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On a personal note… Vincent Reinders (Venz)

I can’t believe it’s been 12 months already! I won’t talk too much about the incredible ride, Gilles already wrote enough about it last week. This little idea of mine has become an online jukebox with 22 genres and over 12,000 unique listeners, a number that continues to grow daily. I will take a moment to thank our DJs. They select great new music every week and make it ever so easy for the rest of us to discover it all.

We’ve been connecting with more and more labels, both majors and independents, to see how we can support each other. The music industry has learned a lot these past years and knows that it’s not helping anyone by killing a service like 22tracks, and I want to thank those labels for their patience to let us grow too. Several people have called us crazy: an online music startup! What were we thinking? What a dangerous world, what a hard way to earn money! Well, we’re not in it for the money. We just have to pay the rent, our server costs and licensing (a sum that’s not little at all, of course, but we think the artists and composers deserve it).

3,300 Twitter followers and 4,600 Facebook fans prove that we may be on to something. In an online world crowded with artists, songs and music services, selection is badly needed. Now let’s grow. We will continue to improve the website and will start with guest-playlists soon (where interesting people will have a one-week-special). Expect State Awards and Museumnacht (n8) specials in November. And let’s hope Apple approves our iPhone app any minute now, otherwise we will have to wait a little longer for that… (For those who don’t know: it’ll be a free app, available in the Netherlands only for now.)

I hope to see all you Dutch listeners this Friday when we celebrate 22tracks’ 1 Year Anniversary party at the Sugar Factory in Amsterdam. Ten 22tracks DJs will be spinning, I will be your host for the evening and Venour – who built our website – will be VJ’ing. The first 222 attendees will receive a goodiebag with an exclusive, brand new 22tracks T-shirt provided by Doors open at 19.00, be early!

On a personal note… Gilles de Smit

Wow. What a year! 22tracks launched at last year’s ADE and is still growing steady, every day, thanks to you. By spreading the word of good new music to your friends on Twitter, Facebook or face to face. We now welcome over 12,000 unique listeners each day, most of you from The Netherlands (liefde!).

Much has happened for me this last year—besides no longer having a steady income or any spare time. It all started with this little idea from Vincent Reinders (you might know him from the HipHop and Relax genres). This tall and very unhealthy living radio DJ guy had an idea after he got asked the same question over and over again: “Where do you find these tracks? Oh come on, send me some MP3s!”. The concept of playlists curated by expert DJs and journalists was born. Free, streamable genre-based playlists curated by experts, leading you through the thick forest straight to the new music gems. Legally, and with the utmost respect for artists and songwriters.

I joined this adventurous ride back in August/September of 2009, only shortly before 22tracks launched officially on the 22nd of October 2009. We started with next to nothing ready, and no money available for any kind of PR campaign. Vincent has made sure everything sounds and looks good while I’ve been working on the more commercial and legal side of the business. The DJs have been digging for fresh new music and finding the hottest tracks, while we have been convincing the music industry and at the same time hoping that you, the listener, would enjoy it all. Well, everybody did. Including our amazing partners and pro bono advisory board.

Now, nearly a year later, I can easily say that I’m pretty damn proud of what 22tracks has accomplished so far. Despite us having to delay the iPhone app, nothing has gone seriously wrong. We’ve managed to survive a full year! We’ve even won some awards! We are still independent, we are still having the same fun as when we started, we are still bringing you the best new music. We’re celebrating that!

These last two weeks, working towards this year’s ADE—where we’ll be hosting the 22tracks 1 Year Anniversary party on the 22nd of October at the Sugar Factory—have been, and still are insanely busy and nerve-wrecking at times. We will be announcing and launching a lot that day: the release of the highly anticipated 22tracks iPhone app (that has finally been submitted to Apple last Friday), new features for the website and a redesigned logo. Cool new DJ head shots have been made. In the coming week we will continue to work our asses off, making sure that everything is in check. It won’t be long anymore. Will we see you on October 22!?

P.S. Two things you should know about our upcoming 22tracks iPhone app release: (1) It is awaiting review by Apple, and our hope is that it will be accepted before the 22nd of October so that we can present it on our 1 Year Anniversary at ADE. (2) The app will be made available within The Netherlands and therefore in the Dutch App Store only (for now).

<3 new music!

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