BandPage, the generator of about 500,000 artists’ online pages, has officially teamed up with VEVO and Xbox Music. Announced on Thursday, August 8, 2013, this collaboration will create a unified online presence for musicians, enabling them to connect with fans like never before. BandPage, formerly known as RootMusic, is a startup based in San Francisco, CA with about 30 employees. It produces the BandPage App and was launched in March of 2010. Its purpose is to give artists a platform to create customized fan pages within Facebook, where they can share tracks, samples, photos, videos and tour dates. It already has a presence on Facebook, Pandora, WordPress and SoundCloud, which makes its reach into VEVO and Xbox Music a vital move. In August of 2010, a short five months after its initial launch, BandPage was named one of the “Top 10 Best Digital Media Startups” by Billboard. VEVO is a joint venture music video website run by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Google and Abu Dhabi Media; EMI licenses its content through VEVO but does not take an ownership title. It is home to approximately 75,000 music videos. Xbox Music is a similar digital music service developed by Microsoft, providing music through subscription and advertisement-supported streaming. Music is also available for purchase through the Xbox Music Store. With the integration of BandPage, VEVO and Xbox Music, BandPage’s over half a million artists will be able to gain skyrocketed exposure and fan engagement.
A common frustration among artists has been recognized by digital music services like BandPage, who truly want to help. Artists have become aggravated with a strong need. They are searching for more efficient ways to connect with fans that listen to their music on digital platforms, like those above. They strive for more transparency with regard to who consumes their music and when. They also want a guarantee that their fans are receiving accurate and updated information. As a result, services like BandPage want to accomplish more for artists than simply paying them for permission to stream their music.
In its agreement with VEVO, BandPage is required to supply artist photos, biographies and tour dates. VEVO will then display the information on its website, but not on YouTube. Although the majority of VEVO’s views occur on YouTube, VEVO has minimal control over what types of information it can display outside of its own videos, on the site. So, it was in both BandPage’s and VEVO’s best interests to keep YouTube out of it all. In its deal with Microsoft, BandPage is only expected to provide artist photos and biographies. Founder and CEO of BandPage and veteran musician, James Sider, said, “As these platforms grow and become places where fans interact with musicians, they’re taking a step toward empowering musicians. When fans are on these platforms, they are already leaning forward, listening to your music. They’re not just scrolling through a bunch of different types of content. The potential for conversion becomes much higher. At the same time, fans are also getting a richer experience.” By mixing the three platforms’ services together, viewers and fans will have everything that they are looking for, in one place. If a fan is watching a music video or listening to a song sample and is eager to learn about the artist or band’s background, he or she will not have to leave the page and surf another to find the information. Viewer engagement will last longer, as a result. Also, accuracy and artist-friendliness are key. The artists, themselves, update their BandPage information and ensure its accuracy.
Prominent artists like Rihanna And Usher are currently signed up for BandPage, and the roster is expected to grow even further with the site’s new partnerships. Sider said, “By being connected to BandPage, as a musician you’re now reaching tens of millions of people with information you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.” BandPage Experiences is BandPage’s newest feature. Launched in May, it allows fans to purchase special events like “meet and greets,” VIP experiences and secret shows. BandPage follows a “freemium” model, for $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year. A “plus” membership gives special benefits like “advanced content management,” customized page appearances, etc. Sider said, “These are the first steps of what we hope will become much bigger partnerships.” He suggests that BandPage and its new colleagues will combine their efforts for artists to add more information to the comprehensive service. Perhaps, artists will have the ability to direct fans to merchandise outlets, to places to sign up for email notifications or links to purchase show tickets. For more information about BandPage and its new alliances, visit its official website.