Haulix is a platform for discreetly sharing new and unreleased music with industry professionals around the world. We work with teams of all sizes, from independent artists to major labels, to keep music safe from piracy while providing a fully-customizable platform for digital promotion. We had the opportunity to chat with Matt about what all of this really means and how he got to where he is now.
What was the inspiration behind starting Haulix? Was working in music like this always a goal for you?
I played drums most of my life and in 2001, started a music reviewing website called MetalReview.com. As that site grew, I witnessed how many CDs publicists were mailing out and how much money they were spending on postage. At around the same time, I was getting my computer science degree. I figured there could be a better way of sending music to radio and press over the internet and technology could even protect that music from leaking. Haulix was started in 2009.
How does Haulix stand out compared to similar companies? What do you guys do that's special?
lol, everyone thinks they are special, don’t they? We have almost 10 years of traction in the industry. Press and radio are used to receiving our promos; there’s a huge overlap between many of our customers sending to the same music outlets. I think the main thing that sets us apart, is how we run our company and take care of our customers. We know most of our customers by first name and we answer our support tickets within 10-20 minutes of receiving them. There’s a very personable dynamic between us and those who use our services. And because of that, many of the first customers we acquired back in 2009 are still with us today.
Why do you think there is an ongoing need for services like Haulix?
I think it’s still important to hype up an album before it’s released and make sure people are aware of when it comes out; give them a little taste and protect it from leaking early. Then when it does get released and it’s been promoted through all of the channels using a service like ours, they have better opening sales.
I know that you have inaudible watermarks in your streams/downloads, can you walk me through the process of identifying a pirate?
Music streamed or downloaded through our system will have a unique number injected every few seconds throughout a track. That number is linked to a person in our database; it’s the original recipient of the respective promo. If tracks are found **somewhere** out on the internet, we have software that looks for those numbers we injected. If it finds them, with a quick lookup, we can pinpoint the person who originally received that promo. We then relay that information to the label or publicist and they proceed however they please.
What steps are taken after identification?
We are the middle man. Once we notify the publicist and send them the report, it’s out of our hands and they can slap the user on the wrist, remove them from their mailing list or take legal action. That’s their choice.
Where do you think that the future is going in terms of piracy and combating it?
It’s just too easy to share data or music now-a-days. Unless someone comes up with some global standard for music protection and everyone adopts it, I think piracy will continue to flourish. Publicists need to retain as much control over promotional copies as possible and after it’s released, monitor and issue takedown requests. If a leaker is caught with pre-released watermarked music, remove them from contact lists so that they don’t get free promos anymore. There are some big fish out there who share a lot of music. Taking them out of the equation can make a difference.
What are your plans for future development? Is there anything we should be looking forward to from Haulix?
Development never stops. Over the last 6 months, we’ve completely overhauled our infrastructure in favor of a more cloud based computing environment. It allows us to do a lot of cool things, like auto scale-out servers based on the time of day or traffic load.
We’re also overhauling our My Promos screen so that it has more filters to allow users to discover new promos more easily. We’re about to launch two factor authentication for our customers as another layer of security to protect their accounts. We’re also going to implement promo email scheduling so that publicists can setup their email blasts ahead of time and leave the office. And lastly, we’re speeding up streaming by caching watermarked MP3 files. We’re always busy — never a dull moment!