Uproar expands voice with viinyl

Student-run record label sought out new media for artist promotion

By Stephen Strobbe

Looking to further increase the online footprint for their artists, Uproar Records has begun utilizing a new website for artist promotion.

Uproar Records, a student-run record label, is home to a handful of musicians. The label currently manages Amy Boykin, Brin Beaver, David Dulcie, KJ Doug Grate and Zoo Studio.

As the world of online music has grown increasingly fractured, developing a fan base has also grown increasingly difficult. This led Uproar Records to look into various Internet startups to use for artist promotion. One website has stood out — viinyl.com.

Viinyl is a site that offers artists the ability to make a simple, yet thorough, site built around one song. The site seeks to provide a new platform for musicians to showcase their ‘single.’

“The cool thing about viinyl is it just makes everything real easy and it’s a real quick — I think they call it a squeeze page — place to just throw your stuff up there,” Tyler Michel, vice president of technology and new media for Uproar Records, said.

Viinyl got its start at the end of 2009, going into beta at the end of 2010, and is currently available on an invite-only basis.

The site claims to be the music-lover’s digital LP and provides access to artwork, lyrics and artist information with a simple to use and easy to navigate interface.

“Before, in the past, we made full websites for our artists, which takes a lot of time and the problem we ran into, we just had trouble getting anything up,” Michel said. “Trying to fill a website with a lot of content, especially when you’re a student and you’re not playing shows all the time, you’re not on the road, it’s just hard to have enough content to make a website look good.”

Uproar Music Entertainment Group General Manager Jacob Voncannon discovered viinyl while searching for easy-to-use technologies for artist promotion. He said he quickly realized the potential for the site and requested then received a beta invite shortly thereafter.

“It really only took me maybe 15 to 20 minutes to set up the entire page. It’s so easy to look around and set up and it just looks clean,” Voncannon said.

The site allows artists and labels to create a fully functional website without the need for a programmer and allows users the option to download the song provided on the site for the small price of an e-mail address.

Within the past few years, artists have typically been able to promote themselves on more centralized social media sites such as MySpace. But Voncannon noted that as use on sites like MySpace has dropped, it has become even more important for artists to find a place to promote their music online.

“Viinyl empowers artists and music professionals to take control of their branding, online presence and music distribution,” Armine Saidi, founder and CEO of viinyl.com, said in a press release.

“We want to help artists reach today’s tech-savvy consumers more efficiently and in turn, provide tools and expertise in order to convert them into loyal paying fans.”

David Dulce and the Rag Tag Army are currently the only Uproar Records artist with an active viinyl site, which can be found at daviddulcie.viinyl.com, though, the label plans to create viinyl sites for all of their artists in the near future.

“We hope that it will be a really great way for fans to easily access information about our artists. We hope that as we’re handing out fliers with URLs for free downloads, it will be a great place for people to go,” Voncannon said. “We want the fan to be able to easily connect with the artist and these viinyl pages are a great way to do that.”