to miss good music – let these guys show you the way
“Self interest!” says Andreas Mahringer in answer to the question about the motivation behind Record Bird. He and co-founders Thomas Patterer, Alex Baumann, Arnold Graf and Christoph Kregl set up the multi-platform service simply because they didn’t want to miss out on new releases by their favourite artists any longer.
They’ve adopted the company motto ‘never miss a beat’ and promise that with Record Bird, you’ll never miss a music release again.
“We’re all huge music fans, but the more fragmented the market has become, the more this has happened. It’s annoying if you discover weeks later that a band whose previous albums you bought released something new without your knowledge,” says Mahringer.
Mahringer and his team are of the opinion that digitalization has made keeping up with music releases enormously confusing. If a song or album only appears on certain portals or streaming services, it can easily fall through the cracks. It’s almost impossible to keep an eye on all of these platforms, and today’s information overload also plays its part.
“We believe that music promotion is de-facto broken,” says Mahringer. “The industry has built channels such as Facebook and YouTube, but now it faces the problem that these channels are actually gatekeepers. They determine what information to pass on to fans, but whether you can get your message out there as a band depends on many factors, such as algorithms and money.”
Other forms of information, such as newsletters, are not suitable for music lovers, either. “The average music fan at Record Bird follows over 100 artists,” says Mahringer. “No one wants to sign up for 100 newsletters to keep up with releases that are usually irregular.”
But instead of resigning themselves to this problem or waiting for a solution, in April 2015 Mahringer and his friends took the matter into their own hands and launched Record Bird.
“If artists have new material and the fan is interested in being informed about it, then it’s completely inefficient to have a middle man,” says Mahringer. “We want to establish a model which ensures that new releases always get to the fans.”
This virtual music friend sits in Facebook Messenger and responds to your questions and search terms, chats with you, and informs you about the new releases by your favourite artists or genres.
“I believe that bots can play an important role in winning over new users and convincing them with an ‘aha!’ experience of the product early on. You don’t have to install an app, you can go directly into Messenger, which many people already use every day,” explains Mahringer. “You’re in a familiar environment, which makes getting started easier. It’s a good first point of contact.”
Record Bird is intended to be a comprehensive music feed for fans that contains all information about new music, from release dates, to videos, to relevant articles in specialist media.
“We’re building the largest release database in the world,” says Mahringer. ”This is also interesting for the artists and their record companies because it tells you what the competition is doing and when.”
”As a small startup, you can’t just go to the big labels and say, ‘Please give us your data,’ so we started with the shops and we’re working on going through the distributors back to the labels,” says Mahringer. ”This is a real long-term project – nobody has ever done it this way before.”