efolkMusic Converts to Nonprofit, Aiming to “Save the Last Great Pickers on Earth”

(PRWEB) – Talk about ahead of their time, or, in Internet-speak, “bleeding
edge”: efolkMusic was selling downloads for a buck starting back in 1999, just
about four years ahead of Steve Jobs and Itunes.

Founded by North Carolina musician Chris Frank of the Tony award-winning Red
Clay Ramblers, the concept grew out of a desire to help musicians stay in what
he calls "high touch" with their fans. “The initial idea was to create a
resource that could present information about exceptional artists and distribute
their music in both spinning (CD) and non-spinning (AAC and MP3) formats

Frank says, “but we soon realized that users wanted more- information about
festivals, radio shows, performances, a place to discuss the music and artists-
in short, the ‘community’ features. Becoming a nonprofit allows us to place more
emphasis on these non-revenue producing areas
.”efolkMusic existed as a commercial website for 4 years before converting to a
nonprofit organization and receiving 501(c)(3) status in 2004. “Just like
every dance and theatre organization already knows, non-commercial art needs
public support. Folk music has never been profitable (except maybe for a brief
period in the late 60’s-early 70’s), and most certainly is not in today’s
McMedia world
.” Frank explains.

Support is starting to come from around the country: Web-Services of Willard, MO
is providing programming, RJS Networks of FL provides web hosting, and the
efolkMusic office now located in downtown Carrboro, NC is being subsidized by
the Public Gallery of Carrboro. “We have the working structure in place to
provide artists with a great service, thanks to these contributions- now we are
‘going public’ in the nonprofit sense, appealing to music fans to help us
capitalize the continued development

EfolkMusic has an average of 2500 visitors a day and is much more than a
distribution outlet for CDs and downloads. Fans can listen to streaming previews
of music available on the site, download promotional tracks, participate in the
discussion forum, read the online “Folkzine” and get information about folk
festivals, folk radio shows and live performances. Artist services include full
e-commerce capability for CDs and downloads, concert listings and promo CD
distribution to folk radio stations.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.