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NewMusicTen.com: The Anti-iTunes of Online Music

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NewMusicTen is an online pop-up shop for providing fans with new music from indie artists. Each month, month ten artists are hand selected by Founder Sammy Younan and his staff are dispalyed on the homepage and at the end of the month they vanish and another set of artists appear. A very simple yet cool creation that reminds me of my days of hustling on the streets. Set up shop for a month then “on to the next one.” Check out the interview, I had last week with NewMusicTen’s Founder Sammy Younan.

What is your background Sammy?

I’m a writer and a journalist: having conducted interviews with musicians for Geez, The National Post and other super cool publications.

In terms of music I’ve worked with bands in numerous capacities ranging from tour manager, blogger, video producer, utility belt and more.

Can explain NewMusicTen.com for me?

NewMusic Ten is online music’s first ever pop up shop. A pop up shop offers niche inventory for a limited time. Rather than offer music fans a wide variety of music there are only 10 Artists on NewMusic each month.

10 Artists, 1 month, 1 album/ep each. That’s it. After that, the entire site is erased…comments everything. And a new 10 is put up.

Pick an online music store: iTunes, CD Baby, Bandcamp etc., almost all of them are designed to perpetually exist, none of them were designed with built-in obsolescence. So we give music fans one month to discover 10 hand selected indie acts.

Do you really hate iTunes?

iTunes helped stabilize a flustered industry. It’s been great for record companies and the music industry and been good to some artists. Where iTunes has faltered is music discovery. Offering 12 or 13 million songs is not a positive; rather it’s a disadvantage to hard-working indie artists and music fans.

One of the greatest feelings associated with music is discovering a new and amazing band or an incredible song that stirs your spirit. iTunes doesn’t have the facilities and the ability to provide that feeling to hungry music fans on a consistent basis. It’s why Lady Gage, Black Eyed Peas and etc. dominate iTunes’ charts, with the occasional indie artist getting some love on the home page.

Its 2012…we’re better at distributing music, the next challenge is music discovery. A flood of aps, blogs, podcasts and more are fulfilling that need but it’s a bit like checking on a cake in the oven. Almost there…we’re so close just need’s a bit more time before its ready so…leave it in the oven to bake some more.

I’m not convinced—and I hope I’m not alone—that removing a human element and offering machine algorithm recommendations for something as personal and as spiritual as music is the way to go. For music discovery to succeed we need stronger, better, human voices amplified and transmitted using the current online social tools.

How do you select the artists?

3 ways:
1) I have assistant curators ranging from Andy in Toronto, Kristine in Boston, Stacie in Salt Lake City etc…a whole network of funky cool people with outstanding taste.

2) Myself! I am the primary curator of NewMusic Ten…I go to shows, raid Bandcamp, talk to bands. I pound the pavement…does anybody say that anymore or did I just date myself? Sigh…I’m still trying to figure out how to get jiggy with it.

3) From other bands. Some bands having had success on NewMusic Ten recommend other bands and musical pals, which is beautiful and rare. Sure every band wants to succeed and get ahead but if you can stop every now and then, help a few folks out it’ll give your success more integrity.

What is the long-term vision for NewMusicTen.com?

The long-term vision for NewMusicTen is have fun! This is music; we’re not saving lives or selling insurance. This is music and the best music makes you dance and sing and celebrate. So let’s keep offering that.

Continue being a significant bridge for Artists to music fans. The daily goal is to have at least one person with utter joy sky punch upon tasting a delicious sonic discovery.

Lastly, we’ll be offering NewMusic Ten to celebrity curators, look for a dynamic group of beautiful people in the Summer months who’re eager to impress you with their heightened musical taste.