Developed by Destiny Media Technologies Inc., Play MPE® connects content from the world’s largest major and independent labels, artists, promoters and managers to thousands of music’s top tastemakers and curators.
Chief Executive Officer, Fred Vandenberg joined Play MPE 14 years ago and has been leading the company’s growth by expanding into several new countries and territories. As a result, Play MPE has become the most widely adopted music promotion and delivery service, now available in over 100 countries and used by music’s largest record labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group.
We were first introduced to Play MPE years ago, as a user and music journalist, to preview albums and newly released music by labels. We were excited to sit down with Fred and peek behind the curtains to better understand the breadth of the Play MPE platform and how it supports the music industry and radio.
The Feature Story: Let’s start with the basics, can you tell us a little bit about the Play MPE platform, it’s purpose/mission?
Fred Vandenberg: Play MPE is a collaboration platform that provides an efficient, intuitive, readily accessible and secure way to promote, distribute, receive and discover new music releases.
It all started when we decided to build a system to lead the transition from physical to digital distribution of new musical releases. We established a base of use with Universal Music Group because of the secure system we provided at a time when piracy was a significant challenge for labels. We have evolved and enhanced our platform over the years by adding in new features that plug into the day to day needs and workflows of our clients; a network of active and engaged recipients; reporting modules; extensive metadata workflows etc. Once we had Universal using it daily and establishing an industry standard, other majors and independents and music curators soon followed.
TFS: What services and products does Play MPE provide and to whom are these offered?
FV: The Play MPE platform is a two-sided marketplace. On the one side, we provide tools for content promoters to facilitate all aspects of new music promotion, marketing and the delivery of their releases. That includes being able to securely upload and watermark their assets, create promotional content and access to extensive reporting tools which provides insight into the release’s performance data.
On the flip side, we provide applications to music curators and tastemakers that give them access to a library of musical releases, its metadata and other important data they require to ensure that they are at the front of the line to discover the next big hit or rediscover an old one.
As we helped both sides of the industry move towards making more efficient, data-driven decisions, we incorporated even more features that helped all our customers.
TFS: How can the Play MPE platform support the ongoing prevalence of radio in an otherwise electronic “streaming” culture?
FV: We’re continuing to build and enhance features that make the discovery of music easier and more efficient. As we expand, we’ll focus on building out new features that’ll bring greater efficiencies to radio professionals. In fact, we’re about to release new versions of our web and mobile applications with improved search, streaming and downloading capabilities. These strategic enhancements brought on by our product team will improve these radio professionals’ workflow.
TFS: What are your thoughts and/or Play MPE’s strategies for radio to overcome the challenges of streaming and remain a relevant force by embracing some of the technology streaming services offer?
FV: The fact of the matter is that radio is the most common way for people to discover music. While listeners’ habits have changed, radio has moved with those changes by investing in internet radio, podcasts and other ways to make their content readily available. That’s become apparent with the growing number of channels provided by radio broadcasting companies like iHeartRadio. What Play MPE can do is continue to bring features into the product to make it easier for radio professionals to discover a broader range of music to provide to their listeners.
TFS: Can you share your thoughts on the dominance of radio giants iheartradio in terms of their relevance to the survival of the airwaves, or do they potentially jeopardize the airwaves in controlling what is played almost universally?
FV: Large radio broadcasting companies like iHeartRadio and many others support the strength of radio and its continued growth. The more these companies move to shift with how people discover and listen to music, the better it is for the music industry overall. There’s a better opportunity to hear a broader range of music than we’ve ever had before regardless of the giant players behind getting that music to the listeners.
As for The Feature Story, we appreciate access to the Play MPE player and Fred’s passion for the music industry. He continues to drive Play MPE’s vision forward, pursuing new technologies that will evolve how music is promoted digitally.