The number of direct-to-fan service providers continues to rise as entrepreneurs and investors pour resources into disruptive technologies that eliminate the retail middleman. CHNL is the newest startup on the scene. The company has raised $1.2 million from Giantstep Angel Network, according to a report at Hypebot. Giantstep has also funded digital distributor INgrooves, among other technology companies.
The first artist to roll out a page using CHNL tools is downtempo electronic group Thievery Corporation. Operating at a CHNL domain (thieverycorporation.chnl.pro), the group's page has 12 music offerings, each represented by an album cover. The lead-off item is a download of the new album "Culture of Fear" in 320kbps MP3 files for $8.99.
The CHNL page mixes both paid and free, promotional items. One offering is a free album stream of "Culture of Fear." A small pop-up window appears and allows the listener to choose any song and skip to any part of a song. Most other items of the band's CHNL page are back catalog albums, EPs and singles. Another item is a collection of free audio streams, video stream and photos and includes a 30-minute DJ mix by the group.
Thievery Corporation is also offering the "Den of Thieves Subscription," a $2-per-month offering that delivers three tracks each month from Thievery Corporation and the group's ESL label in addition to access to exclusive videos and photos.
The current version of the Thievery Corporation page "is only a fraction of what is to come," CHNL co-founder and CEO John Wander told Hypebot. Wander is also the founder and managing partner of Giantstep Angel Network, according to its web site.
The report adds that CHNL's management team includes veterans of companies such as Topspin Media, Reverbnation, MySpace Music, Global IP Sound, FiltBox and TBWA/Chiat Day.