The Holding Pattern puts control of musical content back in the hands of its creators…
Every now and then a start-up comes along that reminds us what we love about the Internet and all the opportunities it presents for bright-minded young content creators.
The Holding Pattern is a case in point.
The Holding Pattern is a place where independent musicians can showcase and sell their work without having to relinquish the copyright. Plus, all music that artists upload is automatically licensed for use in film and television, which means that production houses and agencies can buy tracks directly from the artist, whose rights are protected by the agreement on the site.
Founder Nick Arnold is a musician who experienced first-hand the issues facing producers and musicians today. A bass player, Arnold was signed to EMI Publishing to play in a band in LA. Through this experience, he began to realise how little autonomy artists had in an industry he describes as ‘in a constant state of regurgitation’.
The Message caught up with the man himself to discuss his brainchild, music and why The Holding Pattern has the ability to turn the industry on its head.
‘If an artist/band was doing well at label, then similar artists had to follow suit with the same producers, sound and eventually product,’ Arnold says. ‘We started out completely different to what type of band we ended up as, and I know that happens across the board. This is why we tend to see the same product over and over again. Record companies don’t take risks anymore.’
Content becomes profitable
This is how The Holding Pattern (THP) was born. Arnold wanted to create a space where artists could not only retain control over their own music, but actually profit from it as well. Through offering licensing agreements and a sophisticated search function, the site allows production companies and agencies the opportunity to find music they otherwise may not have come across – an issue Arnold can relate to…
‘When I left the band I started to be employed as a composer, writing scores for film, TV and theatre. I noticed that most producers didn’t have the tools available to search for what kind of music they were looking for and relied on an uneducated back catalogue of their own music tastes to convey their needs for certain productions.
‘This led me to the creation of the automatic licensing platform within THP. We now have in place a quick and innovative platform for creatives and production companies to source music through a number of intelligent search engines [such as] mood, genre, keywords, “sounds similar to (known artist)”, that can help them find the right track they are looking for… and really quickly. From this the artist gains the exposure they need, the creative gains a product with speed, accuracy, and quality, the fan of music or public discovers new music through public broadcast… and goes right back into THP to discover more about that artist and others… and the cycle begins.’
Arnold succinctly sums up the philosophy behind The Holding Pattern as: ‘The sound of a pack of small dogs barking will always be louder than the sound of one big dog’.
Removing the middle man
In fact, that may well be the motto 2011 is remembered by, especially in terms of Internet-led revolutions. Whether those revolutions were the type that overthrew political regimes or the type that gave the ‘big dogs’ of industry a run for their money, 2011 saw many realisations of the type of ‘people power’ thinking that has been bubbling away for some time now.
Arnold understands the potential of removing the middle man in the music industry, something that has been made possible only through the advances of online sharing. ‘Democracy, creativity, usability and intelligent search options are all integral parts in creating a free creative online movement… and that is exactly what I want to achieve. If we can educate people to discover more music, then the artist gains more exposure, listens and hopefully gets paid for their hard work… and so they should.’
In short, the music scene was crying out for a site like The Holding Pattern, and the functionality of the Internet has made it possible.
‘It’s obvious to me that the model of ‘The Big Dog’ is not enough anymore to sustain the needs of many users,’ says Arnold. ‘It becomes bland and one dimensional. Be it governmental, or your online business, being open sourced and malleable to what people want is the way forward.’
Although the underlying ideals and principles of The Holding Pattern are lofty, its immediate goals are somewhat humbler. ‘Our ultimate goal for the site right now is to have all categories of music filled. Ultimately, I want to see artists getting discovered on THP. From classical, indigenous, religious hip hop artists, from rock, to pop, folk, metal… all of it! It’s there to be discovered, explored and enjoyed, for everyone!’
With several more features in the pipeline that aim to enrich the user experience even further, we’re betting The Holding Pattern has only just begun to realise its full potential. Watch this space!
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