Cyloop is a music portal that is having significant success in the Spanish speaking world that is making inroads into English and soon other languages. Today I met and spent 90 minutes with Demian Bellumio, the founder of Cyloop who came to see me at my office. During that meeting I saw the first potentially sustainable future of the record label. As it is very late here in Spain and I have to catch a flight to NYC tomorrow to give a speech at Columbia University my alma mater I will make a few comments and not an in depth analysis.
First of all Demian is a very unlikely entrepreneur to come up with such a hit as Cyloop. His background is not in music. But in the short time I spent with Demian I could see that he has a natural ability to learn a new sector, that he has extremely developed entrepreneurial instincts even though he mostly worked for others til now and that there must be something especially harmonious in the trio who started Cyloop. This trio consists of three Argentines friends from childhood living in Miami, Demian is the CEO/biz dev type, his brother is the designer and his best friend the “musician” in Cyloop.
Now what is the proof that Cyloop is on to something radical in the music world? That in countries where all you need to do if you want music is go to The Pirate Bay and download it for free without breaking the law (yes, to download music for personal use is legal in Spain), Cyloop is growing faster than piracy. How do they do it? Well first they teamed up with Spain´s largest portal, Terra to become their music channel. Secondly they got all the record labels in the States and Uk to give them most of their music, and thirdly they created a MEDIA experience out of listening to music. This is what in my view distinguishes Cyloop from say, Last.fm who now also has access to all the music from the record labels. The difference is that Cyloop is not about loading your MP3 player which in any case you can´t do there unless you use software to divert streamed audio into your hard drive. Cyloop is about musicians and their fans meeting in a site with a My Space spirit but with more editorial control and with their music included. What will the post Cyloop world look like? Kind of like now but with more money to those making music. A world in which consumers see ads as they enjoy music, buy merchandising, build an emotional bond with the musician that leads to concert ticket sales and the overall experience ressembles interactive TV more than radio. Cyloop is also the music portal of Warner Music and many other sites.
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