Spotify’s too mainstream; get your indie fix with NervEight

November 18, 2013

10:55 am

I’m a huge supporter of indie bands, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new and upcoming artists. This kind of music discovery is lacking in the market, though, because current music streaming services feature artists who have already found some level of success (at least to the point at which they’re now recognizable names by a decently-sized audience). If you’re tired of the already-popularized music on Spotify, then you should try NervEight.

NervEight is a mobile platform aimed at providing a cost-effective medium through which independent musicians can promote their music. With functions focused on encouraging organic growth of song popularity, artists are encouraged to actively engage with their fanbase in order to remain competitive on the app.

At its core, NervEight is another digital music service provider – a mobile music player that streams songs in the same fashion as Spotify or Rdio. However, NervEight offers only music from small-time or unknown bands and musicians.

According to Torian Johnson, co-founder of NervEight, the app was really designed to promote independent and recently signed artists – both of whom deal with a much smaller fanbase than established musicians (obviously). Because of this, “the app takes on a promotional and event marketing  approach, instead of a search database approach,” says Johnson. Instead of having users search for specific artists through the application, individual songs submitted by indie artists are featured each day.

The goal, here, is simple: allow specific songs (and their corresponding artists) to rise to the top through a purely organic means – through indications from users as to which songs are, you know, actually good.  For every song that plays on the NervEight application, users have the option of commenting, critiquing, and indicating whether they like it (simply by tapping the “like” button). The more “likes” a song has, the higher its likelihood of staying on streaming service.

This kind of system makes NervEight much more valuable than its simplicity suggests; the platform does more than merely get the names of indie artists out there. NervEight encourages these artists to actively engage with their growing fanbase, either by responding to feedback or getting fans to help drive the popularity of songs. Plus, because the platform allows for only the best songs to survive on the streaming service, users become exposed to an artist’s most popular songs, which increases the artist’s overall likeability, ultimately giving him greater traction to move into the mainstream audience.

NervEight is open to any independent musician, so if that’s you, then simply get on the platform and upload a few of your songs.

NervEight recently finalized a partnership with RAW:natural born artists, an independent arts organization committed to providing new, independent artists with various tools and resources. NervEight was also recently featured at Tech Cocktail’s DC Mixer & Startup Showcase

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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