Insider Interview: Sam Valenti – Drip.fm CEO and co-founder

By Jason Epstein

Drip.fm is on the cusp of their launch, allowing users to subscribe to their favorite music.  They tout direct access to music, perks from labels and artists, high fidelity audio, and advance releases for subscribers.  So far, Drip.fm has labels like Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, Domino Recording Company, Stones Throw and Ghostly on-board with more to be added to an ever-growing roster.  We spoke to CEO and co-founder Sam Valenti about the service, its future and how it relates to the always-changing music industry.

Sound Ctrl: How does drip.fm work?  What are the benefits of using it compared to other services?
Sam: Drip.fm acts a place of connection and discovery for music culture. By allowing artists and labels to communicate in a curatorial way, via membership, we are encouraging the support of music from the people who care about it most, the fans.

We love the sensation of receiving new music from the artists and labels we love through many sources. Drip.fm is the one that didn’t exist yet.

SC: Can you tell me about the launch of new label Luaka Bop?
Sam: Luaka Bop is a classic label in every sense of the word. Yale Evelev and David Byrne created a great brand that has lasted twenty years now.  They have been responsible for bringing world music, particularly the music of Brazil to a larger public and have kept stride with new artists.

SC: What are some of the genres of music featured on drip.fm?
Sam: We are building a genre-agnostic platform, what matters to us is that the music is great and that fans are finding a service that does for them what other services can’t provide.

SC: What other labels are you hoping to secure contracts with in the near future?
Sam: We are working with a variety of different curators, labels and artists in different genres. Stay tuned.

SC: Can you tell me what you see in the future of drip.fm as it relates to an ever-evolving music industry?
Sam: Everyone is quite keen to know the future of the music industry, but in a lot of ways, we have to look to the past to see what works.

We believe, as music fans, that connection and context is crucial to enjoying and discovering music.  The record store had it right in many ways; it just became harder to make that model work, though some have thrived. While we cannot replicate that experience, nor would we want to entirely, we believe that allowing fans, creators and curators to see equal value in a music purchase is key to a successful future.

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