Robb McDaniels, CEO of INgrooves, has good news for the international music industry. “Our technological solutions can help all content-owners to reduce their cost structure and become more efficient,” he says. “There’s not a single prospect or client that has looked under the kimono and not come away thinking that INgrooves has the most functional system around”
Was the birth of INgrooves a reaction or a catalyst to the digital age?
While I’d love to tell you that, when INgrooves was born in 2002, we envisioned everything we have become today, the truth is that INgrooves in 2009 is a reflection of the collective efforts of all our employees. As a new player in the media industry, we were never bound by legacy systems or existing ways of doing business. We were relatively free to experiment and work with our clients and investors to create an efficient and fair business model.
Can you describe in laymen’s terms how your digital assetmanagement platform works?
I certainly can, because it’s the only way I understand it myself! Our ONE Digital distribution platform automates all aspects of the digital media supply chain, and does so more cost effectively than any other software platform in the industry. And it scales to handle large volumes of content. ONE Digital ingests, encodes, delivers, stores and administrates digital media content on behalf of content- owners. It also aggregates sales statements and automatically generates royalty payments. The system is ‘intelligent’ and has many rule sets to prevent human error. Sure, there are other solutions out there — but how well do they integrate? Which parts of the supply chain are outsourced? What if something goes wrong? Our system has been tested over many years by hundreds of clients, from Universal to Dolly Parton.
How does the much-touted view that all music will ultimately be free fit with your business model?
As a company, we are fairly agnostic about the way media consumers consume: we see it as our obligation to deliver our client’s content to the outlets they want to access. Music always has value — it’s just a question of who pays and how. If music is free to the consumer, then consumption should rise. And if consumption rises, then brands should be willing to pay more to access those consumers, resulting in more money for artists.
What will be the principal role of the online and mobile technologies in years to come?
I don’t see consumers ever adopting one format: that totally contradicts the personal experience that each one of us has with music. Technology’s job is to reduce the friction between artist and fan, and allow them to interact in the most cost-efficient manner. However, it’s the moral and ethical obligation of technology companies to respect artists’ intellectual property. Can you imagine if society allowed Van Gogh’s paintings to be stolen from museums?
What is your main focus at MIDEM?
International expansion. We recently brought in Alex Branson to spearhead our effort out of the UK. MIDEM is a great place to articulate our message to the global music marketplace.
Interview by Julian Newby