2010 Grad’s “Consequence of Sound” Thrives Online, Soon to be Entered in Fordham Business Competition


Published: November 18, 2010

In his sophomore year at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), Alex Young, FCLC ’10, created the music website Consequence of Sound (www.consequenceofsound.net) during his spare time. Since then, the site has become a popular stop on the web for music and festival news and reviews, covering nearly all genres of popular music. The rapid growth of his site in both content and user hits has allowed Young to turn what began as a hobby into a successful business.

Next year, he will enter Consequence of Sound in the Fordham Business Plan Competition. The winning business will receive a $10.000  cash prize, as well as legal, accounting and advising services. The Observer spoke with Young about the origins of Consequence of Sound, the upcoming competition and his plans for the future.

Observer: How did you start Consequence of Sound?

Alex Young: It started in Sept. 2007. I went to Fordham as a journalism major and started it in my sophomore year because I was bored. It began as a just a hobby. I met a guy named Mike on the message boards for the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. He wanted to write, so he came and brought all his friends and it evolved into something rather quickly. It went from being this small, unplanned thing to a full-fledged job. Probably by junior year I was dedicating around 40 hours a week to it and even more in my senior year. I graduated and now I’ve made it into a full-time job.

Observer: So your website was becoming pretty big even while you were still a student at Fordham?

AY: Yeah it got big around winter 2008 to 2009. That was the year that Paul McCartney played Coachella. One of our features is that we [cover] festivals, and we have a database that keeps track of lineup rumors. We rely on festival news and rumors for a lot of our traffic. We broke the McCartney story and that’s what helped us to blow up. We got really lucky because of that and had a lot of success.

Over the last two years it got big enough that Mike, my business partner, and I can make enough to semi-live off of it. Doing it as long as I have, you also learn a lot of tricks of the trade so we’ve also developed a pretty stellar news staff. We are consistently first for a lot of the stories out there, and [we do] a lot of live coverage.

Observer: How has Fordham influenced Consequence of Sound?

AY: The best thing about Fordham is the location. If you need to see a show or you need to interview someone, then you have access to the city.

Observer: What made you decide to enter Fordham’s Business Plan Competition?

AY: We actually tried to enter it last year, but we didn’t know about it until it was too late so we didn’t have enough time. So we’re going to try to enter again this year, hopefully. We registered, but it’s a big process. You have to fill out a bunch of forms and then write a business plan and do a bunch of extensive little tasks.

Observer: Where do you hope to take Consequence of Sound in the future?

AY: I kind of view the blogosphere as a niche. I learned that the bands an indie blog covers are so inconsequential at the end of the day. There’s obviously those huge sites, well, huge in terms of blog standards, like the big go-tos: Pitchfork, Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan. To some extent we’ve done a good job competing with them.

At the end of the day, I think a site like Pitchfork has found their niche and their niche is taste-making. They like to find random indie bands, prop them up and give them a really good album review, and they’ve been really successful at that. You can credit them for finding Arcade Fire and many other talented bands. Because of that, a lot of people were inspired to do something similar and there are a lot of blogs that try to emulate what Pitchfork does. As a result I kind of feel like that whole indie genre of buzz bands becomes diluted and it’s hard to find who’s talented and who’s not. Everyone wants to claim that they were first and discovered the next band.

We’ve gone away from that mentality and instead have focused on mainstream acts like Greenday, Foo Fighters, Kanye West, Rhianna and indie bands too—anyone whose music we like. My goal is to draw more people to the site and maintain that ideal. We cover music not because it’s hot or because it could catch on, but because we enjoy it.

I don’t like that mentality that if you like a popular rock band like Green Day or U2, you get frowned upon. We’re trying to represent this new ideology. My goal is to hammer that out and also to be the best at what we do. I don’t like to get beat. That’s my mentality.