Irish Times Feature - December 2014

Fine-tuning a music business

Setting up a record label when the music industry is in flux might seem like a risky move, but since Jack Rainey spent several years working in a global insurance company in New York, “dealing with high-exposure risks”, he is well-equipped to assess the variables. The 25-year-old Dubliner and his business partner Dan Finnegan (also 25) have quit their day jobs to launch Paper Trail Records, a label and music management company.

“Traditional business models in the music industry have always tried to separate functions as much as possible, which ends up splitting profits, creating more middlemen, and generally making things incredibly difficult for emerging artists,” says Rainey. “We’re trying to cut out as much of this as possible.”

The duo launch their platform early next year with a release by LA-based musician Cloud, and are already on the hunt for artists. “It’s definitely a risk, but so is setting up any new company,” says Finnegan. “We want to be different and spread positivity, even in an industry in flux.”

“It’s the right time in some respects, because we’re at the age to do it,” adds Rainey. “I don’t want to look back in 10 years’ time and regret not trying to do something with my real passion.”