During the Web boom in 1999, Fastmusic, a fledgling music company in New York City, hired Jimmy Winter to create its Web site. That experience, combined with his interactions with label representatives he met booking concerts such as Dashboard Confessional at his local club in Omaha, taught Winter what it takes to run a record label. Before long, he noticed an opportunity. Small, independent labels, or at least the ones he worked with, lacked efficient management systems to share information with each other. A lot of small labels have members on the road with bands, or no office at all, so Winter decided to invent a way for them to stay up-to-date in real time. "They were using Filemaker Pro, Excel, even file cabinets," says Winter.
In 2003, Winter launched Music Arsenal, his Web-based management software, with the goal of bringing labels' management systems into the modern age. For the first two years, Winter built the company in his spare time and only had one client, a small independent. Since going at it full-time last year, Winter has attracted 19 more clients, including Atlantic Records Lifestyle Promotions and renowned indies Light In The Attic and We The People Records. He estimates 2006 revenues to be roughly $50,000 to $60,000, and he'll soon bring on a partner.
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