Updated, Sunday, 12:15 pm. Well that was fast: after about 24 hours, Fandalism has now decided to go with a $19.99 blanket price for one year of unlimited uploads, instead of free as initially advertised. But, the Digital Music News readers will still get the free offer, just click the link below.
The original story, published Friday, follows (and the first ten or so comments are a reaction to the free offer).
Last year, we wondered what would happen if Apple offered a free upload tool for artists. Well, someone beat them to it: Fandalism, headed by influential digital disruptor and entrepreneur Philip Kaplan. According to details shared by Kaplan, Fandalism will be offering all musicians free and unlimited iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play uploads, with a 100 percent royalty return.
The offer, which officially goes live this weekend, is happening here.
Kaplan’s most notable success is AdBrite, not to mention incubated startups like TinyLetter (and F’d Company in the early days). Now, Kaplan’s in the music biz, with the growing Fandalism music community. Which introduces the model behind this play: Kaplan is hoping subsidized uploads will entice musicians to populate his Fandalism community, which already has 550,000 profiles. This will keep them close.
And yes, Kaplan is unabashedly trying to create a massive disruption for entrenched companies like CD Baby, ReverbNation, TuneCore, and Ditto Music. “Currently, there are about a dozen 7-or-8-figure-revenue companies that have deals with Apple to upload unsigned music to iTunes,” Kaplan explained.
“These companies are going to be very disappointed…”
Sounds like a big strike, though the math on this could be a little tricky. Kaplan says his biggest expense here is UPC Codes, which cost “exactly 10 cents” per album upload. But what about maintenance, customer service, renewals, and all that jazz? “With Fandalism, I’ve automated the site such that I can manage all 550,000 current (free) members by myself,” Kaplan continued.
Which brings us to the end game. “I hope with this new feature, the number of members will increase — that’s the main reason for it.”