“Our site grew dramatically through the word of mouth”- Winston Ford
Winston “Stone” Ford
Owner and CEO of thecouchsessions.com
Twitter: @couchsessions | @thisisstone
Sit on your couch and pop out anything with an internet connection, because The Couch Sessions will blow your mind.
Created in 2005, The Couch Sessions is the premier online destination for alternative urban music and culture. The site is dedicated to spotlight the artists that are trying to make a name for themselves in the world of music. The site contains interviews with artists such as: Big K.R.I.T, Ryan Leslie, Dallas Austin, Dawn Richards, and many others. The blog is the brain child of Winston “Stone” Ford, who wanted to create an outlet where the music he liked would be spotlighted.
“I would spend weekends going through [my father’s] vast record collection when I was little. My father was a huge music nerd, but what he taught me was not to segregate my music choices. He was as huge a fan of a band such as: The Doors, The Rolling Stones, The Commodores and Donna Summer. I also became fans of such artists as Marvin Gaye and Parliament Funkadelic. I feel like any artist who can pursue their art, remain happy, and expand their audience is an inspiration to me. There are so many names that come to mind that I would be sitting here for days trying to list everyone,” says Ford.
“Stone” began blogging in 2002 but instead of covering the art of music, he covered the art of war. Winston began covering the Iraq War and found himself disillusioned with politics. Who could blame him when most of the contradicting news articles were more confusing than Lil Wayne’s lyrics.
“I’ve always been musically inclined and I thought I could use the power of the Internet to make my voice heard. I felt like it was my obligation to give these artists their just due. Some of the artists that we’ve profiled have sold out shows after being spotlighted,” says Ford, who started the blog as mainly a hobby.
“When the site began, it was mainly an outlet to write about the music I liked. I would update the website when I got bored at work. I never thought that I would be making money from it at all. Now, it’s a business. While the content remains the same, we have advertising targets to meet and guidelines to uphold,” Ford says.
One of the main guidelines that The Couch Sessions upholds is their commitment to their fans and readers. In 2010, Winston met with the top one hundred fans of The Couch Sessions. In the five year span of its inception, the blog has maintained a growth in their audience. “Our site grew dramatically through the word of mouth,” says Ford. The word of mouth in 2011 includes the use of social media sites such as: Twitter, Facebook, Tumbir, and even Myspace (the three people who still use it). “I’m able to interact with fans from all over the world. I’m able to have instant and real time discussions with fans in Brazil, New Zealand,and the UK. When I travel to a new city, I always find new fans of the site to connect with. Social media has expanded rapidly, but I feel like the next five years will focus on cutting through the clutter and information overload. Social Networks will get more specific. There will be networks created based on your interests, says Ford.
Ford also thinks that music is expanding as well.
“It’s a very interesting time for the music industry. Music is no longer controlled by a few powerful gatekeepers and major labels will rapidly lose their market share to the indies. In the next 5 years there will be a pop star, who will forgo the traditional music route and create their own record label, while keeping a substantial share of profits and royalties. Music will also become more less of something you consume and more of a social and lifestyle experience. Services such as MOG, Spotify, Google Music, and Apple’s upcoming iTunes in the cloud will change the way the next generation of listeners experience music. I also see brands like Mountain Dew, who already has Green Label Sound, which is home to artists such as Chromeo, jumping into the music label game as well,” says Ford.
Whatever the case may be, The Casting Couch will be on the top of everything. With social media, television, and entertainment expanding, one can gather information right on the couch. Let the The Couch Sessions help you enjoy your sessions anywhere.
A Recent Video That Was Featured On His Site which features rapper Aloe Blacc
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/6aHHfsJo5VE" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]