Mega Awesome Music Discovery: An interview with Evan Baken of Eft Mega

EftMega, a radical new, artist and consumer-friendly digital music store has just launched at
With the goal of becoming the go-to destination for all things independent, including metal, punk, emo, hardcore and more, EftMega provide a new platform for artists to sell music, retain rights, and control exposure and offers consumers a discovery system that properly connects fans to music and creates a meaningful engagement with the artist .
Artists and consumers can find more information at along with blog posts, editorial content and artist interviews, including a new Q&A with Bayside bassist Nick Ghanbarian.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with The Movielife drummer and artist manager Evan Baken to discuss the concept. This is what he told us about it.
Where did the concept for EftMega come from?
I came up with the idea for the site in 2012 while at grad school. After all my time working and performing in the music business it doesn’t make any sense to me that we have all the tools to help artists create and distribute their music affordably, but can’t effectively show people where to find stuff and convince them to pay for it. The sites that exist to sell downloads don’t convince consumers to pay, want bands to do all the work and most don’t effectively expose artists to new people. The subscription sites don’t pay the artists and are ruining the connection you get when people find and purchase music. I wanted to create a site that fixed all these issues and not only served to help artists today but also would have helped my band way back when. So, I came up with the site model and spent almost three years working to bring it to market.
Why is it important that this endeavor is artist run?
It’s not exactly artist run, it’s artist owned and by that I mean that every release is owned by the artist even if it comes out on a label. The importance of that is for the artist to have control over their own material and be the ultimate boss as how their music gets exploited. In this day and age no one has to be beholden to labels for multi album deals and sign away rights to their catalog anymore. Further, since albums can be made and distributed so much cheaper there is less of a need for an artist to require heavy sums of money to make and promote their albums. We are empowering the artist to take more control over their career and by doing so they will make more money and extend their shelf life. The site itself can be thought of as artist and consumer run since I am willing to listen to both sides and enhance the platform based on people’s suggestions. Everyone has a voice here, and anyone can influence and affect change.
Why is the cost of an album so low?
For the artist, the idea is that a lower price will get more sales, and since we are digital, most of the money on those sales can go right into the artist’s pocket. On a $10-$20 CD sale from the 1990s an artist was lucky to see $1 in royalties. We can pay out $5 on a $6.25 sale, so we are giving much more money to the artist while giving the consumer a much more affordable price and value. In an era where many people don’t want to pay directly for music an inexpensive flat price will make a purchase decision much easier.
Do the albums come with art and liner notes?  If not, do you think this undermines the experience of an album?
Every album download comes with three optional additional downloads. Our advice is that at least one of those be the album liner notes, layout and artwork, but that is up to the artist. The other two downloads can be anything the artist wants – pictures, coupons, bonus items, whatever.
Who developed the software for EftMega?  Is there a patent on the technology behind this?
My partner and I developed the basic site features and scene components. We created the ranking system and we are working to patent that feature. That in itself is unique and I believe we are just scratching the surface as far as how it can help bands, expose them and direct consumers. The rest of the site build out was handled by our web team.
Are there outside investors or venture capitalists that subsidized this project? If so, no Martin Shikreli, right?
Nobody. Everything you see and all the stuff you don’t see; the logarithms, the coding, the databases etc. have all been paid for by myself and my friend. We are the owners and sole controllers. And believe me, it would have been way easier to get this thing off the ground with investment capital, and would have been even easier to dump a bunch of money on ads and extra incentives to get bigger artists, but that has never been our business model. We are going to grow this slowly and steadily on our own terms. Investors are more concerned with quick growth, profits and licensing. Our goal is to help musicians and change the music environment, and that won’t come at the pace most investors are looking for.
How would an artist use this service to increase their income while on tour?  Would they sell download cards or something?  Or is it intended that they supplement this service with physical product?
The easiest way for this to work on tour is with QR codes. We can provide those to the artists and we will soon have a system in place where the artist can make them themselves. With the QR code every artist can place the image on their merch table at shows and people can easily click those with their phones and buy an album in seconds. Additionally, those QR codes can be embedded on websites and emails, and printed on flyers and postcards so they can be used in any environment to spurs sales.
When did this launch and how many artists are benefiting from this service?  How much money have those artists made so far?
We launched in early October, so we’ve only been around for a month and a half. We’ve got 43 artists so far – our goal being 50 by the end of three months. We are on the right path to getting there, it just takes time to get our name out there, to find more artists willing to join that understand the platform, and to get in front of consumers and explain why we are different and why it matters. We need time to get this thing rolling before we see significant purchases so come back to me in six months to a year on the sales question.
Have there been any standout success stories from a band or artist using EftMega?
Well, we just started in early October and most of the releases from that period were albums that have already been out for a period of time. We are just starting to see artists put new albums up there and we are just starting to see those artists direct their fans to our site to buy them, so we’re definitely on the right path to having the pieces in place to help artists be successful. It’s going to take a bit more time to see how the fans respond to their albums and if they are willing to spend the money to own them and help push those bands to the next level