Interview with Haulix founder Matt Brown | By Jameson Ketchum
Tech startups never have an easy road. In fact, a staggering 90 percent of general startups fail altogether.
Take a tech startup and throw it into the murky waters of the music industry, and you’re asking for almost instant failure. Thankfully, Haulix founder Matt Brown and his crew have managed to flawlessly navigate this treacherous terrain. “With a large percentage of tech companies failing in their early stages, I’m proud we have made it to the eight-year mark while continuing to grow as a lean and profitable company,” he says.
Industry folks are already widely familiar with the brand. Haulix has been housing your pre-released albums for almost a decade now, keeping them protected and cataloged with ease. “Our system is very easy to use and was designed with a minimalistic approach,” Brown says. “It stays out of our customers’ way while they get their work done, yet has the computing power to handle millions of monthly emails and hundreds of thousands of streams and downloads.”
Protection is key; it’s the cornerstone of a company like Haulix. Obviously, album leaks are a massive problem that rarely seem manageable. Brown makes security of content priority one. “We are trusted because of our long history of people in the press knowing us as a reliable source for receiving their pre-release music,” he says. “Every time we scan a leaked MP3 file and use our robust watermarking technology to trace who the original listener was, customer confidence in what we do grows stronger.”
Customer loyalty is strong with Haulix. They’ve seen steady growth in their brand and have supplemented their service with engaging and helpful content, such as a podcast, job board, and consistently enthralling articles headed by industry jack of all trades, James Shotwell. It would be easy for a company like Haulix to rely solely on their user base for interaction, but Brown and Shotwell have taken it a step further, choosing to implement other mediums to spread awareness of the Haulix brand. “Getting creative with marketing is a trial and error type of strategy,” Brown admits. “We have done everything from coffee and doughnut sponsorships at conference meetups to speaking at colleges and educating the youth.”
“Running a business like this, every single public move you make is marketing your company,” he continues. “Every email you send to a person, every tweet, how you conduct yourself during a phone call, etc., all plays into marketing and your image. If you are doing it right, word of mouth kicks in, and that’s something you can’t buy.”
Though industry knowhow and keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry are championed at Haulix, there is no mistaking Brown’s main focus. He explains, “We continue to trim fat on our platform and focus on the core items that made us popular in the first place: digital promos, contact management, watermarking security, and mass email invitations.”
Labels and management agencies face different challenges than artists, so for a company like Haulix to thrive, it has to spread itself thin. Not only does their platform protect your unreleased material, but Brown and company also truly care about your art’s performance. Getting to be a part of your success is what drives Haulix. “Our focus is on that key four to six weeks before an album is released,” Brown says, “giving publicists the tools they need to distribute their music to a huge audience of trusted people who will generate buzz and prevent early leaks, which makes for better opening week sales.”
Eight years in, and Haulix continues to grow, not only as a startup but also as a true force of innovation in the music industry.
Check out Haulix here.