Indie music fans who want to read about emerging artists have a plethora of places to go on the Web. But searching for concert footage of those acts often brings up little more than shaky clips shot on a mobile phone.
To address that perceived gap in the market, Vice is partnering with Intel and Dell to launch Noisey.com, an online music discovery platform centered on concert videos.
Noisey.com is the latest multimedia branding initiative launched by Vice, which has worked with clients like Scion, MTV, Vodafone and Red Bull to help them target hip, young consumers.
Vice and Intel are also collaborating on an international, multiple-discipline artistic initiative called the Creators Project. Dell teamed with Vice in 2009 to launch the science/technology video site Motherboard.tv.
Noisey.com will be curated by Vice Records GM Jamie Farkas, along with Vice staffers from the company's international offices. And there won't be any shaky cell-phone clips on the site -- the video footage has all been shot and edited by Vice's video teams, while the music has been recorded from soundboards.
Noisey.com will launch on March 18 with 40 artists from 11 countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, China, Japan, Canada and Australia. The site's launch will be accompanied by a Noisey.com showcase at South by Southwest featuring performances from Bun B, Ariel Pink, Yuck, Jeff the Brotherhood, Oberhofer and Dirty Beaches.
When visitors click on an artist's link, it takes them to what Vice executive creative director Eddy Moretti calls a "deep dive," with a brief documentary-style clip about what the act is like in concert, as well as four clips from a live performance. An artist's page will also include posts about the act by a Noisey.com blogger and third-party sources, as well as the ability to monitor the artist's Twitter feed and other social media accounts.
"It's an interactive magazine done right," Moretti says. "While someone is watching a video, they can browse through articles, artist info, the latest social chatter and photos."
The videos are all shot in the featured artists' "home territories," Farkas says. A London-based band, for example, would be shot in the United Kingdom but also perhaps in Glasgow, Scotland, or Oxford, England.
"Really great music documentaries are about scenes," Farkas says. "These things don't happen in a vacuum. I feel like if you spend enough time on this site, you can stitch together a day in music all over the world."
Simon Henderson, manager of Brooklyn-based Oberhofer, says Vice first approached him about Noisey.com during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York last fall.
"They were really committed to showing us in the best possible light," Henderson says. "They taped a show that didn't turn out so well, and then they gave us a do-over, which was great. It shows they value the quality of
what they are putting out there."
One of the main benefits for Oberhofer will be getting more exposure in other key music markets, he says. "We sunk money into going to the U.K. last year, and touring is hard financially and physically," Henderson says. "The market is so saturated, and this is a way to get in front of people."
John Galvin, director of Intel's partner marketing group, says he has been having conversations with Vice about launching Noisey.com "for a long time." "It's a great way for us to make a fun and authentic connection with the audience," Galvin says, adding that "if we give music fans the opportunity to have this amazing experience, maybe they will think about Intel differently, because without our technology, this wouldn't be possible."
For Dell, Noisey.com provides the computer maker with another opportunity to harness Vice's expertise in targeting young consumers, according to Michael Tatelman, VP/GM of Dell's North America consumer division, global mobility sales and global partner marketing.
"We love the Vice audience," he says. "Vice is a natural to reach young, cutting-edge, global customers."
Moretti says his vision for growing the site involves input from artists as well as Vice staffers.
"Bigger bands might start appearing on the site, but it will be in a context," he says. "We want them helping people discover acts that they love. At the end of the day, it's all about the community."