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B.C. companies tuning music industry to listeners

But challenges still remain for those trying to persuade the music industry to adopt new technologies, according to Play MPE CEO Fred Vandenberg.

“Changing the way they do their promotions is fraught with reluctance,” said Vandenberg, whose Vancouver-based music-technology company specializes in online music promotion and delivery.

Play MPE maintains a master list of industry contacts on behalf of promoters, while its platform can be used by radio program directors to access a library of new music to help push new songs on the airwaves.

Its technology substitutes the traditional delivery system of sending physical copies of new music for a digital delivery system.

Vandenberg describes it as the first and largest provider of such services in the world.

In 2005, when he first entertained the idea of digital deliveries, he was surprised to find out that it wasn’t already a common service.

“We thought there would be a stampede to buy the service from us, but that never occurred,” he said. “A promoter, their job is to get the song in front of their audience that they’re targeting, and they do not want to have any kind of hole or they don’t want to risk changing the way they do business because they don’t want to miss that opportunity to get that song on air.”

Like Appreciation Engine, Universal Music Group has also partnered with Play MPE to help promote music.

“People think we’re in the digital age of music right now, which is true to an extent,” Vandenberg said.

“But I think if you take a step back and look at it [from the macro level], we’re still changing into the digital age; it’s still evolving. And knowing how things are going to shake out is really a challenge for everybody in the music industry.”