One month after the RIAA shuttered mixtape-generator Website Muxtape, its founder, Justin Ouellette, has come forward — announcing the site will turn into "a service exclusively for bands" on Muxtape.com.
Ouellette reports that the site exploded nearly overnight — there were almost 9,000 users registered on the first day, and 100,000 by the first month. After the RIAA ordered Muxtape to shut down, "It was extremely frustrating," Ouellette tells Rolling Stone. "It's been really tough, very emotional. The popularity of the site totally freaked me out." Though legal experts theorized that he had a case, unable to afford the estimated $2-3 million it would cost to defend himself against the RIAA, Ouellette closed the Website. "I talked to a lot of very smart lawyers," he says. "The only consensus seemed to be that there was no consensus. It was a don't-ask-don't-tell kind of thing."
So Muxtape will be reborn in several weeks as a place for unknown bands to launch extensive profile pages (downloads, tour calendars, photos, etc.) and take advantage of a new player that will be embeddable anywhere on the Web. "I realize this is a somewhat radical shift in functionality, but Muxtape's core goals haven't changed," Ouellette writes on Muxtape. He tells us that he hopes to break new talent and expose acts to tech savvy fans.
As for that other site that launched this week, MySpace Music, Ouellette thinks it will fail. "It will crumble because they aren't offering anything new, " says Ouellette. "It's not well organized, it's outdated and irrelevant. MySpace has a scummy feel. Bands tend to do it because other bands do it." In the meantime, Muxtape-like sites including MixTube.org, Favtape, and Delatube, have picked up some traffic. "The industry will catch up some day," Ouellette says. "It pretty much has to."