The Echo Nest Launches "PromoBot" - Web's First Targeted Online Music Promotion System - at MidemNet 2009

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PromoBot finds the needle in the musical haystack by putting blogs and review sites within reach for artists and labels marketing their music.

Nearly everyone who works at The Echo Nest is an independent musician. PromoBot was conceived out of our own personal interest in making online music marketing more transparent, targeted and efficient

Today, The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company powering advanced digital music applications, launched the Web's first targeted online music promotion system, "PromoBot" (promobot.echonest.com) at MidemNet '09. PromoBot was selected from hundreds of new offerings to be presented at the MidemNet New Business Showcase, hosted by Music Ally.

PromoBot utilizes The Echo Nest's advanced Web crawling, language processing and audio analysis platform to track the specific tastes of every music writer on the Web. It combines this tracking capability with in-depth understanding of an artist's musical style to help musicians and labels find the writers most likely to review their music.

Marketing represents the largest expense for the recording industry, accounting for as much as 25 percent of recording industry, according to IBISWorld. Music blogs and review sites are exploding, with thousands of new sites reaching millions of fans every day. These sites have replaced college radio and the music industry's 'early warning system,' offering labels and artists a far lower-cost alternative to FM radio promotion as a way to reach music fans. However, the music industry has yet to find a way to harness the promotional value of new music tastemakers; blogs and review sites are just too fast-growing and decentralized for the music industry's traditional marketing tools.

PromoBot helps artists and labels:

  • Discover the most relevant hard-to-find blogs and music sites for planning music PR campaigns
  • Ensure marketing efforts are targeted to the writers most likely to cover an artist
  • Get detailed information on thousands of music blogs and review sites
  • Stay current on a constantly-growing stream of new music sites and blogs

"Nearly everyone who works at The Echo Nest is an independent musician. PromoBot was conceived out of our own personal interest in making online music marketing more transparent, targeted and efficient," said Jim Lucchese, CEO of The Echo Nest. "We are all very excited to apply our one-of-a-kind music intelligence platform to help all artists efficiently find their audiences online and we're excited to unveil it at MidemNet and discuss industry test cases."

"For artists with organically-built fan bases like Alison Krauss, the Internet is the most cost-effective way to promote new releases," said John Virant, president of Rounder Records. "But navigating through thousands of music sites presents us with a 'needle in a haystack' problem. PromoBot offers a great deal of promise in offering transparency into online music promotion. We look forward to testing PromoBot when promoting the upcoming Alison Krauss / Robert Plant release.

"Asleep at the Wheel and Willie Nelson are great examples of artists that have made a career out of defying musical category. Yet, they have millions of passionate fans. Unfortunately, the mainstream music marketing industry isn't set up to handle this. They don't know what to do with long-haired hippie cowboys that play jazz on fiddles and steel guitars. So, I have a choice in marketing 'Willie and the Wheel,'" said Peter Schwarz. "I can spend millions of dollars with big media and naively hope my audience finds me, or I can try to connect with them directly. The Internet has provided some tools, but email is increasingly ignored or filtered, and social networks can do only so much. I'm excited with The Echo Nest's technology because now I finally have a tool to find my audience that is at a level of sophistication that matches the improbable (but definitely compelling) eclecticism of my artists."

"The Echo Nest PromoBot is expected to be an exciting new addition to IODA's innovative suite of marketing tools," commented Adam Rabinovitz, VP of marketing at IODA, one of the largest digital distributors for independents. "The demand for this type of product is high among our clients, as it provides immediate and unique value to any label's marketing efforts. We look forward to a great partnership."

PromoBot is the latest in a suite of applications powered by The Echo Nest's unique music intelligence platform. The company's existing product offerings include a suite of tools for consumer-facing music services, including music search, recommendation and interactive music applications.

About The Echo Nest:
The Echo Nest powers more intelligent digital music applications using a patented machine-learning platform that automatically:

  • Reads about music, crawling the web and analyzing the text on millions of web pages to understand what the entire online world knows about every artist, album and song.
  • Listens to music, analyzing every song on the web to extract key, tempo, rhythm and timbre and other attributes -- understanding every song in the same way a musician would describe it (i.e.,"swing groove, tempo = 100 BPM, 4/4 time, key of B Flat, mezzo piano").
  • Learns music trends, analyzing online music behavior (social networks, p2p, blogs, online forums, playlists) to understand online buzz and identify music trends.

The Echo Nest is a three-time National Science Foundation SBIR grant winner and has received investments from Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Argos Management and a series of angel investors, including a co-founder of the MIT Media Lab. The company is based in Cambridge, Mass.

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