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We interview Nick Arnold, managing director of Holding Pattern

Nick Arnold is the man behind The Holding Pattern, a new online market place that offers digital sales and licensing revenue to artists, where all independent musicians can host, share and sell their work, whilst  retaining control of their copyrights. We were lucky enough to catch up with Nick and get the low-down on how The Holding Pattern was born and how it has been received so far.

Nick Arnold

1. Congratulations on the launch of The Holding Pattern. What inspired you to create such an online beast and how much time, effort and research went into the development of The Holding Pattern?

Thanks...well my inspiration came from having such a back catalogue of my own tracks from my solo projects, collaborations, scores that weren't used in films, tv shows, theatre projects, to even stuff I was noodling around with cool sounds and just writing songs. So much was sitting on a shelf, doing nothing, that was 'dead music'. I thought, how does someone find something they have never heard of before?? And if I'm one musician with a back catalogue of tracks, then there must be thousands out there with the same issue?? So over 2 years I worked with a small team to create and design a free platform that people can find new music and to make the discovery and exploration of that new music fun and enticing . It's taken a long time, and a lot of research to create this platform, which we are very proud of... there isn't anything like this out there. There might be similar services..but none that incorporate the platform to sell, and also for artists to be put in front of production companies, for use in public broadcast.


2. Where was the name born from?

That's a good question...I've been fascinated with flying since I was a boy, and in particular how planes circle an airport before you land. That is what they call in aeronautical terms 'a holding pattern'... and until selected or given the green light to land, you circle and wait. Much like an artist does when selling their tracks. We provide a platform where we don't own any copyrights of any artist...we only 'hold' the music and provide them with exposure to their fans and creatives sourcing music for public broadcast. So we provide the circling of fans and creatives to access fantastic independent, and undiscovered music until they get the green light and is purchased.


3. You only launched the site back on January 18th, how has the response be so far from users and musicians publishing their music?

Its been amazing! We have had such an overwhelming response to the platform, it's design, the usability, and the ease to upload and listen to music. How you navigate around the site is clear and not cluttered. We have a revolutionary visual search engine (The Visualiser) created to enhance the user experience, promoting exploration and discovery of new's pretty awesome! Artists are getting paid already which is fantastic, in fact in the first 3 days of us going live!....because The Holding Pattern has been created by musicians, for musicians, we understand what the artist wants and what the fans want as well.


4. How is The Holding Patten different from larger known music programs such as iTunes?

Were autonomous and have been created with the utmost regard to one thing....user experience! ITunes is a daunting and intimidating library of 'published' doesn't cater for exploring and discovering the unknown, the undiscovered, or the independent. We provide unique and innovative search engines to help you find music quickly, through keywords, moods, genre search, or even what an artist may sound like...on top of that, we have our Visualiser, which puts you in the centre of a 3D visual DNA of music. Created to encourage searching and exploring of new music, our Visualiser represents the many genres and sub-genres of music in a unique and engaging way. Fans of music can now explore, listen, purchase and be educated through our Visualiser... check it out!...

We also provide for the first time, an easy to use innovative automatic license for public broadcast for creatives looking to source music for film, TV, documentaries, radio, commercials..etc Providing much needed exposure to the independent and undiscovered artist at the same time, and by putting them in front of the very people who can boost their profile! So yeah, I guess were a little different to ITunes...


5. Can anyone upload their music? Or do you have a specific guidelines artists must fill before being featured on the Holding Pattern?

No..anyone can upload their music. We are for the people, and by the people. Whether you play rock, jazz, classical, indigenous, religious, electronic, metal, country music or whatever..The Holding Pattern wants you! We are not genre biased...we just want to expose the sheer wealth of independent and undiscovered music to the people.


6. How does the artist get paid? Must they reach a certain number of downloads before the see any money or is it by the download?

All artists receive 80% of ALL sales... personal use (everyday fans) or commercial use.

We have created The Holding Pattern to be a market place for the undiscovered and independent musician, production companies and creatives, and most importantly for the fans. There is a threshold the artist reaches, which is $10 of which gets paid instantly to their nominated bank account. Of course when they receive large payments from commercial use this will happen instantaneously through the purchasing and banking platform we have created.


7. How does the price of each single get decided - on the website there were many different prices, rather than just the same price for each song?

Yes! Finally where prices are different, and not $1.69 across the board. The artist decides what price they wish to sell their tracks for...and so they should. A market place has to show diversity, both in content and in price. It allows the artist more control, and promotes them to think about what their track is worth and to be competitive so they attract fans, and customers. It breaks up the monotony that exists in other platforms and allows for a more autonomous environment where the artists govern the price of music. Not the other way round.


8. You have a 2 tried pricing format (Classic and Premium). For those who are new to The Holding Pattern and do not know, can you please explain why this is?

Our 2 tiered pricing format 'Classic' and 'Premium' is for commercial use. When an artist uploads their tracks they have a choice, whether to sell to the public and fans only, or both allowing creatives to source their music for commercial use (Film, TV, Doco's, Radio etc) We've created a 2 tiered pricing format to provide more control to the artist. 'Classic' is our mid range price for our commercial usages, so if a track is short in length, has basic instrumentation, or is of a slightly lower quality, than choosing this pricing format is advised. If you have a track that is quite large in size, consists of many instruments or detailed sounds, is of a higher quality than we recommend choosing 'Premium' pricing format. Remember we put the power back into the hands of the artist. So, they have to be competitive with their pricing. If you put everything at 'Premium' because you want more cash but the quality is a little low...your not going to gain commercial sales. But, if your smart, and select 'Classic' because you know your tracks are good, and you want to gain that exposure needed to boost your personal sales, reduce your commercial price, be competitive...and you'll get some commercial sales. Artists can earn really good money here and control ALL copyrights collected from that commercial project. It's a no brainer!


9. Once a track is purchased from The Holding Pattern is the artist notified of who purchased the track?

Only for commercial use...not for personal use. I think we would be breaching privacy laws if we released the emails of fans purchasing their tracks.


1o. In the Music Library the user is first presented with a Spotlight Section of music. How do you go about ranking or featuring artist in this section on the website?

We select the artists ourselves. On a first come first served. If an artist has made an effort to join and upload a number of tracks, and populate their artist page with images, videos, track and artist descriptions then we will put them up in our Spotlight section. We also have a 'Spotlight Band Of The Week' section which we host on our Facebook page and a write up on our Blog. We push and promote our artists to the fullest extent possible.


11. Tell us about the Visualiser? At which part of the creative process did this idea come into play?

This was always one of the key points of differentiation for us, as we believe the art of discovering and exploring new music has been lost. We all know how many genres and sub-genres are out there today, and searching through some of these is confusing as to where they come from and what parent genre they are related to. Our Visualiser is a 3D visual search engine designed to promote the discovery and exploration of new music. Educating users of where each genre and sub genre is related to one another. Users can explore the many genres whilst listening to and purchasing artists within that genre. Providing the exposure to artist, that would normally be lost in other services....and it's really fun, and engaging to use as well.


12. Are there any plans to grow the site with new functionality in the near future?

All the time... We have just released Version 1, and Version 1.2 will be updated very soon with some really cool functionality for both artists and fans which we will notify our members and by press release as well. Plans for rolling out APP's, an M site, are among a few that will be available in a couple stay tuned! We are really going to shake things up here!


Questions by Sarah Wykes and Mat Lewis - AAA Backstage

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