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Tuesday, 01 April 2008

ASCAP Feature: "Hunnypot Unlimited - Sweet Smell of Success"

HUNNYPOT UNLIMITED's PJ Bloom and John Anderson go from building a buzz to building a business


PJ Bloom and John Anderson

Eight years ago, music publishing veteran John Anderson and topranking film & television music supervisor PJ Bloom started getting together regularly with close colleagues who specialized in soundtracks, music placement and music licensing. The point was to have a good time and share musical discoveries. But it became apparent that their collective knowledge was increasingly becoming a unique and valuable asset to the industry.

"Being those buyers in a world of sellers we were aware of what was going onmore than a lot of A&R people we knew," says Bloom.We realized that we could break some of these artists with our work in filmand television and gaming and advertising in a way that the traditional record labels couldn't do on their own."

Bloom and Anderson then created Hunnypot, a name they began applying to monthly parties, one-off events, music compilations and other music promotion ideas. The brand quickly became synonymous not only with great music but great music for the sake of the art –not just as a business interest. The spirit of Anderson and Bloom's company reflected that of their friendship, one based on the genuine appreciation of discovering and sharing music with the masses.

Says Bloom, "When we first became friends we were enamored with each other because our tastes were so similar. We both liked more obscure stuff that people didn't know about. So, today that creative trust level is there. If John says something is great, I either truly believe him and agree, or I don't need to agree, because I know he's right."

Today, Hunnypot Unlimited has grown to be a highly influential and unconventional business. It offers multi-faceted music publishing, marketing and film and television placement as well as music-driven live and social events, a weekly live radio broadcast, web and email-based promotions, management consultation and international alliances.

"What PJ and I want to do is break artists," says Anderson, citing two initial signings, a rock band from Cardiff, Wales called The Victorian English Gentlemens Club and the electro-punk outfit The Bloody Beetroots. "We're looking for lesser-known acts that we feel are really good and deserve attention. We just made a great deal with Evergreen Copyrights. They fund us. Provide us with all our backroom activities, our business affairs. The partnership allows Hunnypot to be a straightup creative force, signing and pitching and marketing and doing what we do. All the other stuff is handled by a full-fledged music publisher."

Bloom says they designed Hunnypot Unlimited to be nimble enough to serve a diverse range of needs. "We offer amenu," he says. If a band needs some advancemoney, we can have that conversation. If they are looking for a publishing partner, we can do that. If it's music placement, or marketing and gaining exposure, we have that capability. And we have the infrastructure to support all of this stuff."

Anderson believes that Hunnypot is satisfying a need in the music industry that most people are yearning for. "We started this as a party eight years ago. And it's just amazing for us to be in this position now. It comes partly from our own desire to create it, but it is really motivated by everyone else in the music industry looking for us to do this thing."

That "thing" seems to be mixing businesss with pleasure, an approach that comes naturally to two true music nuts who love their jobs. Bloom cites their weekly live Hunnypot Radio broadcast as an example. "We have forty people in here and there is a party going on in the background as we're broadcasting this live radio show. We have live bands, music business executives, tastemakers, creative people, who all come in. Everybody is so completely blown away by this sense of community. It really gets back to the art. The business is an aside. Everyone knows that the business exists. Everyone wants to make money. But this is so completely creatively driven, that everyone is excited to be a part of it."



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