This Punk Disrupts Music Publishing In The Digital Age

From Fast Company:

No one was downloading BitTorrent albums when Matt Pincus, CEO of music publisher Songs, came up in New York’s hardcore punk scene. But the DIY ethic he adopted then guides him through the tumultuous music industry now.

Digital media threw record labels and the surrounding industries into chaos. But Matt Pincus, CEO of Songs, a music publishing firm specializing in web-driven business models, is uniquely suited to handle chaos. He built his first business in the swirling, kicking, elbow-throwing chaos of the early late-’80s, early-’90s New York City underground music scene as a member of cult hardcore punk rock band Judge.

“I wasn’t the best bass player, but I was really good at handling the band’s business,” Pincus tells Fast Company. “The big thing about the hardcore scene was DIY (Do It Yourself). The booking agencies, the record distros, everything was done for ourselves. Everything the mainstream music industry provides, there was a hardcore version of it. I was particularly interested in the business part–business affairs, publicity, touring. We even made our own ads and it was invaluable in building a career in the music business.”

Judge was one of the better-known bands in the CBGBs/New York scene of the late 1980s; after the band broke up, Pincus worked as a journalist at New York magazine before returning to the music industry in a behind-the-desk role. Prior to starting Songs, Pincus launched indie label Some Records and worked at EMI Group. Interestingly, Songs, which has been around since 2004, focuses as much on A&R, advocacy, and in-house tech development just as much as they do on publishing. The emphasis shift is necessary for music-related businesses in 2012 who function in a drastically different ecosystem.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Fast Company