Services: Indaba Online Music Collaboration (pt. 2)

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Hypebot recently sat down with Indaba Music for an interview. This collaboration service now has over 500,000 users ranging from the inexperienced beginner to grammy award-winning established artists. I have checked out the service and it looks pretty useful, but I have yet to try. Maybe that is because I prefer to collaborate in person, or at least meet someone before I work with them. But the idea of being able to collaborate with a like-minded artist on another continent is appealing to me. And I feel that hip hop artists stand to benefit the most from a collaboration service like this since so much of hip hop depends upon rappers collaborating with the right producers.

Full Article: Hypebot’s interview with Indaba Music (pt. 2). This part of the interview gets more into the specific services offered by Indaba.


Key Takeaways:

How do you provide opportunities for musicians that reward their intrinsic motivations, allowing them to behave in new ways? Are prospects advertised to musicians that would’ve been impossible previously?

Nate Lew: There is no shortage of companies in the digital music space, however, the large majority of these services, from sharing, to selling, licensing and marketing music, solve problems for musicians post-creation, and thus only serve their extrinsic motivations. So, while the commerce side of the value chain is crowded with quality tools to service music, Indaba Music addresses the other side, art, and provides a suite of tools to service musicians – tools that enable anyone with an internet connection to connect with fellow musicians, to make music and to become a better musician.

With 550,000 musicians across all skill sets and interests using Indaba Music, our core offering is fundamentally designed to reward the intrinsic motivations of musicians by providing an immersive social environment, professional creative tools and robust educational resources. The majority of the services we offer musicians would have been a pipe dream even 10 years, ago, but in 2010 they are a reality, and they’re enabling musicians to connect, create and learn in entirely new ways. Here are a few examples of what Indaba music offers as well as the intrinsic motivations (IM) that they reward:

Social Environment

– Networking tools, including personal profiles, people search and groups to meet like-minded musicians and find potential collaborators.

– Communication tools, including real-time chat and in-song commenting to communicate during collaborations and leave feedback in a song’s WAV form

IM Reward: 24/7 access to musicians around the world with whom to socialize, solicit feedback, exchange ideas. This environment is equally valuable to developing musicians who are looking for knowledge and professionals, many of whom are fragile by nature and the Indaba community provides them with a support system and sanctuary.

Creative Tools

– Online collaboration platform that enables musicians in different locations to create studio-quality music together, as well as exchange files, ideas and even rights.

– A free, web-based Digital Audio Workstation that enables anyone with an internet connection to record, edit and mix studio-quality music.

IM Reward: Anyone with an internet connection is now empowered to make music, as location and budget are no longer barriers. Musicians, once without access to qualified collaborators in their area, now have access to a global talent pool and an online platform to collaborate from the comfort of their own home. For musicians around the world who cannot afford a commercial DAW, Indaba Music provides a professional-grade alternative.

Education Resources

– 100,000+ titles of digital sheet music and tablature from all the major publishers

– 1,500+ digital video lessons

– Articles and tutorials from leading publications, including Electronic Musician Magazine

IM Reward: Musicians of all stages can learn and improve upon their craft. In just a few clicks, musicians can then apply what they learned in online collaborations or chat with like-minded musicians for further discussion.

How are these opportunities redefining the role and power of amateur musicians? Has it changed what it means to be a professional musician?

Nate Lew: Despite the fact that under the umbrella of the “music industry” there are (largely) independently operating industries for education, production, recorded sales and talent discovery, for musicians, this value chain is much more fluid. Many musicians, for example, use Indaba to make music and become better musicians, partially because they love music, but also because they have extrinsic motivations to monetize their music and establish themselves as artists with the public. As such, we’ve worked hard to provide our community of musicians with professional opportunities to further their careers and introduce their music to a world beyond the walls of Indaba.

Beyond sheer talent, getting work as a musician historically required a combination of physical proximity to opportunities (i.e. being in a major city), as well as a healthy number of industry connections. 10 years ago, the prospect of a bedroom musician in rural Canada dueting with Yo-Yo Ma and having that recording released by a major label, or a church organist in Detroit having his composition included as the theme song for a television show would have been unheard of, but, these types of opportunities for musicians are now possible through Indaba Music. In the past year alone, all 4 major record labels, as well as brands, film studios and video games have elected to bypass traditional “go to” musicians to source music for their projects, and, instead, tapped Indaba’s community of musicians.


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