Toolshed is Dick Huey’s 20-year digital consultancy and advisory company. Dick moved to New York City in 1997 to work for independent label powerhouse the Beggars Group (XL Recordings, 4AD, Matador Records, Rough Trade). He created and staffed the group’s digital media department as Beggar’s first Global Head of Digital in the early days of digital music, conceptualized and implemented the group’s strategic approach to digital music, and established licensing frameworks for its groundbreaking catalog of world-class independent music from artists like the Pixies, the Prodigy, Throwing Muses, Peter Murphy, and many others.
Huey launched Toolshed on a working farm in NY’s Hudson Valley in 2002, putting many miles on his car while driving to more late night shows in NYC than many NYC-based music business peers attended. Toolshed was one of the first independent-label focused consultancies to offer label and artist digital marketing, direct music service licensing, and download hosting service in a complete package. Toolshed created groundbreaking digital campaigns for over 350 ground-breaking artists and record labels including Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, Aimee Mann, Matador Records, Beggars Group, The Orchard, Touch and Go, PIAS, Righteous Babe, Merge Records and many, many others.
In 2010 Toolshed expanded into music rights acquisition and digital engagement tactics for consumer brands, media, tech, sports, and entertainment companies. Spotify contracted with Huey to lead its US independent label licensing efforts prior to and during Spotify’s US launch in 2011. Red Bull Music Radio, SoundExchange, 8tracks, Digital Rights Agency, Red Mountain Ski Resort (British Columbia, Canada), Jaxsta (Sydney, Australia), and Tunecore are all past clients or advisory relationships.
Huey is currently a Business Development Consultant to AIMS API, a market-leading artificial intelligence music search platform based in the Czech Republic, as well as to Entertainment Intelligence, a highly regarded London-based music analytics and sales analysis platform for direct-license content owners. He is a digital music license consultant to the artist-owned independent record label Merge Records, an advisor to Techstars 2019 accelerator winner Paperchain, an advisor to Australian personal social media monetization platform OkTY, European based CMO Heaven 11, and the sound design collective Visual Aid run by artist Sanders Bohlke.
Outside of the music industry, Huey was a founding senior teaching assistant at NYU Professor/serial entrepreneur Scott Galloway’s educational sprint startup Section. For 3 years Huey facilitated online classes of several hundred students on marketing/ fintech/ strategy topics such as Subscription Strategy, Brand, Platform, Product, Data Analytics, Growth Innovation (brand association with physical stores), and Storytelling. Several of the classes Huey was a teaching assistant for were taught by Professor Galloway himself.
He held a 9-year board seat at SoundExchange representing Matador Records. He is a past Executive Director and board chairman of the Future of Music Coalition, based in Washington DC. He was chairman of the new media committee at the American Association of Music (A2IM) from its earliest days, as well as a consultant to independent entity the Association of Independent Music (AIM).
Huey is a USSA-certified downhill ski racing coach and committed biker and mountain biker. He moved from the NY area to the outdoor mecca of the Columbia River Gorge of Washington State in 2021, where he continues to explore and explain paradigm shifts in the music industry (latest topic: Web3).
He began his career as a musician, then a music manager, and signed and managed several artists to the Beggars Group (Beggars Banquet) and Glitterhouse Records.