OurTracks.com – Launched!

I got the chance to preview the brand new OurTracks website this week and let me tell you it’s going to be awesome. Brad got the opportunity to interview Larry (lmofle), who is a business partner at OurTracks to find out just what they have to offer.

So why OurTracks.com? What was the inspiration?
For myself personally, something I had often needed was single songs. The reason being I am a member over at www.countrytabs.com and I often get requests for songs to tab. Well, if you get me the lyrics and I can locate the mp3’s, I can get a song tabbed for you. The only way to do this without purchasing the entire CD was the various peer-peer networks. This led to a little more thinking as to why do people use Kazaa and it dawned on me that the reason they do is you CANNOT purchase a single. Not at the store, not online, etc – well, this was also around the time ITunes came out but they are only interested in the Big 5 labels and that was not the music I listened to. From there, a discussion came up at Countrytabs and Scott Plumbtree (President Of OurTracks, LLC) brought up the question that was burning in my mind for the last few months – How hard would it be to create an online digital distribution point for independent artists? So we threw ideas back and forth and realized it was not as difficult as it seemed. Scott has a friend who is a recording engineer for Moraine records (Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane) and we ran the idea past him and he loved it. He spoke to his company’s president who also loved it. That was how we got started. All of us involved are with computers in some way so technology was not a scary thing for us. From there, the idea just snowballed and I recruited Lance Thurman who is our Marketing guru and recently has been tour Manager for Jarrod Birmingham Band. Scott recruited Jeff Weaver as our web guy, Adam Liddell as our graphics guy and Jake Harcourt as Business Operations. My role is Business Development.

What kind of services do you plan to offer?
Initially our focus is on selling singles and full albums of artists we sign up. But, as the business development guy and in talks with Scott, we came up with all sorts of ways to bring revenue to the site and eventually to the artist. We have had discussions with several live recording venues where we are working out a way to do live recordings and then offer them for sale at our site (with the artist’s consent). People like to have something that no one does and this fills that void. Further discussions led to doing Out of Print albums. I am good friends with the South Austin Jug Band and have followed them for over 3 years. Around the time OurTracks was born, they ran out of CD’s and weren’t planning on making anymore. We realized we only needed 1 copy from the artists and then all of their fans could get the old stuff too! I also was passing this idea around to the artists I know (I go to open mic at Tavern In The Gruene in New Braunfels as often as I can) and was talking to Sam Sanchez who had recently come out of Rivertrain. He said the idea was great and when they got back into the studio, he wanted to pre-release CD’s thru us which I thought was a fantastic marketing idea. These are our major services but we are constantly looking at new ways to bring in revenue for the artist and OurTracks.

Do you think ourtracks.com will fill a void currently out there for independent artists in Texas?
We do – while there are other sites that do the same thing as OurTracks in offering digital delivery of music, we wanted to differentiate ourselves with our musical offerings. Underrepresented artists in genres like Americana, Texas Country, Red Dirt music (the music we love) was the perfect fit. So we are a niche at this time but what got me thinking more and more was about all these guys who have a CD for sale and are busting their ass daily to do what they love and try to make a living at it. No label means no marketing and you have to be your own PR person. That can be a lot to take on for anyone. It was during this time I took a look around at the guys I enjoy listening to – Jackson Parten, Roger Wilko, JR Castro, Sterling Finlay, Zach Whitney and so on. We saw that they needed a place for their music as well and in that respect, we are going to be filling a void.

How has artist response been to your idea?
Absolutely fantastic!!!! In fact, this is where some of the irony comes in…every single artist I talk to is ecstatic but those that are well known are also harder to get signed up (and rightfully so) because you have management to go through and some see us as “another way to take money from my guy” which is definitely not the case. As a matter of fact, I was at the Jackson Parten benefit and Houston Marchman was there. I went and gave my 2-minute spiel and he looked at me and said, “I was online JUST yesterday looking for someone like you!” Another night, after open mic, Jason Boland, Stoney Larue, Bleu Edmondson, Ryan Bingham, and Foscoe Jones were all out on the back patio. Sam took me out there and introduced me and we were all BS’ing and I brought up OurTracks. They all loved it! This made me confident that we were really onto something! Whether I am talking to Mando Saenz or Peter Dawson all the way up to Slaid Cleaves and Reckless Kelly – all of them recognize the potential…but, again, it is the layers of management you have to go through that makes it challenging.

What will the costs be for fans wanting to download the tunes?
The costs are $1 for a single…none of this .99 cent crap because I don’t think consumers are idiots like some of these marketing people do. We all know that .99 cents is a dollar – so just say it. Not to mention it is a lot easier figuring out artist percentages when the number is whole instead of decimals. With albums we let the artist tell us what price they want to sell it for. We suggest $10 but we would allow anywhere from $5 to $15…that is their decision. Some are $10, some are $12 and the beauty of it is that if an artist decides he wants to change his price, they can email us and we can make that change on the fly and immediately. We haven’t completely decided on the live CD’s yet (they aren’t available yet but when they are, we have been thinking about pricing those in the $5-$8 range as I recall).

Your plan for paying the artists is unique. Describe how the artists will be involved in OurTracks.com
This was Scott’s baby here! And a very ingenious move, I might add. We are paying the artists back based upon total revenue earned by that artist per month. That is coupled with a sliding scale of payout. An example would be that if an artist sells $250/mo or less, we will pay them back at 50%…on the top end if they are bringing in $5000/mo, we will pay back at 70% which is higher than ITunes pays out and there are steps in between those 2 percentages. To me, this gives the artist some control. Not happy with getting 50% payout? Help promote our site and in essence promote yourself and you can get a higher payout. The revenue includes all sales, no matter where it comes from (single, album, live recording). As we continue to come up with different revenue streams, be it merchandise or special compilation CD’s, there will be an ultimate dollar amount and it is that dollar amount that we will calculate the percentage of payout.

Who are some of the undiscovered acts, some of your favorites, that you hope to promote?
Before I answer that, let me say that the talent pool that I have run across is absolutely amazing! Going to open mics, trying to get my songs heard has shown me the depth of this talent so it is not always the songs and bands you hear on the radio that are the “best”. There are a lot around no one has heard of. But since you are forcing me to choose, I would say Jackson Parten, JR Castro, Cast Iron Filter, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, Dale Watson, the McKay Brothers are a few I would mention in the same breath – and believe me when I say that is not all of them. One of Scott’s favorite bands is Travis Linville and the Burtschi Brothers…I would have never heard of them had it not been for Scott to introduce me to them and THAT is where Ourtracks can help. We believe people would not mind paying $1 to “test drive” an artist’s song, even if they haven’t heard of them (we also have 30 seconds preview clips for all the songs) but would they be willing to pay $17.99 for one song? Doubtful. Not to mention, our site intends to be very community oriented (we pattern our community after Galleywinter because it is a successful site with a loyal fan base) and really bring home the music to the consumer. It’s not enough that you can buy the best music going today, we want you to enjoy it with us and tell others what they are missing out on!

If it is successful, any interest in expanding to include other forms of music from other regions/genres?
Absolutely! That has always been the idea from the beginning. Underground Heavy Metal is huge! That is a whole ‘nother animal in it of itself. Basically, it is independents we want – eventually, once we start getting some label interest, we will be able branch out. Let’s face it – if you look at most Indie labels, they aren’t pigeonholed into a specific genre. They have rock, metal, country, rockabilly, jazz, etc artists on their label. If we are able to convince them to come aboard with us, I think that is where you will start seeing this expansion.

OurTracks.com seems as if its prices will be relatively cheaper than others in the marketplace. This should make it an attractive option to many of the fans. Did you set the prices to compete with other online music outlets in mind or to make it more affordable for the fans and profitable for the artists?
We didn’t do this on purpose, necessarily. We saw ITunes was .99 and so we felt a dollar was fair. For those that have never looked into this, the credit card companies are a HUGE cost on a per transaction basis so we had to make sure we would be profitable at every level so we could stay in business and continue to promote Independents. My personal belief is people tend to get greedy and they forget why they started in the first place. We started this idea for the music we loved. Sure, we hope to make some money but not at the expense of “stealing” from the artists. It is economics that drive a lot of the pricing structure and if, for example, we found we were not able to “pay the bills” to stay open, we may have to do make some changes in the future but I guarantee it will not be because we just want more money. It would be because we want to be around for thelong run!

What are your goals for OurTracks.com?
Wow – we have so many but the primary goal is to be more of a partner to the bands and artists as opposed to someone else taking a piece of the pie. Let’s face it, major labels get back 100% of their costs and 92% to 96% of the artists money (based upon royalty payouts of mechanical sales). Does it seem fair that the people who didn’t even come up with the idea get the majority of the money? Not to us. We will help promote these guys as best we can, we will take suggestions from them so it is a mutually beneficial relationship, we will do all we can so that they succeed. Our success is hinged on their success so it is a symbiotic relationship. One thing I always tell these artists is that ITunes and Napster (and CD Baby, etc) could care less how your latest album does – you won’t see those guys at any of your shows, clapping, having a beer. But you will see me and you will see Scott and the rest of the OurTracks team. There is an intimacy that we can share that no one else will be able to provide. I firmly believe that we are in the midst of a revolution…a revolution against Clear Channel, a revolution against corporate empires that tell me what is
good and someday, people are going to turn off those stations and turn to find something else. The acceptance of digital content on the Internet is gaining more fans and listeners as each day goes by. I want to see OurTracks “fly under the radar” for as long as we can, signing artists and building a huge base of talent. At some point, we want to be the de facto standard of digital delivery for our kind of music. We also recognize there is competition out there but, as I stated earlier, we are fans, songwriters and musicians trying to help other fans, songwriters and
musicians.

Now go visit OurTracks.com right now!

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

53 thoughts on “OurTracks.com – Launched!

  • October 3, 2018 at 11:45 pm
    Permalink

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the net for more info about
    the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  • October 5, 2018 at 9:04 am
    Permalink

    Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  • October 6, 2018 at 5:32 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will
    ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later
    in life. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!

  • October 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm
    Permalink

    What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked this post.

    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  • October 9, 2018 at 10:58 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how tomake your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might beable to fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.Cheers!

  • October 11, 2018 at 5:32 am
    Permalink

    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.

    The clearness in your post is simply great and that i can assume
    you’re a professional on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to seize your RSS feed to stay updated with approaching post.
    Thank you 1,000,000 and please keep up the gratifying work.

  • October 13, 2018 at 9:06 am
    Permalink

    15SN4M Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a part of your post to my site?

  • October 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm
    Permalink

    I just want to say I am just all new to blogging and certainly savored you’re web-site. Likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with terrific well written articles. Thank you for sharing your blog.

  • October 15, 2018 at 3:12 am
    Permalink

    It as hard to find educated people for this topic, however, you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

  • October 15, 2018 at 5:26 am
    Permalink

    This very blog is definitely cool and diverting. I have chosen many interesting advices out of it. I ad love to come back every once in a while. Thanks a bunch!

  • October 15, 2018 at 5:46 am
    Permalink

    UVB Narrowband Treatment Is a computer science degree any good for computer forensics?

  • October 15, 2018 at 7:27 am
    Permalink

    Woman of Alien Great do the job you ave carried out, this website is de facto interesting with amazing information. Time is God as method of preserving everything from occurring at once.

  • October 15, 2018 at 11:32 am
    Permalink

    Very nice article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thanks

  • October 15, 2018 at 3:26 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, superb blog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content!

  • October 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

  • October 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm
    Permalink

    You made some good points there. I looked on the internet for the subject matter and found most persons will agree with your site.

  • October 15, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    Permalink

    That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

  • October 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm
    Permalink

    Some truly good blog posts on this internet site, appreciate it for contribution.

  • October 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Permalink

    It as essentially a cool and beneficial piece of information. I am content which you just shared this valuable data with us. Please hold us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • October 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    Permalink

    You must participate in a contest for top-of-the-line blogs on the web. I will suggest this website!

  • October 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    We think you should read this I am still learning from you, but I am improving myself. I definitely love reading everything that is posted on your site.Keep the tips coming. I enjoyed it!

  • October 15, 2018 at 11:54 pm
    Permalink

    Just wanna input that you have a very nice web site , I like the layout it really stands out.

  • October 16, 2018 at 12:45 am
    Permalink

    This particular blog is really entertaining and informative. I have picked up a lot of helpful advices out of it. I ad love to visit it again soon. Thanks!

  • October 16, 2018 at 2:57 am
    Permalink

    This is a topic that as close to my heart Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

  • October 16, 2018 at 5:37 am
    Permalink

    Im thankful for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  • October 16, 2018 at 7:46 am
    Permalink

    What as up, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!|

  • October 16, 2018 at 11:48 am
    Permalink

    Only wanna input that you have a very nice web site , I like the layout it really stands out.

  • October 16, 2018 at 3:39 pm
    Permalink

    You have observed very interesting details ! ps nice web site. Loneliness seems to have become the great American disease. by John Corry.

  • October 17, 2018 at 6:40 am
    Permalink

    I¡¦ll immediately take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  • October 17, 2018 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve learn several just right stuff here. Definitely price
    bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt
    you put to make one of these fantastic informative site.

  • October 18, 2018 at 3:52 am
    Permalink

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are incredible! Thanks!

  • October 18, 2018 at 4:10 am
    Permalink

    you are really a just right webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a fantastic task in this topic!

  • October 19, 2018 at 2:36 am
    Permalink

    Appreciating the commitment you put into your site and in depth information you offer.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Fantastic read!

    I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  • October 21, 2018 at 8:12 pm
    Permalink

    Hey very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also¡KI am glad to seek out numerous useful info here in the submit, we want work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • October 22, 2018 at 2:41 am
    Permalink

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • October 22, 2018 at 3:22 am
    Permalink

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  • October 22, 2018 at 5:22 am
    Permalink

    I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thanks!

  • October 22, 2018 at 6:25 am
    Permalink

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.