Itâ€™s officialâ€”Robert Weingartz, Founder & CEO of AirPlay Direct (www.AirPlayDirect.com), the new, revolutionary, efficient and cost effective way to securely deliver â€œbroadcast-qualityâ€ music and electronic press kits to music industry professionals around the world, has been chosen one of Music Connection Magazineâ€™s 50 â€œInnovators, Iconoclasts, Groundbreakers & Guiding Lights of 2008.â€
The longtime industry tastemaker publicationâ€™s one of a kind list is composed of people and entities who had an important impact on music and music-makers this past year. It was compiled from lists submitted by the 31-year-old magazineâ€™s editorial staff, freelance writers and industry contacts as well as the 70,000 readers who receive MCâ€™s weekly bulletin.
Weingartz, who launched AirPlay Direct as a free multi faceted artist facilitating service in March, 2005, joins a mix of rock superstars, industry movers and shakers and powerhouse products and companies on the exclusive list. Musicians in the mix include The Eagles (joined by their longtime manager Irving Azoff), Trent Reznor, AC/DC, Robert Plant, Jack Johnson, Lil Wayne, Brian Eno and famed bassist Victor Wooten.
Corporate entities include RCA Records, ReverbNation and Red Bull; also on the list are Musicians Institute and the iconic video games Guitar Hero/Rock Band.
In choosing Weingartz, MC cites the fact that â€œhis AirPlay Direct provides indie artists with the digital promotional tools that are readily available to the major labels. In a period where digital companies are popping up and charging the artist just to upload a picture and bio, his is a free service that allows one to do that plus service any broadcast media.â€
Functioning as a de facto â€œdigital FedExâ€ platform, AirPlay Direct enables artists to digitally deliver broadcast quality music to radio programmers around the world; provides them with an opportunity to create multi-media digital press kits (dubbed by Weingartz as â€œDigital Smart Toolsâ€); and offers them the opportunity to license their songs for TV, film and video games.
â€œWeâ€™ve developed a reputation as the match.com of the music industry,â€ he says, â€œhere to educate people about radio promotion and hook them up with radio promotion companies and PR firms. Our goal is to try and reinvent the professional side of the business, which has been broken for quite some time. Weâ€™ve been working on a program we call the â€˜rise of the middle class musician,â€™ which empowers artists with the educational tools they need and helps make the proper introductions for them. Itâ€™s part of our overall plan to re-imagine the global music industry online via a business to business viral ecosystem.â€
Once an AirPlay Direct member sets up his or her artist site, the AirPlay Direct system will automatically build a new electronic press kit, or a Digital Promo Kit/DPK. They can send a DPK to any music professional globally as an e-mail. Anyone can receive the DPK, listen to the music and review the attached promotional materials. However, only radio stations will be permitted to download â€œbroadcast-qualityâ€ music from the site. They must obtain a highly secure password to enter and download. AirPlay Direct protects the memberâ€™s â€œvaluable music assetsâ€ by screening and verifying all radio member applicants, password protected downloads, limiting / monitoring the number of downloads, and by utilizing the latest technologies in security software.
AirPlay Direct currently has 15,000 artist and label members, including such icons as Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, and 2,800 radio station members; its membership spans 110 countries around the world.
â€œThe most rewarding aspect of being the head of AirPlay Direct is watching our artists grow and evolve in their career, knowing that we have provided them with the education and tools they need to succeed,â€ says Weingartz.