What is Earbits?
Wow, you ask great questions.
Earbits was designed with one goal in mind – to make it dead simple for artists and music lovers to find each other, and create meaningful connections. Earbits is streaming music built by musicians and music lovers, for musicians and music lovers.
Our team of experts brings you the best independent music from around the world, hand-curated and served up hot with all the trimmings. You'll find great high resolution photos, live show information, band merchandise, and plenty of social features to share the experience with your friends.
You won't find commercials. You won't find unrelated ads. And you won't find subscription fees.
You are also very unlikely to find the Top 40 music that you can get everywhere else. You can get that stuff sandwiched between daily deal commercials on hundreds of Big Brother-owned media conglomerates currently bringing you the same old mainstream experience. That's not what we do. Our job is to showcase high quality music and bring you and our artists closer together.
Does that mean I won't hear anybody popular?
We're glad you asked. We said it would be independent, but trust us, there's plenty of heavyweights. You'll find Primus, Widespread Panic, My Morning Jacket and other awesome musicians with strong followings. But you'll really know what Earbits is all about when your ears perk up to the sounds of Jesse Thomas, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Rosie and Me, or Ivory Drive. If you have never heard these incredible artists, you deserve a better music experience.
How can you have no ads, no commercials, and no subscriptions, and still keep the lights on?
The reason that Earbits can have no ads, commercials or fees is because our "advertisers" aren't your normal radio sponsors. We never got into this to use our bands' music to sell cars and fast food, which is why you won't find those sponsors on our site.
We want be the most effective platform for helping high quality independent bands find new fans and turn them into customers. What that means is that the bands are our customers and clients. Rather than doing everything we can to take the focus off of our bands and put it on our corporate sponsors, some of our artists pay for sleeker profiles and increased exposure, and we focus on building tools that help them get real, sustainable value.
One way we’ve done that is with Groovies™, the first social currency designed to let users pay for streaming music by taking actions that give value back to artists and record labels.
Groovies are a fun and easy way for our users to earn credits for supporting artists. Whether you’re spreading the word about an artist through social sharing, or checking into a live show (coming soon!), if you’re supporting the artists, you’re earning Groovies. Then, you use Groovies to access unlimited on-demand music and Groovie rewards.
Simply put, Groovies are the currency that’s going to change the way people access and pay for music, and it’s going to create massive, sustainable careers for thousands of musicians.
I love Earbits. How can I help?
Wow. Thanks for asking! Helping Earbits is simple. Find a band you like? Share them with your friends using our easy tools, and go see a show or buy their album. Think what we're doing is cool? Tell people! The bigger we get, the more artists we can help, and the more great independent music we can bring to our audience. Every little thing helps, and we can use all of the support our fans can give us. More importantly, our bands can use that support even more.
And with that...let's introduce the people behind Earbits. These are the ones building our technology,curating our music, and making Earbits a real business that can help artists for years to come.
Chief Executive Officer
Joey dropped out of high school when he was 16 to pursue a career at Taco Bell. By 18, he was a broken-hearted car salesman. Two years later, he and some friends went to a Tool concert in Los Angeles and he decided that moving there seemed like a good way to piss off his parents. It was that year that Flores finally sat behind the drums that he had always wanted to play.
Since then, Joey was head of business development for a startup that got bought by a big ass company. He took over operations of the startup after that and grew it from $19M to $48M in two years. It was awesome.
With the money his kind bosses departed on him for his contribution, and pages of raps he had written, he formed a very expensive band with Yotam Rosenbaum and recorded an album that is his greatest accomplishment (so far). When it came time to market the album, he figured it would be a piece of cake. It was not.
It seems that nobody has really figured out how to run effective online marketing for new music. And so, that’s what Joey is doing now. Figuring out how to run effective online marketing for new music. Once he cracks the nut he will return to the stage, hopefully to play for more than the 50 people he used to play for.
Joey’s favorite kind of music is Tool.
EVP of Music and Artist Relations
When he was five years old Yotam started taking piano lessons. A few years later he was terribly disappointed to learn that playing piano requires practice. As a result he started playing trumpet (stupid move, as trumpet is one of the most demanding instruments on the planet) and spent the majority of his coming of age making his neighbors miserable. His real passion as a kid was for the drums, but for some reason he was convinced that drums are for bad boys who fail at school, and he didn’t want to be perceived as one. Only at 17 he got over the shame and became a drummer, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA (that last part is BS, they don't even have GPA in Israel).
He later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, majoring in composition, but he failed the Latin class and couldn’t understand the meaning of it all. Upon graduation he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a composer. He composed music for a bunch of TV shows, commercials, and movies. He also produced a few CDs, and composed music which was performed and recorded by seriously good musicians. Yotam won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, the JCCP Award, and the 2010 Hummus Man Award. Anyone who knows the details of these competitions will tell you that the Hummus Man award is by far the most impressive.
Yotam’s favorite kinds of music are jazz and classical.
Yotam curates the following channels: Jazz, Classical, Contemporary Composers, World
Roshmond "Sum" Patten
Artist Relations Manager, Hip Hop and R&B
Sum once battled Busta Rhymes while lighting Mos Def’s cigarette. He once dodged a fist fight with Cee-Lo Green, survived Yo-Yo’s dancefloor seduction, performed with the Dalai Lama, and was interrogated in a strip club by Kool Keith. A member of Black Sheep stole his mom’s car in the 80s, and Method Man accidentally kicked him in the forehead with a Timberland boot in the 90s. Lauryn Hill had a crush on him for ten minutes and invited him backstage for mac and cheese. He has discussed lunch plans in a dominatrix house with Too $hort, who was casually spanking a Russian babe during the conversation. Too $hort suggested $5 footlongs from Subway. Sum once participated in a barter with a member of The Pharcyde that involved bison burgers, a Triple 5 Soul jacket and a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Point is, hip-hop culture is Sum’s life, and it has taken him to some interesting places.
The North Carolina kid always loved music, but became unhealthily obsessed after his mom convinced him to play the clarinet. In a music-lust trance that lasted two years, he wrote clarinet covers of everything that was hot on the radio in the late 80s; from 3rd Bass to Michael Penn. As you can imagine, everything sounded more awesome on clarinet. This love for songwriting lead him to become a daredevil emcee & songsmith in modern times who has moonlit as a copywriter, social media manager for Fortune 500 clients, major magazine editor, DJ and hip-hop journalist. In 2008, he innovated and managed his own online community, The Good Look, designed to empower and market indie artists using a novel subscription-based model that many have since emulated. His many hats are the source of his many skills and his many strange stories. Pints of Guinness Stout and Jameson shots are the quickest way to get these tales out of him.
Sum’s favorite kind of music is classic Blues and De La Soul, but he has deep love for all genres.
Sum curates the following channels: Hip Hop, R&B/Soul
Artist Relations Manager, Rock and Pop
Scott Feldman received a degree in creative writing & literature from The University of Wisconsin in 2005 - said degree hangs, obsolete, on a paint chipped wall at his parents’ house on Long Island. Shortly after fulfilling his academic potential, Scott moved to Los Angeles, where he started a mediocre rock band. Almost immediately after its inception, Scott’s first difficult decision as bandleader was to fire the most mediocre element of the band; drummer Joey Flores, current CEO of startup online radio company Earbits Inc.
Joey’s departure hit the band harder than Scott anticipated; it was eventually forced to disband entirely. After a slew of odd and miserable jobs, Scott was hired to go on several tours across the US & the world as a guitarist, keyboardist and background vocalist. In 2007 Scott started his own music production company, Darkbloom Productions, and the following year was hired to assist in the music production and supervision of FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy. Scott has since composed, produced & musically directed for a bunch of very impressive people and companies!
Scott’s favorite type of music is lo-fi, hipster stuff and the predecessor of everything, The Beatles.
Scott curates the following channels: Rock, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Metal, Pop
Business Development Manager
Randy Goss is Earbits's resident Jack of All Trades and a proud student of the YouTube Online School of Video Tutorials (graduated with honors). A drummer, bass player, guitar dabbler and writer of at least two raps, pre-Earbits Randy was in a number of Sacramento-area bands while he dabbled in publishing and podcast production, focusing mostly on the world of mixed martial arts.
After Randy realized that the easiest way to get your ass kicked in M.M.A. is to start a print publication about it, he joined the Earbits team, where he has proven to be capable of anything. He quickly moved up the ranks from peon, to business development peon, to somehow finagling his way into a manager role (suckers!). Now, he is secretly the CEO, quietly sneaking into the office at night like a shoe-maker's elf, sewing up loose ends left by Earbits's fake CEO, Joey Flores.
Randy has been widely hailed as a savior to the music industry. When he isn't single-handedly saving the world, Randy watches baseball (Go A's!).
His favorite bands include Tool, Diego's Umbrella and the now defunct M.I.L.F. Magnet.
Content Manager, Electronic, New Age and Christian
Jiho Choi was born in Seoul, Korea. His father an opera singer, his mother a piano teacher, they were broke, living the struggled life of musicians.
At the age of one, Jiho moved to Italy so that his father could pursue studies. Jiho quickly picked up on local culture, smoking unfiltered cigarettes and drinking coffee with people much older than him. His father won several prestigious awards, including the greatest of them all, the International Tchaikovsky Voice Competition. With new opportunities at hand, Jiho insisted his parents move him to the US, where he lived in Queens and New Jersey and back again. It was there that Jiho took to appreciating the classics, like MC Hammer and Wu-Tang Clan, and of course, the King of Queens - Nas.
In 1996, Jiho made it his mission to spread hip hop across Korea. He moved back to Seoul and started an online hip hop community called "Word Up", which started out with 10 users and later boasted 7,000 members. Choi picked up his first Atari computer with the Notator sequencing program and started making beats. Unfortunately, his teacher was a scam artist and stole his equipment.
It was a setback.
In 10th grade he got back into beatmaking but his parents, afraid that he would struggle as they did, wouldn't allow him to pursue music professionally. Jiho was devastated and ran away from home for an entire week.
It didn't stop him, though. Ultimately Jiho would graduate from Kyung Hee University in Korea with a Bachelors degree in music composition, and start a band called 3rd Coast. They released three albums, one of them on one of the biggest major labels in Korea. But the label meddled, trying to dress the band up in strange attire. It did not go well.
Behind the scenes, dressed in regular clothes, Jiho had a side job as rap teacher and lyricist for Korean pop artists. Many of the groups he worked with hit number one on the charts.
In 2004, traveling through Europe with friends, Jiho's taste in music took a turn. First he got into Funky/Soulful House, then a crazy Trance era, goind deeper still into Tribal/Progressive House music, and ultimately settling with a focus on Downtempo or Deep/Tech House. Jiho started a couple labels called Elephant Music and Diggindonuts with friends but left them to come to Los Angeles.
In 2010, Jiho moved to LA and did what all LA transplants do - he got con'd by a scumbag landlord. His band broke up, his friendships exploded, and it seemed all hell was breaking loose. It was then Jiho decided to go back to school at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
In 2011, he met Yotam Rosenbaum of Earbits, was recruited to manage all electronic music for the hot internet startup, and that is where he is today, biding his time until Hammer pants and 3rd Coast both make a long-anticipated comeback.
Jiho curates the following channels: Electronic, Christian, New Age
Content Manager, Country, Blues and Folk
Adam was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to a psychiatrist father and school teacher mother. He spent his childhood getting winks from the ladies from within his mother's Mazda minivan, listening to casette tapes of the Jacksons. Meaning Alan Jackson and Michael Jackson.
His family relocated to a remote part of southwestern Virginia in the Appalachian mountains. Adam taught himself to play the guitar and performed with southern rock and heavy metal bands throughout his teens. Subsiding on primarily tomato and mayo sandwiches during these years, he managed to achieve a perfect score on the prestigious and alluring National Latin Exam. While living in this part of the country, he heard the region's native music, bluegrass, for the first time. He eventually became enchanted by its awesomeness and got his first banjo when he was 18.
Hall went on to major in music at the University of Virginia. After completing his studies (dean's list, bitches!), and a brief stint of living in the northern Mississippi hill country, Adam packed up his banjo, threw a stick-with-clothes-bundle over his shoulder, and headed to Los Angeles. He attended Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where nearly everybody had arrived donning a stick-with-clothes-bundle, and earned a degree in guitar performance.
Adam now gigs regularly in southern California, playing guitar, banjo, and dobro (not all at once, although that would make him really fucking cool), and has headlined a national tour as a member of country artist Jason Charles Miller's band. He has had the pleasure of some great gigs, opening for Alan Jackson at the Greek Theatre, opening for country star Gary Allan, and performing at the Stagecoach festival.
Adam's favorite music is Country and Bluegrass.
Adam curates the following channels: Country, Blues, Folk
We have a bad ass team of technologists – PhD’s and stuff. But we don’t list these guys because then recruiters call them all of the time offering them better salaries. If you want to recruit people, call our music department. Musicians are a dime a dozen.
We did not make this part funny. Frankly, we’re lucky our advisors even talk to us. They’re geniuses and professionals, except for Chris Lyman. Chris Lyman beats his employees, especially Corey Brundage.
Member, Board of Advisors
Corey Brundage is a stimulation junkie and startup entrepreneur with specialization in product, marketing, sales, and engineering disciplines for Internet and communications companies. With over 15 years of autodidactic experience at market-leading startups and established public companies, Corey lives to disrupt stodgy, well-established industries with new and innovative solutions. Most recently, Corey was Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Fonality, focused on bringing affordable VoIP business solutions to the world.
Member, Board of Advisors
Avichal Garg is the CTO of PrepMe (www.PrepMe.com), which uses complex machine learning technology to create highly personalized learning experiences for SAT and ACT test preparation. Prior to cofounding PrepMe, Garg was a Product Manager at Google, first in Search Quality, working on the core of the search engine, where he received an Executive Management Group award for outstanding performance, and then in Ads Quality on the core advertising engine. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University and an M.S. in Management Science from Stanford University.
J. Alex Hartzler
Member, Board of Advisors
Alex Hartzler is the Founding Investor and Chairman of the Board for Sarona Frontier Markets Fund, LP, and Managing Partner of WCI Partners, LP. Focused on fundraising and due diligence, Hartzler’s work through Sarona aims to deploy capital to positively impact the lives of poor communities while delivering a modest return on investment. WCI focuses on urban real estate projects, including restoration, adaptive re-use and conversion of urban structures. Prior to Sarona and WCI, Alex was Executive Vice President and a Member of the Board of Directors for Webclients – a peformance marketing group. There Alex was responsible for Strategic and Corporate Development, ultimately leading to their $140M acquisition by Valueclick in 2005. He earned his J.D. with honors from The George Washington University in Washington D.C.
Member, Board of Advisors
Dina Hellerstein is a 13-year veteran of the music industry. After doing time in a Big NYC Law Firm, Hellerstein moved to LA to join EMI Music as the VP of Legal and Business Affairs. She played a key role in their early digital distribution efforts before becoming VP and Associate General Counsel for Yahoo! Music. At Yahoo!, Dina oversaw internet radio and other music offerings, helping shape the law around webcasting in the US. Most recently, she has provided digital media consulting for Myspace Music, Kazaa and Veoh. She received her JD from Columbia University.
Member, Board of Advisors
Jordon Keltz serves as CEO of Seniors for Living (www.seniorsforliving.com), a performance-based marketing company that provides lead generation services for senior housing communities. Prior to establishing SFL as an industry leader, Keltz was President of ClassesUSA, where he established exclusive partnerships with MSN, AOL and Yahoo! that drove the company’s annual revenue to $60 million and ultimately led to its acquisition by Experian in 2005.
Member, Board of Advisors
As CTO and President of Technology for Ooyala.com, Knapp oversees all engineering and helps define and execute the company’s product strategies. Before founding Ooyala, Sean worked at Google, where he developed and launched iGoogle, the company’s popular customizable home page. He also was a tech lead for Google’s legendary Web Search team, helping that team increase Google revenues by $1 billion. Sean’s focus at Stanford and at Google was human-computer interactions and personalized user experience. Sean has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Member, Board of Advisors
Chris Lyman is Chairman and founder of Fonality (www.fonality.com), a telecommunications leader named the #1 Rising Star in Los Angeles by Deloitte. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Intel Capital, and Azure Capital Partners. Prior to founding Fonality, Lyman built and sold Virtualis to Allegiance Telecom (NASDAQ: ALGX) in late 2000, re-branded it to Hosting.com, and joined the Allegiance management team as Vice President of Web Hosting Services. There he led the acquisition and roll-up of additional hosting firms. In 1994, prior to Virtualis, Chris founded a media-focused systems integration firm in Los Angeles. He is a licensed SCCA-Pro driver and owns a motor sports racing team.
"When I first saw Earbits, I couldn't believe my eyes. Worlds collided, rivers flowed upstream, birds sang in languages that could only be described as the purest form of unconditional love. Since that day, no other radio will do. I have lost my wife and children, but I don't care. All I care about is Earbits." Anonymous