Justin Chapman, founder of FeedbackLoop, thinks of his project as a “Record Label 2.0,” a way for upstart young bands to bypass the traditional industry structure and work directly with fans to create projects. Editor-in-Chief Erik van Rheenen chatted with Chapman about FeedbackLoop, which launched in January, to get his thoughts on the future of the industry.
Justin Chapman started out with the Budding Entrepreneur’s Essentials Starter Kit: a problem, a solution, and a healthy dose of frustration. What feels like “eight billion bands” compete for Chapman’s ears, and Chapman’s ears compete with eight billion bands. It’s a cycle that pissed Chapman off (“it’s so overwhelming, people have to yell and scream to get any attention), so the Drexel grad set out to build a better cycle.
Chapman, who cut his teeth in production and engineering, found a happy medium for bands looking for funding and fans looking for new bands: FeedbackLoop funds projects for artists and handpicks those projects for listeners. Everyone wins. The subscription service ($2 gets listeners digital access to projects, $10 nets a monthly Time Capsule — more on that later) is crowdfunding at its most fundamental. Chapman sees FeedbackLoop as a sort-of escape from the record label mentality. The site calls the project Record Label 2.0.
“Crowdfunding doesn’t always work for smaller bands,” Chapman says. “I want FeedbackLoop to be the preferred alternative. Out goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem.”
FeedbackLoop is also the middleman (maybe matchmaker is the right word) bridging artists to fans. When fans subscribe, the music they get is a product they helped to create, and Chapman thinks that gives them a deeper connection with the artists. As for what artists those are, well, that’s up to Chapman and his headphones. “We’re very open for people to submit new projects,” he says. “We all like to listen to different things, and we don’t want to be bottlenecked into one genre.”