Pomplamoose: Getting lucky with iTunes.
This story appears in the May 7, 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine, on newsstands now.
While most indie acts use a distributor like INgrooves, a plucky few have launched successful careers without a middlemanâ"including Jack Conte, 27, and Nataly Dawn, 25, of PomÂplaÂmoose in Sonoma, Calif.
The duo gained Internet fame by covering songs originally recorded by ÂBeÂyoncÃ© and Lady Gaga, playing all the instruments and singing all vocals themselves. In 2010 employees at Appleâs iTunes discovered the clever YouTube videos and invited Pomplamoose to perform at the companyâs Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.
After the visit Conte and Dawn developed a direct relationship with Apple, allowing them to bypass third-party distributors. They upload their music straight to iTunes and take home 70% of the revenue generated by the sale of their MP3sâ"over 100,000 downloads just last year.
âThe music world is a big world, and chances that youâre going to happen to know somebody are slim,â says Conte. âPomplamoose really just got lucky in that we got a connection at iTunes.â
That said, there are drawbacks even for acts that have made it this far on their own. Pomplamoose lacks the Âinfrastructure to make a proper international push; its overseas offerings are sporadic at best. And as the duoâs popularity grows (original, as well as covered, recordings), thereâs more and more work for them.
Perhaps their latest news shouldnât come as a surprise: Conte says theyâve recently entered talks with INgrooves and its competitors.
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