Inflyte is the market-leading pre-release promo platform founded in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2014. The company was founded by touring DJ and producer Paul Hamil and soon developed a reputation for building innovative technology solutions in the music promo space, launching the first ever offline mobile apps for promo delivery and pioneering cloud-storage delivery of digital promos from the very beginning.
Just three years later, the company is a real industry standard and has delivered over 30 million promos to users in 183 countries worldwide, on behalf of 5,000 independent, major record labels and PR agency clients based in over 60 countries.
The platform is also integrated with Pioneer DJ Rekordbox, Dropbox, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Maps and Twitter and here we chat exclusively with the man behind it all.
How many people work and Inflyte? What do they do day to day?
We’re currently a team of five, all working remotely, based between Belfast, Berlin and Portugal. Myself and Paulie are co-founders and are both based in Belfast. Paulie is co-founder CTO and heads up everything on technical side of things, all our technology is designed and built in-house.
Niambh looks after our technical support and is responsible for providing support for our customers who are based in over 60 countries and users who are in in 180 countries worldwide. Kyle is our Content Editor in Berlin. He’s responsible for all the content and features for our editorial site Inflyte Plus. We created Inflyte Plus a few years ago to help support some of the labels and artists who use Inflyte by giving them a platform to get some coverage on to help push things forward. Niall is our Finance Officer and he’s based in Portugal. I look after all the day to day operations, as well as business and product development.
What were your main gripes and frustrations with promos as a touring DJ before you started this company?
Before we started Inflyte in 2014, I was working at the BBC in Belfast for over a decade presenting a show called ATL Dance, which was developed to help promote home-grown Irish electronic artists and give them their first airplay and radio mixes. At the same time I was hopping on a plane and touring most weekends as one half of act called Psycatron that was signed to R&S, Planet E and various labels.
I was being sent an incredible amount of new promos every week from labels using various systems, most of which were horrendous to use. None of the systems offered any sort of mobile optimisation and the amount of promo spam lists I was added to made the process increasingly frustrating. There were weekends where i’d spend ridiculous amounts of my time in planes or sat in airports. I wanted to find a way to use this time productively, by going through promos for either my DJ sets or my radio sets while on the road. At that stage promo delivery was completely email based and you were reliant on decent internet connection to listen and download them.
It was during a 14 hour layover in a Russian airport that the idea for Inflyte was born. Initially we wanted to develop a mobile app for promos, that provided offline sync and cloud storage integration, but as we looked closer at the way things were being done back then, realised there was whole lot more we could do to really transform the promo side of things both for DJs and labels.
How has the company had to evolve and change over the years as the digital world has grown?
We’re a technology company first and foremost. We build tools to deliver music. Right from the beginning we’ve adopted a very open approach to the Inflyte platform. We’re constantly looking for ways we can add additional value for our clients and users, whether that’s by integrating Dropbox, Google Maps, Rekordbox or even the voice activation with Amazon’s Alexa which we rolled out a few years back.
We could sense four or five years ago, that email was rapidly becoming the compact disc of the music industry when it came to promo delivery and our focus has always been about finding new ways for users to engage with the music our clients send. Over the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen considerable growth in mobile and web access through the Inflyte promo dashboard. The Inflyte dashboard has now become the most popular way for our users to discover new music on Inflyte. We keep a very close eye on how users interact with Inflyte and the music being delivered on Inflyte and this helps informs future decisions we make around the platform when it comes to product development.
What have you learnt about the ways to draw people in to check promos when they get so many? What are the key principles?
You have to get the simple things right, first time. If you are sending out promos and there’s any friction in the process for the end-users, you’ve lost them before you’ve even began.
Attention spans are short, and patience is thin. We built the bones of Inflyte in the space of 2-3 years, but have spent the last 5 years refining it, optimising it and fine-tuning it to deliver the best results for our clients and the best user experience for clients and end-users. It sounds like pretty basic stuff, but if users like using the software, they will use it more, they will discover more new music, the labels will get more feedback and the users come back for more.
Tell us about Rekordbox integration and why you have moved to launch that?
We started talking to Pioneer about 3 years agree during ADE, they were already big fans of Inflyte and wanted Inflyte to be part of the next evolution of Rekordbox which was also going to host the likes of Beatport Link and Soundcloud Go as integration partners. Around 75% of Inflyte users are also Rekordbox users, so this was an integration that made perfect sense for everyone. Delivering music directly from Inflyte to Rekordbox is a huge win for both DJs and record labels and it’s all about making the process of promo management as frictionless as possible for DJs and users.
Once users leave feedback on a promo on Inflyte, the promo will automatically appear in their Rekordbox. The feedback DJs leave on Inflyte, gets embedded in the meta-data of the track and appears in Rekordbox along with the track from the promo that they favourited and the rating they gave it, which is super handy if they’ve just gone though hundreds of promos and have started to create playlists for their sets within the Rekordbox application as they have data points to refer to from the work they’ve done on Inflyte. The integration also means DJs no longer have to think about what device they are on when accessing Inflyte promos, the music they rate will all be available for them when they next login to Rekordbox.
There is also lots of data gathered by your system – what is it and why is it important?
Inflyte provides labels with a considerable amount of data, that’s what we do – we deliver music and collect data for our clients. The success of Inflyte, is in many ways defined by the success of our clients campaigns, so providing as much data as possible helps them better target the right DJs, with the right music.
We have a button on our all Inflyte promos called the ‘Not For Me’ button. The idea for this came from seeing DJs write ‘Not For Me’ in campaign reports when I used to run my own label.
If DJs receive a promo they don’t like, they click ‘Not For Me’ and never see it again. I think some DJs are afraid to use this button for fear of offending someone, but labels want to see both positive and negative feedback so it’s super valuable to them. It’s important for labels as it helps inform so many decisions from A&R to marketing and promotion.
What other innovations might you have up your sleeve in future?
Inflyte’s product roadmap for the next 6-12 months is really exciting and we’re in the middle of testing loads of new stuff that’s going to be rolled-out very very soon.
More info on that below
Current Features of Inflyte:
● Preview and sync tracks from your Inflyte Promo Locker directly within rekordbox
● Promo feedback submitted on Inflyte now appears in the comments field in rekordbox
● The star rating left on Inflyte now appears in rekordbox
● Favourited tracks clearly marked with a heart icon in rekordbox
● Optional Dropbox sync auto-syncs to rekordbox
● Tracks are auto-analysed ready for use
● Choose from available formats wav, aiff, mp3
● Rich meta-data transfer from Inflyte to rekordbox including wav files.