net records home page

NetRecords is no more…

NetRecords was my second ever start-up, if you could call it that. Back in 2006, my friend Jack and I wondered what would happen if you crossed MySpace with iTunes and added in some band/artist management tools. Could we enable a generation of musicians to bypass the record labels and take themselves to market with a greater level of professionalism, and keep a larger slice of their revenues? Could we create a platform for a new type of music impresario, managing a portfolio of acts through our platform?

Jack and I worked up some designs (OK, Jack did all the designing – he was the one with the visual skills) and sourced a development partner in India. We sunk a couple of grand of our own money into getting a first proof of concept built.

It was terrible.

Neither of us knew enough about code or software development to have written a proper brief, or to understand what the development company had done. It was near unusable.

Short on cash but increasingly busy with our other business – an ‘intelligent content-driven marketing agency’, called The Lever, we pivoted. NetRecords slowly became a platform for hosting websites for friends who were DJs or musicians. Graeme Park, Darryl Morris, Hattie Pearson, Andy Bush, and others paid us a few quid a month to help them get their online presence up and running. We had a deal with a local rock photographer to sort out their images. And we even had our own iPhone app – a new thing in those days – that would pull in all their content.

I kept on supporting these sites long after The Lever had become AND Digital after being acquired, and long after Jack and I both left that business (sadly defunct after the acquiring company went under). But over the last few years I’ve slowly transitioned all the remaining clients to SquareSpace and other platforms.

I hold on to the domain for sentimental value and this page is just a memorial to what I still think was a great idea. The lesson remains a valid one: ideas, even great ones, are easy. Execution is hard.

Tom (2019)

page from the last net records website

Tom Cheesewright