Here is an interview our own Dom Tucci did with Tim Wesetergen of Pandora. A great read on the qualms of loving music and running a business that involved profiting from it while maintaining sustainability. -ed.
Dom: Pandora provides an extremely artist friendly service
and the founders and staff really come across as true music lovers. Obviously it must have been a struggle
recently during the negotiations with performance rights organization SoundExchange and others for artist royalties since if they came in too high, you wouldn’t be able to
operate your business. What were some of the thoughts and decisions that had to
be made in that negotiation process?
Derek Sivers is a man with ideas. Derek’s ideas are included with the best since the inception of the Internet within the music industry. He’s a guy known for creating a great idea and then executing that idea immediately and successfully. Most notable is the success of CD Baby.com which Derek started simply as an outlet for his band to sell their self produced CD directly to their fans over the Internet. Soon friends would asked Derek to sell their CD’s on his band’s site as well which allowed the idea to spin and grow into a viral success for all independent artists. But CD Baby did not stop at just physical sales and eventually extended the brand into HostBaby, a service which allows artists to create their own band website in a quick and affordable manner with help from the trusted CD Baby. Since then, CD Baby has embraced digital sales and has negotiated an exclusive arrangement with Amazon.com to sell its customer’s mp3′s through the e-commerce giants’ online mp3 store platform.
Derek created CD Baby to help pave his way towards success not only as an independent musician but as a man on a mission determined to prove that innovation can come from anyone motivated enough to believe that independent thinkers have ideas that everyone can benefit from. The train of thought that arrives at these kind of idea’s stem from
a person’s intense desire to succeed and to rebel against the things
around you that are in the way of achieving your goals. Derek Sivers has since sold CD Baby for 22 million dollars.
“PJ Cotroneo spent the early to mid ’90′s living in Antigua, West Indies immersing himself in the island’s music and culture. While there he began playing jazz with guitarist Roland Prince. Upon returning to the States, PJ attended the New School’s Jazz/Contemporary Music program in New York City. PJ had been playing jazz around the New York/New Jersey area for a number of years, but it was in 2006 that he felt the pull of his blues background after watching a clip of guitarist Mick Taylor, an early influence of PJ’s. This inspired PJ to take the genres he loves the most, jazz and blues, and incorporate them into a working creative platform. The PJ Cotroneo Band makes music that is a fusion of blues roots augmented by the improvisational aspect of jazz. Hailing from New Jersey, the five-piece band have used this musical amalgam as the foundation in their creative process and have made it the core of each masterpiece contained on the band’s debut album titled “Here Today”.