\"Since the advent of instructional music videos in the 1980s we\'ve witnessed an incredible rise in the musicianship of drummers at all levels. Hudson Digital is committed to giving musicians around the world even easier access to education and information as well as expanding our range of content.\"
This new system also enables and empowers music retailers to easily offer their own digital download system from their own existing eCommerce websites, giving their customers more options when purchasing Hudson Music\'s instructional videos.
Retailers can now offer the same great digital download system with the same selection of media, branded with their own store\'s logo, without the time and expense of building and launching their own digital distribution system.
For complete information on Hudson Digital and the Hudson Music Media Player, including download instructions and free sample downloads, visit digital.hudsonmusic.com.
About Hudson Music: from vhs via dvd to digital downloads
Paul Siegel had been attending the Drummers Collective school in New York for a year when Rob Wallis enrolled in 1979. Through working parttime in the Collective’s office to help pay his tuition, Siegel learned that the school’s owner, Rick Kravitz, wanted to sell the business.
Paul Siegel and Rob Wallis borrowed money from their families and worked out a monthly installment loan payment to Kravitz, purchasing the school in 1980 “basically for the cost of the instruments.”
Over the next decade they enlarged the faculty, moved the school to Greenwich Village and expanded it to include The Bass Collective and Keys/Guitar Collective, eventually renaming it simply The Collective.
But even in its first very lean years Siegel and Wallis were able to attract respected artists to present master classes to the students. As musicians they immediately recognized the value of these sessions and began exploring how they might preserve them for use by other drummers.
Wallis recalls that neither he nor Siegel owned a VCR, a product that had only recently been introduced for use in the home. “We didn’t even know anyone who owned one, but it sounded like such a good idea, we thought that one day everyone would have a VCR in their house.”
With help and equipment borrowed from some friends, lights duct-taped to the ceiling, and “absolutely no video experience,” they began videotaping such celebrated artists as Bernard Purdie, Lennie White, Yogi Horton, Ed Thigpen, and John Scofield (then a member of the Collective’s guitar faculty).
At first the checks came in more of a trickle than a flow, but getting paid for doing what they were passionate about was “really gratifying,” and it motivated them to incorporate the video business as a separate entity under the banner of DCI Inc.
DCI Music Video received crucial support in the mid-’80s from Ron Fry, head of International Music Publications, which was then the European distributor of Warner Bros. Music Publications.
In 1990 Wallis, Siegel, and Feldstein launched Manhattan Music Publications.
By that time DCI Music Video had grown beyond Wallis and Siegel’s desire to manage the critical but less gratifying details of running the business—computer systems, shipping scales, warehouse space, and distribution—so they negotiated a deal to sell the label, along with their catalog, to CPP/Belwin.
A five-year employment contract with Belwin ensured continuity of that goal, but very shortly after the sale was finalized in 1992 their plans were redrawn when Warner Bros. Publications acquired CPP/Belwin. Here again, Feldstein played an important role in influencing Warner to make the purchase.
After a non-compete contract ended in 1998, Wallis and Siegel founded Hudson Music. In 1999 they began a particularly effective partnership with Hal Leonard, which now distributes their products in the U.S. and Canada.
Just as vhs and home video were just on the horizon when Siegel and Wallis launched DCI, dvd was just on the horizon when they launched Hudson Music, creating new business and artistic opportunities.
As drummers—and inveterate fans of drummers—are they ever tempted to feature personal heroes with no regard for the project’s commercial viability?“Sometimes it’s a temptation,” Wallis admits, “but we spend so much time and money on each project, we have to be very selective about what we release. Expenses for current-generation dvd productions run into six figures, and at four to six hours long, our current dvd programs are a mammoth undertaking. Also we’ve done so many programs over the years—it must be close to 300 by now—we have to make sure that we’re presenting a fresh point of view that we haven’t already covered. Over the years we’ve developed an instinct for what the market’s ready for at any given time.”
In 2000 Modern Drummer magazine presented them with its Editors Achievement Award “in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Drum/Percussion Community.” A year later the Percussive Arts Society honored them with its prestigious President’s Achievement Award.
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