volumMonster.com Launch Poised To Change The Face Of Band/Fan Interaction

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Upstart Digital Music Service Offers Value to Bands and Consumers Despite Fledging Economy

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The greatest thing about volumMonster is that it works! We teamed up with volumMonster to give away our new EP, The Needle, for the first month of our 2009 release. volumMonster worked flawlessly and we gave away more than 1,200 digital copies of our EP! For an Indie band, that's a serious number

Nashville-based company, Volum LLC, is thinking outside the box with it's first product release, volumMonster.com. Using what the creators call the "Power of Free," volumMonster offers a valuable service to both fans and artists. While at first glance you might be tempted to think of volumMonster as just one more digital music service, the players behind it, co-founders and music industry veterans, Sean Smith and Kelly Poe, confess that while their core service offers digital downloads, that's where all similarities end. "volumMonster is unlike anything out there right now," says Smith.

Smith, a successful, nationally recognized independent recording artist, says he was looking for a new, inexpensive way to get his music into the hands of potential fans. "I scoured the Internet looking for a tool that would give me the ability to freely offer my music in a protected environment, while also giving me insight into who my fans are," says Smith. "It didn't exist, so we decided to build it."

"This past year has been hard for everyone, including those of us crazy enough to make a living creating music," says Smith. "The downturn in the economy has only magnified what we've known; that the music industry needs a new model. In times like these you can either give up, or get creative!"

volumMonster offers artists the ability to upload original content they're willing to give away. While audio files are the most obvious files offered, volumMonster doesn't stop there. Artists can use volumMonster to upload and give away multiple file formats including pictures, videos, documents, and more. Artists then create codes that fans redeem in order to access their free content. With each redemption the artist receives valuable insight into who their fans are and where they live.

"If we've learned anything in recent years, it's that more and more fans want to download music rather than purchase it in a store," says Kelly Poe, volumMonster co-founder and developer. "Fans want unlimited access to free content and they want to share it with their friends." Poe went on to say that for years the music industry has waged a legal war to try and stop "music pirates," those who steal music using illegal downloading sites and peer-to-peer file sharing networks, but that the time has come for the industry to go in a new direction. "volumMonster is going to blaze a new trail and help set the stage for how fans and artists interact in the future."

"We felt it was time to embrace every fan's desire to download free content and encourage it rather than fight it," says Smith. "volumMonster gives fans free access to the content artists want them to download and share." volumMonster is a paradigm shift for an industry that has sustained itself not through the sale of music, but the sale of a physical delivery product. "CD's are going the way of the dinosaur and will soon take their place in history next to vinyl records, 8-tracks and cassette tapes," says Smith. "Going forward, successful artists will have to create and build their own unique brand, and then make it readily available to fans. Music can be profitable, but it's going to look completely different."

While volumMonster may very well be a needed paradigm shift, Smith and Poe will be the first to admit that giving away a free song is not a new idea. "For years artists have tried to build a fan base by using what we call the 'If-Then' method," says Smith. "We've said to our fans, 'IF you sign up for our mailing list, THEN we'll send you a free song.' That method is flawed because it places the burden of relationship on the fan. They must do something first. volumMonster allows an artist to simply offer fans a gift, one that can freely be received."

Mike Cowan, of the Athens, GA, based Alternative Rock band Scarlet | Snow says, "The greatest thing about volumMonster is that it works! We teamed up with volumMonster to give away our new EP, The Needle, for the first month of our 2009 release. volumMonster worked flawlessly and we gave away more than 1,200 digital copies of our EP! For an Indie band, that's a serious number," says Cowan. "We're also going to use their volumCards as a way to physically distribute our digital downloads at live events," says Cowan. "volumMonster is by far the most progressive, fan building music download site on the internet."

"Scarlet | Snow gets it," says Poe. "While volumMonster is a website for fans to legally download great content, for artists, it's a tool for growing a supportive base of fans. Before a fan can download a file, they must let us know who they are by verifying their name, email, and zip code. Our relationship with fans means everything to us and so while we will never sell or share a fan's personal information, when a fan redeems an artist's code, that specific artist can at least see who their fans are and have the ability to begin building a fan/artist relationship. In a very short period of time, Scarlet | Snow has added more than 1,200 potential fans to their fan base, and therein lies 'The Power of Free'."

Yet, the greatest feature on volumMonster has got to be the ability for fans and artists to set up an account and use the social tools within volumMonster to enjoy and share the experience with friends. "You can't create this type of service on the Internet today and not embrace the fact that people want to socially connect in safe, online environments," says Smith. "There is a much larger conversation going on that volumMonster is simply tapping into. We'll never be another MySpace or Facebook, but that's because we don't want to be. Our goal is for volumMonster to be the place where fans and artists interact and freely share artistic content online."

volumMonster officially launched in December 2008, and is adding fans and new artists, including those signed to major labels, each week. Fan accounts are free and artists can choose from multiple account options including free, monthly and annual subscriptions.

For more information about volumMonster, please send an email inquiry to press (at) volumMonster (dot) com.

For media inquiries, please contact Brian Mayes at Nashville Publicity Group, (615) 771-2040 or brian (at) nashvillepublicity (dot) com.

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BRIAN MAYES
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