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Corporate music disruption

Madison’s music scene continues to inspire digital music innovation — and vice versa.

(page 4 of 4)

Murfie’s law

Rex Mangat is quick to say that Murfie, the music collection platform he oversees, has always strived to help music lovers cultivate deeper connections with the unique soundtracks of their lives. Its universe, he notes, has been built by music collectors and for music collectors.

Disc jockeying for position: Rex Mangat (center) and the staff at Murfie offer a cloud-based service to help music lovers transform their CD collections into a digital format on their favorite device.

That certainly was true at the time of its founding as a cloud-based service to help music lovers transform their CD collection into a digital format they can take anywhere on their favorite device. Instead of buying music from Apple, users in the network could buy, sell, or trade CDs with actual people.

Today, it not only means digitizing collections and providing high-fidelity sound, it also means streaming on mobile apps for iOS or Android, desktop, and a variety of premium hardware devices.

Mangat, who is Murfie’s chief executive officer, can only anticipate a constant state of evolution as the company grows in terms of user engagement and inventory of discs. Murfie has accumulated more than 900,000 albums, which would make it the largest high-fidelity music marketplace in the world. Mangat would venture to say Murfie’s user base is the most passionate music community in the world, simply based on how they use the site, their actions, and their transactions.

“Our service has always been evolving as more people start to demand higher quality listening experiences,” he states, “and we’re planning on a whole slew of new features, playback features, and collection-management features that will allow people to digitize their collections and provide a more meaningful, convenient, and higher quality listening experience.”

The small, hard-working staff tends to alternate between building the album collection that is put on the market and focusing on digital development and experience.

As for Murfie’s potential for disruption, Mangat says music is disruptive by its very nature. Before Matt Younkle founded the company in 2011, the idea for came to him after relocating, and the hassle of moving a collection of several hundred CDs made him think there had to be a better way. In the future, Mangat believes Murfie is on the cusp of capturing a new, resurgent interest in high-fidelity audio, and he’s excited to see how that unfolds. There’s a lot of demand for people to enjoy music in a way that speaks to them on a deeper level, “and it’s an exciting and humbling opportunity to help people on that journey,” he states.

None of this evolution or disruption would be possible, Mangat believes, if Madison were not a phenomenal place for music innovation. Mangat, who has been a local disc jockey for 10 years, is often surprised by the mix and variety of people who attend his shows. “Not only do we have the potential to be a digital music hotspot, we’re very much on our way there,” Mangat states. “We’ve got a talent pool that is second to none. We also have a striving, collaborative startup community, and most importantly, we have a city with music in its DNA.”

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