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Scott Cohen

Interview

Orchard: Pioneering Digital Music Distribution

Scott Cohen’s journey into entrepreneurship began long before The Orchard’s inception. In 1997, when the online world was still in its infancy, Scott and his partner foresaw the digital revolution of music. He recalls, “We saw a world where people would be creating and consuming music digitally, both on the computer and on the mobile phone.” This vision led to the creation of The Orchard on Orchard Street, despite the overwhelming odds against them at a time when dial-up modems were the norm, and online stores were non-existent.

Email Marketing’s Early Wins

Cohen reminisced about the effectiveness of early internet marketing strategies. The Orchard utilized AOL message boards to connect with music enthusiasts, leading to a staggering 100% email response rate in 1995. “It was often the first email they ever received,” Scott said, “and then there was an email about music and the genre they liked.” This tactic provided critical insights and laid the groundwork for the company’s future strategies.

Jukebox‘s Industry Growth

Jukebox is not about disruption but transformation and addition. Scott envisions Jukebox as a platform that adds new value to the music industry without taking away from it. “I’m trying to create new value on top and expand the industry, grow the industry,” Scott emphasized. He sees Jukebox as a way to enhance the music ecosystem, allowing more participants to benefit from it.

Revolutionizing Music Royalties

Scott explained Jukebox’s innovative approach to transforming music royalty streams into regulated securities, a concept still awaiting SEC qualification. This platform aims to allow trading of these royalty streams, thereby providing a novel investment opportunity in the music industry. “Once a song has been a hit, it continues to earn money,” Scott stated, highlighting the potential of this uncorrelated asset class.

Naive Optimism in Startups

Scott shared his evolved perspective on entrepreneurship, advising to be naive and optimistic. He believes overanalyzing financials and business plans can deter action. “No one in their right mind would ever do whatever business you’re about to start. It’s impossible. You have to just go for it,” he advised, advocating for taking the plunge and figuring things out along the way.

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