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Let My People Play
Written by Ava

Holy Mozes! For the first time, we're not interviewing a band or a musician or a guitar player.

Lucky for you, this company can offer you an amazing way to get the most from your favorite entertainers, whether or not you actually meet them.

The Mozes network is a great way for musicians to communicate with and reach out to their fans even when their schedule is completely hectic. Using a mobile device, the band can interact with both text and voice.

The idea has quickly grown to be more successful than any band, singer, or musician ever imagined!

We had the opportunity to interview Mozes VP of Marketing and Communications Greg Estes (who believe it or not has had his own local success in the music industry, playing with a slew of local bands) and he gave us the lowdown on the world of Mozes.

What is Mozes and was its purpose?

Mozes is a mobile engagement platform, which means we offer a way for bands and artists to build a following and interact with fans on their mobile device using both text and voice. Mozes was founded on the idea that bands and artists need an effective way to reach their fans on their mobile devices, and that fans need to be able to trust that if they opt-in to participate in promotions or receive information from the bands they're interested in, that they can do so without worrying about spam or hidden charges. This idea has helped us to quickly become a leader in mobile marketing within the music industry.

Why is there a need for a technology like Mozes for music lovers?

Fans need a safe and consistent way to interact and engage with bands on their mobile phones. Without a service like Mozes, every band would have to construct their own approach to a mobile experience for their fans. From the fan perspective, it would end up being a spider web of interactions with activity from some bands causing them to, say, accidently opt-in for an expensive ringtone subscription, while another activity with a different band for a different promotion could be completely fine with them. We think in order for lots of fans to participate and interact with a band, there needs to be somebody who stands up and takes the fan view and protects them from spam and other bad practices. This ultimately helps the bands and artists, since fans more likely to use a trusted service like Mozes.

We also allow fans to set their own rules about when and how they are contacted, and bring them the opportunity to interact with more than 5,000 artists on Mozes that offer them inside information, cool promotions (like winning a signed guitar or backstage passes) and a chance to directly interact with their favorite artists and brands.

What kind of audience do you target?

Well, Mozes really has two audiences. The bands and labels (and their sponsors) are our customers, in the sense that they're the ones that pay us. Fans use our service for free (standard message rates apply, of course, depending on your mobile plan). In the fan sense, we target music lovers of all kinds. In terms of artists and labels, we offer something for a band that normally draws 80 people to a gig, all the way up to Britney Spears. Because we're 100% focused on mobile, from a fan perspective, that puts us in the strike zone of the age demographic that is really into texting and using their mobile phone for interaction, and that's 14-34, but no particular focus on one kind of music over another.

For our audience, can you name some of the bands that are featured in this tool?

Since a very high percentage of the major labels and larger independents are our customers, the range is pretty big, from Keith Urban and Brad Paisley in Country, to Lil Wayne and Pitbull on the Urban side, to Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson on the pop front, to edgier independents like Saving Abel, 3OH!3 and all the bands on punk labels like Epitaph.

When joining a mob, what kind of things does Mozes provide that maybe the user wouldn't be able to get on his own?

Lots of things. Bands often give away stuff like ringtones and wallpapers, but they also offer inside information, like knowing when their new single is hitting iTunes, or that they're going to be on TV tomorrow night so be sure to tune in and watch. Fans also get to interact with the artists in a way not possible with, say, Twitter. For instance, Rascal Flatts polled their mobile fan list to ask them what song they should pick for their next single. If you're a Flatts fan, how cool is that? The other day my phone rang and it was a voice message from Keith Urban. Again, if you're a fan of a band or artist, that kind of thing is very, very cool. Another thing fans can do is leave messages for the artists (as well as get messages back, as I said). Some artists, particularly the Hip Hop and Country types, will listen to fan messages, pick ones they like, and actually tape themselves for YouTube calling that fan back live.

Are there ways that musicians and guitar players/teachers can benefit from Mozes?

The most effective way musicians can use Mozes is to build a fan following, connecting to them on their mobile phone. That will help them drive people to gigs, sell tickets, sell merch and sell music. That basic idea can also extend to lots of things besides musicians, of course. There are companies that use this same technology to interact with their customers or prospective customers. Line 6 is a good example. Starting in October, they'll use Mozes in a trial in specific markets to allow musicians to text in to get more info about their products or call in to hear how a new amp or effect sounds or to hear artists talk about how they got that killer lead sound. That's a good example of taking advantage of the power of mobile, both for Line 6 and for the musician. Right there, in the store, you can get additional info on a product you're interested in at the moment you're inspired to make a purchase. Looking on the web 6 hours later isn't the same thing.

What is Mozes doing for the music world?

As I said, we're connecting artists to fans, and at the end of the day if you're either a musician, a manager, a label, a venue, or the guy selling t-shirts at the merch counter, it's about having more people hear the music and ideally getting paid for it. When you build a following, you're setting yourself up to have more people hear your work and increasing your chances of making a living at it.

I heard you are in a band that's popular in the Silicon Valley area. Tell me about your band and about the music scene in that area.

Right now, I'm primarily focused on helping Mozes grow but I do continue to sit in with bands here and there. I'm playing with some excellent blues players at the moment in a band called Chrome Deluxe that's just now forming. In terms of the scene in the Bay Area, I think by any measure this has been an amazing birthplace for great music and it continues to spawn new artists that make an impact on the national scene.

For the latest on what's happening at Mozes, check out the Mozes blog.
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