Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.
Issue link: http://berkleetoday.epubxp.com/i/132141
Visit: alumni.berklee.edu Boston BeAt Ben Maitland-Lewis '05 is passionate about serving the needs of independent artists, especially those from the Berklee community. His company, Indie Ambassador, is a music media and technology company, and their frst product is Presskit.to. It's a powerful HTML5 Web app that enables artists and companies to deliver curated and protected content as an electronic press kit (EPK) to members of the music industry. Maitland-Lewis and company operate out of a century-old factory building they call Foundry24 in the Charlestown section of Boston. The facility also houses Strewnshank Studio, a recording studio and video production facility; a photo marketing agency called PrettyInstant.com; and an acting and production networking group called the Hollywood East Actors Group. Before launching his latest venture, Maitland-Lewis worked for seven years at Sony BMG and spent four years running his own artist development and management company. The artists he worked with released 23 recordings and garnered multiple Boston Music Awards. He also matched brands with bands to fuel tours and new releases and he hosted the Rock Shop series of panel discussions on topics vital to indie artists. According to the Presskit.to website, Maitland-Lewis and company dove into the tech scene in 2009 feeling that they could best help the greater music community by building apps to simplify career management. "Our Web app is a powerful tool for individuals with multiple projects," Maitland-Lewis says. "It allows them to consolidate their media and create digital business cards for their creative identities. We launched our beta version in September 2012. Our company is now working with more than 3,000 artists, companies, and institutions worldwide. And we're still growing." According to Maitland-Lewis, his company's products and services are built with the needs of members of the Berklee community in mind. Not surprisingly, Indie Ambassador's current employees include fellow alumni Mike Harmon '11, Christopher Thomas '04, and Joe Mahoney '10. The team is augmented by interns and graduates from Berklee, Stevens Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and other institutions. "I'm in Boston because I have access to the smartest students in the country who are all about new, innovative products," Maitland-Lewis says. From the left: Mike Harmon '11, Christopher Thomas '04, Ben Maitland-Lewis '05, and Joe Mahoney '10 of Indie Ambassador. Over the past few years, Indie Ambassador has worked with a number of interns. "We have an extremely successful internship and co-op program with Berklee and a few other colleges," Maitland-Lewis says. "We've worked with Berklee interns since 2007, and many have chosen to stay on after graduation to become part of the team. Mike Harmon interned here during his last semester at Berklee as an MP&E and music business/management dual major. After he graduated, he began working for us full time as our community manager." During his company's beta phase, Maitland-Lewis has worked with the staff at Berklee's Los Angeles offce. The Presskit.to app has benefted both the L.A. alumni distributing their EPK to mobile devices everywhere and by enabling the L.A. staff to manage data about the alumni talent pool when handling requests from the music industry. And there is much more on the horizon for Maitland-Lewis in Boston and around the country. For additional info, visit http://presskit.to. —Karen Bell Chief Alumni Affairs Offcer Spotify is a groundbreaking global music streaming service available on multiple platforms. It has offces all over the world, including one in New York that employs four Berklee alumni. The Big Apple alumni team includes Dave Altarescu '02 (the U.S. director of marketing), Katie Schlosser '04 (the director of label relations for North America), Bryan Grone '08 (a label relations account manager), and Ron Ubaldo '09, (the manager of content operations). An emerging force in the changing music industry, Spotify was launched in Sweden and is a relative newcomer to the American market. The alumni who work in the New York offce have found that their music education provided applicable and transferrable skills. "Being a music business major at Berklee forced me to be forward-thinking because the industry is constantly changing," Grone says. "You have to always know the latest trends." Altarescu claims that, thanks to his experiences at Berklee, making presentations in boardrooms is a situation in which he is comfortable. "Standing up weekly in vocal classes and in public performances at the Berklee's 939 Café, I learned to become a storyteller," he says. "I also learned how to manage a team from bands that I played with and MP&E classes I took." Users can access the Spotify service for free if they view advertisements or ad-free if they pay a low monthly premium. By making nearly 20 million songs accessible and easy searchable for its users, the company is doing its part to combat music piracy. "Fifty percent of Spotify users are under 29 [years old]," Schlosser says. "They make up the highest percentages of both free and paid users. These people are from a generation [to whom] paying for music isn't the norm, so having them use our service is great." The service is changing the way consumers listen to music and also how artists interact with their fans. In the digital age, where so many illegally download music, Spotify accurately tracks streams in order to properly compensate the artists and the rights holders. The social media integration that Spotify offers also enables artists to interact directly with their fans. By creating playlists and sharing music to Facebook, artists can create newfound relationships with their followers. The alumni in Spotify's New York offce work alongside other employees that hail from Europe. "The team at Spotify is extremely talented and diverse in their expertise and cultural backgrounds," Altarescu says. "We have different perspectives on music and business but share many of the same goals. It's very inspiring working with such a talented group." For more information on Spotify in the United States, visit: https://www. spotify.com/us/. Arielle Schwalm new York spotlight From the left: Ron Ubaldo '09, Katie Schlosser '04, and Brian Grone '08 who work at Spotify's New York City offce. Not pictured is Dave Altarescu '02 who is Spotify's U.S. director of marketing. —Arielle Schwalm Aumni Affairs Program Coordinator Summer2013 33