An interview with Kerchoonz co-founder and Scotland-based, singer-songwriter Indiana Gregg (part 2 of 2)
In part 2 of MusicDish e-Journal’s interview with Indiana Gregg, we learn more about Kerchoonz, the site’s multiple features and it’s Choonz origins.
[Eric de Fontenay] The site is jam-packed with features and interactive areas. What other ways will you be attracting fans to the site?
[Indiana Gregg] There is a big online gaming area, video, live chat, TV, radio, news dig, and a lot of other stuff to have fun and be creative with. There will be a music discovery and recommendation engine to help fans find new music as well as a chart system for the various genres.
Hopefully, a lot of people will benefit from the free & legal model. Our focus is on helping artists get compensated for their work. But, we’ve made it fun for fans too. In fact, you don’t even need to be a fan to find your “niche” at Kerchoonz. And fans are actually financially supporting their favorite artists without it costing them a dime.
Artists can track downloads and streams of their music. They will know what region or even city their fans are coming from. So, it can help to better target their audiences and plan their gigs. We’re hoping that artists and labels potentially earn more through Kerchoonz than they may have done with traditional CD sales in recent years.
[de Fontenay] Word-of-mouth marketing is today’s holy grail. What tools does the site provide to empower fans to support their favorite artists?
[Gregg] One way is through the use of “KWIDGET,” interactive widgets that help spread the word. The “referral KWIDGET” promotes the site by allowing users to paste a banner on forums, other sites and in emails. For every band or pro member that joins the site through one of these referral kwidgets, the user who pasted it receives $5.
Users can help support their favourite musicians too. If a user from our site pastes an artist’s music elsewhere on the internet by embedding one of our music players, the artist still gets paid for their streams when other user’s click and listen or download a song through a kwidget. If they login and register for a band or pro account, the user who pasted the kwidget again gets $5. So, even the public can earn real money by referring bands and creative people to Kerchoonz. It’s spreading the word with a fun and financially interesting motivation.
[de Fontenay] What role will the Industry Pros play on the site?
[Gregg] As we are going to be adding two additional “User Types” - Label & DJ - Industry Pro type users will be expected to be Publishers, Management Co’s, Music & Media law firms, Engineers, Producers, Video Production Co’s, Hire Co’s, Accountants, Design Co’s, etc.
[de Fontenay] Do you handle differently artists with a large discography or labels with a catalogue?
[Gregg] Yes, labels will be allowed to upload more media and create more Sub-Profiles than a regular ‘Artist/band’ profile. Also, there are Gold and Platinum upgrade packages available to all users types offering more facilities relevant to each user type.
[de Fontenay] What role does video play in Kerchoonz? Will video creators also be compensated for the use of their works?
[Gregg] Yes, if it is a music video and the video ISRC is entered into the Video ISRC field, the play counts and revenue will be reported back to the Video Performance Limited (VPL) body in the UK or local equivalent.
As the site develops, it is our intent to include licences with non-music genre broadcasters for their content.
[de Fontenay] How will Kerchoonz attract artists who currently sell on retailers such as Amazon or iTunes? More importantly, how will it attract fans that love music but are primarily using file sharing to acquire music?
[Gregg] We aren’t competing with Amazon or iTunes. So, if an artist doesn’t want to give the music away as a free download, they can simply turn that function off. They can direct their fans to any online store they choose. However, they will still get paid if someone listens to their music through Kerchoonz. The streams are encrypted, so they can upload the full song without worrying about someone simply “stealing” it. If they change their mind or just want to give away a few tracks, they can do that too. Kerchoonz is flexible this way. We want to give artists, musicians, labels, bands and filmmakers interactive tools and let them choose how they want to use them.
People who use file sharing to acquire music may want to listen to the music before they download it. So, by listening to the music on Kerchoonz, they will have helped benefit the band/artists before they decide whether they want to download it or not. We hope that if they like the music, they might go ahead and support the band by downloading it either through Kerchoonz or going ahead and buying it elsewhere. If they don’t like it, well, they might not want to download it anyway. But, at least they have a safe and legal way of accessing it that helps the artists and the people who were involved in creating it. This helps give bands and artists and even labels the finances that they need to continue creating. And that’s what Kerchoonz is all about.
[de Fontenay] Since you mention “what Kerchoonz is all about,” where does the name come from?
[Gregg] Well, the name of the site came from the Choonz. Choonz are little purple people from a far off land who frequent the earth and bring us ‘ideas’. The Choonz wanted to help us find a solution to the recent crises that the music and film industries have been facing on the blue planet. On their visit, the Choonz told us that they know music makers and filmmakers have been getting ripped-off and that we must do something about it for the sake of future creativity. To avoid wars and crusades, they were able to find a peaceful solution several thousand years ago on their own planet, Kerchoonz.
Choonz believe music should be free and accessible to everyone, and so they showed us the light and helped us create a way where music can be free to the public while enabling musicians and creative people to earn a living from their streams and downloads. We wanted to help out, so, out of respect for their wisdom, we named our social networking site after them: “Kerchoonz.” At Kerchoonz, we think that the future of music won’t work if musicians aren’t compensated for their work. So, that’s us, the purple website called Kerchoonz.