Building an Online Music Empire with Milun Tesovic and MetroLyrics

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews / June 1, 2010

Milun Tesovic is not your average 24 year old. He started his first company at the age of 14 and is now the CEO of the 4th largest music website in the United States.  Metrolyrics has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2004. Today it sees 120 million pageviews each month with lyrics from over 30,000 artists with 1.2 million song tracks.

Milun describes the whole experience as simply “fun”. He didn’t start things for the money but rather because he was having fun experimenting with projects online. Find out more about Milun and Metrolyrics below along with his advice for young entrepreneurs…

How did MetroLyrics start? Where did the idea come from?

MetroLyrics got started as a solution to remedy the frustrations of the current lyric sites at that time. What I was finding were lyric databases that were inaccurate and consisted of lyrics posted based on an individual’s guess. It was a big market and one of the most searched for categories online, so the opportunity to do something there existed and I went with it.  It was my belief, and later that of MetroLyrics, that it was possible to create a lyric database that was complete, accurate and constantly trying to find new innovative ways to expand and give users a fulfilled experience every time they visited our site.

What were your biggest challenges in the early days (first few months)? What are they today?

I would have to say in the beginning, licensing the content and organizing the database in a meaningful way was our biggest challenge. Determining what our users would benefit from and make the site function to the best of its ability.

Today, we face keeping up with the changing demand of our users (whose opinions matter a great deal to us).  The internet has changed a lot since 2000, and continues to do so every day so growing the internal team, while maintaining a lean innovative environment has kept us on our toes.

What got you into entrepreneurship? It says you already had a hosting company when you started MetroLyrics…not what the average 15 year old is doing!

It’s fun!  Not sure how else to put it, but it feels good to do something unique and create something that there is a strong demand for.  Of course there are other motivators such as money, independence and the ability to do your own thing, but at the end of the day it has to be fun and something I enjoy doing on a daily basis.  At 14 I was not thinking “I want to be an entrepreneur,” I was just having fun doing my own thing and following the market demand. It  just so happens I was making money at the same time, but money is certainly not the main motivator for a 14 year old.

What would you say is the biggest reason MetroLyrics is where it is today?

Outside of an insatiable hunger for lyrics,  I would have to say it’s due to the MetroLeap team and people around it.  I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people whose opinion I trust and value and who have helped not only the company grow, but me as an individual and as an “entrepreneur.”  Listening to our users and using company core competencies to grow in areas we know how to maximize on have also been essential.  By focusing on our users and what they want has helped us create a mentality that is less about settling on our own position and instead has taught us to take greater risks by answering the demands and suggestions of our users.

Is there a secret behind your promotion of the site?…120 million pageviews/month is nothing to joke about!

Aside from the “mysterious black box,” it’s simple, we are listening to those who visit the site and share their opinions on how we can make their experience better.  While in the process of producing and constantly developing a product that is in high demand.

What are your future plans?

We have many plans to expand and become a very personalized destination for our audience who have a deep connection to music at MetroLyrics. We’re also focused on providing and bringing lyrics to our users through our soon to be released iPhone app.  As for me, I love what I do and I love watching not just our website grow but our team as well.  I plan to finish school this year and just continue on doing what I’m doing.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young entrepreneur what would it be?

Keep an open mind and surround yourself with the best people that you can. I don’t think anybody can do it alone, and to quote the lyrics of U2 “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own.”

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