Interview with Anthony Volodkin

anthonyAnthony Volodkin started the Hype Machine in mid-2005. The 22-year-old Russian immigrant, son of a software developer (his dad) and a dentist (his mom) studies computer science at Hunter College. He lives in New York.

His service, the Hype Machine has breathlessly been described as “the future of all media.” Fred Wilson, a New York-based venture capitalist said: “The service is the best thing to happen to music since the Rolling Stones!”

Last week I met Anthony in Cologne and had a chance to talk to him ….


photo credits: jason todd

What is the Hype Machine about?The Hype Machine keeps track of music discussion on blogs around the world. It lets people discover, listen and buy music that bloggers are writing about.What is the difference to other online music plattforms e.g. last.fm? The Hype Machine differs from last.fm and Pandora in that instead of using algorithmic models that compute the best possible ‘related music’ to help people discover new music, we reveal existing activity around music on the internet (blogging) and let people discover new music by browsing, searching and exploring popular charts based on this data. What is the business modell?The business model relies on selling advertising to the lucrative market of visitors to the site (18-34, college grads mostly) and referral sales from Amazon, iTunes and etc.What are your next (technical) steps as far as the platform is concerned? We are constantly working to scale the site according to support a large number of users faster and faster and are currently adding personalization features to the site. We are also changing what ad inventory is available to make more premium placements possible. What are the next steps in your business plan?Using the changes above we are looking to raise revenues enough to fund the entire team.Is Hype Machine build to build to run your own business or is it build to sell?I am creating a sustainable business with Hype Machine. Selling the company is something we’d always seriously consider doing, but building the business is the real goal.


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