We'll Drink to That!

Music to Their Ears

What: An online emporium of children's music
Who: Ingrid Harding of PlayhouseRadio.com
Where: Biloxi, Mississippi
When: Started in 2001

When Ingrid Harding had her first child, she wanted to expose him to music with appropriate lyrics--songs that the family could listen to together (without the parents wanting to stick cotton in their ears). The music she wanted existed, but it was tough to find--she didn't know where to look in record stores, and on the Internet, it was hit or miss. She would preview songs that were labeled "children's," only to discover they contained inappropriate lyrics. "It was frustrating," Harding says. "[I thought] it should be better organized."

That desire inspired Harding, 34, to start PlayhouseRadio.com, a Web site where parents can listen to pre-screened children's music and buy custom-made, kid-friendly CDs. It took months of research, though, for Harding to learn the Internet protocol, as well as the music licensing and publishing business. Says Harding, "I don't think I slept for a year, calling around to find [information] about the legal angle, the financial angle, the technical angle."

Getting the technical side down was step one; finding the artists and music was step two. Harding, who works with independent music artists, found that those relationships were mutually beneficial. She needed content for her Web site, and the artists needed a place to sell their work. With 100 artists currently featured in her catalog, Harding is far from finished. She plans to find more artists and to make more music available to parents and their kids. Says Harding, "My goal is pretty idealistic--to change the image of children's music."

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This article was originally published in the April 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: We'll Drink to That!.

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