TuneGo aims to ‘Uber-ize’ the music business

It all started with a conversation with the man who made “The Archies” sing.

A few years back, John Kohl, a tech entrepreneur running his own consulting firm at the time, was talking with Ron Dante, a songwriter and record producer who is perhaps best known as the voice of the aforementioned cartoon rockers.

“He’s telling me, ‘Look, the record labels just don’t do artist development anymore,’ ” Kohl recalls. “What’s happened is that there’s this giant disconnect. These artists can’t break through the clutter and figure out how to get to the right people. All of these labels now are basically walled gardens. They act like venture capitalists. They want you pretty much ready to go out of the box, and then they’ll throw some money into promotion, distribution, production and that stuff.

“There’s got to be a way to use technology to fix this problem. I’m like, ‘I could do that.’ ”

Shortly thereafter, TuneGo was born.

Uber for music fans

So, what does the Vegas-based music tech company do, exactly? Kohl says TuneGo’s goal, on the most basic level, is to “Uber-ize” the music business by connecting unsigned artists with music fans the same way that said transportation company connects drivers with passengers.

It starts with an online platform at www.tunego.com, where bands and fans can register for free (there is a paid option for artists as well). There’s also a mobile discovery app that works kind of like a musical Tinder, where you can swipe right if you dig a tune, left if you don’t.

TuneGo then compiles a series of metrics for each artist based on social media engagement and activity on their discovery app as well as a band’s traffic on digital music outlets such as Spotify. This is combined with a human element in the form of crowd reviews and critiques from producers.

Taken all together, artists get a TuneGo score, which is kind of like a musical credit score. As this number grows, artists can trigger career opportunities facilitated by TuneGo, such as getting their tunes licensed for commercials or the chance to work with name producers.

To wit: TuneGo’s offices are housed in The Hideout recording complex, which is owned by producer Kevin Churko, who’s worked with heavy hitters such as Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie.

It’s from a conference room in The Hideout on a recent afternoon that Kohl is talking about building a sort of data bridge between bands and the industry, his back turned to a wall of gold and platinum records that Churko earned with some of the aforementioned acts.

Pushing the envelope

A tech guy first and foremost, Kohl launched TuneGo in 2014 with a couple of like-minded partners, Ofek Hayon and Stacy Haitsuka, who co-founded NetZero. All of them are originally from L.A., where, growing up, Kohl says he naturally developed friends and associates in the industry.

When Kohl started to gauge what record-label types were looking for in the acts they sign, he was initially a bit taken back at what they prioritized.

“I was kind of amazed at how unexcited the industry was for talent,” he says, dressed casually in a T-shirt. “It wasn’t about their pipes or their look or anything, it was like, ‘OK, cool, they have the prerequisites, they can sing, they look the part, but what have they got going on? Because if they can’t build a fan base on their own, I’m not investing in that.’ We started to work backwards and said, ‘OK, the industry told us that this is every data point that they would ever want to know; I don’t know a single platform that’s collecting every data point. Let’s build that.’ ”

TuneGo is a relatively young entity, having launched its app last September, and recently announced the founding of its own record label, which the company sees mainly as a means for propelling bands to bigger distribution deals with other record companies. Kohl says tens of thousands of artists are on TuneGo, and they’re starting to see results: He notes that numerous acts are being shopped to various labels and that they recently helped an opera singer land a role in an L.A.-based production of “Phantom of the Opera.”

The idea, as with pretty much every tech startup, is disruption: Basically, the song must not remain the same.

“I’ve met a lot of music people; I think they’re very comfortable,” Kohl says. “I don’t know if they’re as focused on innovation as they maybe should be. Whereas, with tech people, that’s all we think about: How to push the envelope.”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like