Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight On Presskit.to: Indie Ambassador’s Electronic Press Kit For The Music Industry

Musicians focus a lot of their efforts on promoting themselves to fans, but tend to fall short when sharing their projects with other professionals in the industry that can help them expand their reach and advance their careers. It can be a pain keeping your press kit up-to-date. So, the team at Indie Ambassador has created a web app called Presskit.to, a new kind of electronic press kit (EPK) that allows music professionals of all shapes and sizes to more effectively share the full picture of any given project, album or tour.

Presskit.to is designed to package your most vital media, files and info into a clear deliverable that works on any device, which makes it easier to maintain and share with venue bookers, bloggers, music supervisors, journalists and other promotional agents. Presskit.to was founded by Chris Cave and Ben Maitland-Lewis. While working at an artist development company that Maitland-Lewis started in college, the pair realized that all bands had similar problems when trying to advance their careers. Shifting their focus to technology, the goal was to help hundreds of thousands of musicians with Presskit.to, not just the ones currently under contract.

“As musicians ourselves, our mission is to help artists and their representatives reach a broader audience by empowering their entire professional networks,” says Maitland-Lewis, the CEO and founding alchemist of Presskit.to. “Artists, bands, aspiring managers, sound engineers, producers, film scorers and educators – literally everyone in this industry – needs to present themselves professionally to their peers. It’s frustrating to see people put so much of themselves into their art, to then only share a link on Facebook or send a non-proofread letter to a blogger with seven different links attached hoping to get discovered. We’ve seen firsthand that these tactics don’t work and we want to introduce a better method.”

“I studied at Berklee College of Music, worked for Columbia Records and SonyBMG on both US coasts, started an award-winning artist development company, worked as an international tour manager and an experiential marketing consultant and played in bands the whole time,” explains Maitland-Lewis. “All of these experiences made me realize the undeniable need to modernize the way creators share their work more efficiently with the professional industry. We’re hoping that by the end of 2013, Presskit.to will be the global talent management solution. We want to continue building upon the stellar list of artists and companies using Presskit.to to streamline their professional correspondence and advance their careers.”

“The internet has introduced a ton of new tools into the market that have benefited the industry beyond comprehension; however it has also democratized everything to the extent that there is now so much noise, you really need to cut through with a finely tuned message formatted for the music professional,” continues Maitland-Lewis. “We aren’t a deal site and we don’t handle submissions, but we provide our users with a professional tool and the resources necessary to cut through the noise and go after who they want. Whether your objective is getting a spot on Warped Tour, finally landing a feature story in Pitchfork or getting a brand sponsorship with Converse, if your music stacks up, Presskit.to is the tool to help you make that happen!”

The Presskit.to team was introduced to the Rackspace Startup Program through friends at the TechStars and MassChallenge accelerators in Boston. Here’s what the team had to say about using Rackspace’s cloud to build their business on. ”After using and loving Cloud Sites for about nine months we ran out of wiggle room and needed more flexibility and control of our server so we could make Presskit.to even more awesome. At first we were hesitant because we don’t have a server guru on our team, but after talking to our Rackspace account manager and the support team we were able to learn enough to make the switch comfortably. In the end, moving to the Managed Cloud has been relatively stress-free.”

“Right now, we’re working with Berklee College of Music’s west coast alumni center to provide a Presskit.to platform that will streamline their job and internship placement process for students and alumni working in Los Angeles, and are looking to work similarly with other higher-education music institutions in the future,” concludes Maitland-Lewis. “As for the music industry, we’re doing everything we can to make Presskit.to the standard platform music professionals use when pitching their clients to opportunities, and are currently working with a few PR companies, record labels and managers to make that happen.”

Within the Rackspace Startup Program, our focus is exceeding the startup’s expectations and helping our program companies by providing a world class open cloud computing platform on which to build their businesses. Drop the Space Cowboys a note and let us know if you need any help facilitating the dream of your startup from ideation to implementation. Our mission is to provide open cloud rocket fuel for the startup movement!

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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