Fool's Gold, the Brooklyn based indie electronic and hip-hop label, announced last week the launch of The Goldmine, a premium digital subscription service powered by Drip.fm. For a monthly subscription fee of $10, Fool's Gold fans will gain access to exclusive high quality 320 mp3/WAV downloads as well as selections from the label's back catalog, exclusive content, merch discounts, priority access to events and more.
Created by the founders of the Ghostly International label, drip.fm is a platform that connects content creators and fans. The platform already has such labels such as Mad Decent, Stones Thrown and Dirty Bird using the service. Billboard.biz caught up with Nick Catchdubs, co-founder of Fool's Gold Record, to discuss the Goldmine, what the Fool's Gold brand signifies, and how he manages to keep up with the ever-changing music business.
Billboard.biz: What made you decide to get involved with Drip fm.?
Nick Catchdubs: Well, on one hand it was the personal relationships we have with Sam [Valenti] and Miguel [Senquiz] at Ghostly International who developed drip.fm. These are guys we respect and they wouldn't send us something they weren't 100% confident and excited about. On the other hand, using drip.fm as a subscriber and seeing its value and user friendliness, we decided to do it.
What led to your decision to launch this now?
It seems to be a time where people are into the idea of a subscription service -- they're excited about it, they realize the value, which they might have not seen a year or two ago. Goldmine is one component of what we already do at our retail store in Brooklyn - the vinyl, the CDs, the consumer products, the clothes and fun merchandise. It's cool to have these things balancing each other out.
Nick Catchdubs, above, Fool's Gold co-owner wants his brand to be like the "good housekeeping seal of approval for this generation."
Why is the balance between physical and digital retail items important?
It's not about the item itself, at the end of the day it's about what it represents. You're making this cool little destination for fans to come in and not just buy stuff - although they are more than welcome to do that- but they are coming to our headquarters and seeing stuff like our Duck Sauce platinum records, an original Dust LaRock print or maybe running into an artist who popped into the office. All these things you can't get on iTunes.
Could the experience that people have in the Fool's Gold store be paralleled on The Goldmine?
You're not going to see A-Trak when you are buying an mp3. To us the store is as much about the experience of shopping here specifically with Fool's Gold, as it is about any of the individual items that we have for sale. But that's the challenge, that's the exciting part! How do we take that attitude and approach, which is based on fun and surprise, and apply it to a digital marketplace? Part of that is by offering things that you can't get anywhere else. When you sign up to Drip.fm you get a fresh from mastering Danny Brown remix by Brodinski.
And That's Not All: A screen grab from the Fool's Gold Goldmine sign up page.
Why did you decide on the Danny Brown Brodinski remix as the launch release?
It's not an accident. Fool's Gold is a unique label in that we do electronic music and hip-hop and we do it in a way that's different from say Pitbull, who raps over dance music. Having Danny Brown, one of our premier artists, a sort of leading light in underground music, remixed by Brodinski, who as a dj and producer is just as innovative in his own techno world -- it's a perfect pairing, and sums up Fool's Gold in a single mp3. Danny and Brodinski met for the first time in January on the Holy Ship cruise. We were partying together on a boat; it's a sort of friendship and connection that was really natural. To have a track like that is very telling, and sums up our attitude towards things in general and made it the ideal track to launch with.
Do you think this type of platform could work for other kinds of labels?
The drip.fm platform is designed to work for multiple labels and that's another thing that attracted us to it. You're part of a community that is already incorporating labels like Ghostly, Stones Throw, Mad Decent and Dirty Bird, and these are our peers. They share the same kind of ethics and approach that we do.
Is consumer loyalty a part of the Fool's Gold brand?
Definitely, I want us to be the good housekeeping seal of approval for this generation. If you see the Fool's Gold logo on something you know what your in for -- even if you don't necessarily know what it's about, you know its going to be cool and interesting.
It seems like people who sign up for The Goldmine may be the most dedicated fans
Its not just good enough to make things anymore; it's really about having a relationship with your fans, identifying them and giving them things to be excited about. That's what I want as a fan of music; I work in this, I own things in this, I also produce art of my own, but at the end of the day I started out as a fan and I will always remain a fan. The artist who I follow and brands I follow, I want as much interesting and exclusive access from them as possible. That's the attitude we take.