QA With Jeremie Varengo, Founder and CEO of JTV Digital
MF: Jeremie, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Now, tell us about yourself and why you created JTV Digital.
JV: I started my career at a Paris-based digital music start-up named Musiwave (later acquired by Openwave then Microsoft), which was one of the first (if not the first) companies to bet on the growth of digital music in various forms (from simple ringtones in the early 2000’s to full length music and video). At Musiwave, I held various positions, from trainee/assistant to senior product manager. Being there gave me the opportunity to start from scratch and participate the evolution of the technology and required organization for exploiting music content in a digital format.
After Musiwave, I was hired by the Paris office of Universal Music Group International where I led several international projects, helped with the implementation of VEVO and YouTube supply chain processes, and worked as as coordinator for all 3 major labels to setup a legal music offering in China, among other initiatives.
MF: And then you started JTV Digital?
JV: Yes, after these ventures I decided to branch out on my own to both capitalize on my experience in tech and music, and to do something that brings me closer to the artistic/A&R side of the business compared to where I sat as a digital ops person who was disconnected from the art.
MF: So now you’re closer to the artists, how do you and JTV Digital work with musicians and others in the music business?
JV: Well, JTV Digital’s main activity currently is digital music distribution to online retailers like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer, GooglePlay (to name a few). Any musician or label can JTV to distribute music service be creating an account with us. Additionally, we have a couple of ringtone content providers as B2B clients.
MF: All well and good, but how does your approach differ from other digital distribution services?
JV: Our digital distribution service has a more flexible pricing model for upfront fees than others in our field – basically, you can pay-as-you-go, and we feature a 90% net payout, which is unique – upfront delivery fees are charged based solely on the stores the artist/label decides to distribute music to with no subscription or recurring monthly/yearly fees.
The other main item is out personal approach: no unanswered emails or questions, any request is processed in a timely manner by the helpdesk, and any artist/label who needs advice/tips for their development and digital strategy can get it for the asking.
Finally, we’ve also developed some deeper business relationships with artists (or their label/management) we feel show greater potential where we assist them in publishing, syncs, promotion, events organization, etc. – similar to what a record label could do but working with them as partners.
MF: So you provide a turnkey service for rights owners and artists for a full suite of services, including sync. Okay, so if I was an artists or rights holder, what do I do to start working with you?
JV: It’s pretty simple – you sign-up on our website www.jtvdigital.com, follow the instructions received by email, get access to the distribution platform where you can create your music releases and, at the end of the submission process, decide which stores you want your music to be delivered to. That’s it!
In addition we give access to additional options (that can be purchased from the main website’s shop section) like artwork design, mastering, iTunes pre-orders setup…etc. It is really up to the user to determine what services to include in their working relationship with us.
MF: So who are some of the distribution partners you work with?
We deliver as a standard (if the user selects all stores) to iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon, 7Digital, Boinc, GooglePlay, Grooveshark, Nokia mix radio, Rdio, Xbox Music, Digital Tunes, Napster (Rhapsody), Shazam, Zvooq, Gracenote.
For approved EDM labels, we can also deliver to Beatport upon request.
MF: Can you provide some success stories?
We’ve done some great work with our artists – work that has translated into not only distribution but also endorsement, syncs and deals. Here’s a few examples:
For more informaiton
- Wiyaala (http://wiyaala.com) was endorsed by Pepsi earlier this year; her song ‘Go Go Black Stars…’ for the World Cup had some nice attention from media like Billboard, HuffingtonPost as well as loads of national press in Ghana; was featured on BBC Global Beats radio show; she is recording a full album to be released soon and we are preparing another round of international promotion campaign targeting Europe and USA.
- Efya (http://www.efyasworld.com) was nominated for World Music Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, participated in BBC Global Beats radio show as well, just won a music industry award in Nigeria and we are planning a big promo operation with her label, for USA, UK, Germany and France; also discussing a placement for her song “Forgetting Me” in a US movie at the moment.
- We recently released a “summer hits” digital compilation titled “Summer Tunes 2014” which is nicely welcomed by the public and helped one of the artists named AudioGoblyn to get featured in UK press and local BBC show.
- Jane Badler (http://www.janebadler.com/) and her manager Mick Rossi (from L.A) are working with JTV Digital for worldwide distribution and we are coordinating the promotional efforts with various PR agencies in France, UK, Australia and USA; we recently organized a showcase in Paris where Jane performed with top-notch musicians (including Jeff Bova, Grammy-awarded producer from L.A) and really rocked the place. We are now starting the 2nd round of promo and releasing new singles and remixes, before the album planned for September 2014.