Tunecore changed everything for artists by opening access to one thing: iTunes. But that groundbreaking moment is now one of the biggest problems with a disappointed and depressed direct-to-fan movement.
And the reason? Tunecore, just like iTunes and the other platforms it serves, helps to sell one thing (or just a few things) to many fans. But only a limited number of fans want a $1.29 download, a $50 concert ticket, a $24 t-shirt, or a $9.99 album. And, more importantly, many of these fans are willing to pay multiples more — even hundreds or thousands of times more — to get a special experience, yet are often untapped.
If you look at the Amanda Palmer Kickstarter campaign, something startling pops out. Less than 25,000 people helped Palmer raise nearly $1.2 million, through a number of different contribution levels, and nearly 150 fans contributed more than $1,000 each. So if Palmer figured out how to tap those fans, can other artists?
This is exactly the thinking behind ‘Experiences,’ a new concept now being pushed by BandPage. This is an attempt to create a platform out of special, artist-to-fan experiences that revolve around exclusivity and premiums. “It’s happening in this fragmented way, and we’re trying to bring it into one spot,” BandPage CEO & founder J. Sider told Digital Music News ahead of the launch.
Which basically means, creating a unified platform that allows any artist to easily pitch an experience on a regular basis, without having to cobble the entire thing together, every time. Which sort of mimics the game-changing platforms created by other startups like airbnb: of course, people were swapping their pads before, but now, it’s a whole lot easier, far more profitable, and safer.
And with that, here are some of the Experiences BandPage is kicking off with:
- While she’s on tour this year, Nataly Dawn (from Pomplamooose) will cook you dinner, then play a private show in the living room of her airbnb rental. Price: $150 and up.
- Stars will record an acoustic cover of any song, just for you. (Price: $200)
- Múm will create a personal song from your sounds –whistling, guitar plonks or poetry– then send you that song on a vinyl 7” created just for you. (Price: $1,500)
- Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde will give you a 30-minute personal guitar lesson over Skype (Price: $2,500)
- Slighly Stoopid drummer RyMo will give you a drum lesson (price: $100)
- Free Energy will take you bowling near their Philadelphia practice space, after you enjoy their rehearsal. (Price $50)
- Be Stic’s personal VIP guest at the Dead Prez SXSW showcase featuring Talib Kweli. (Price $100)
- Megan Keely will write you a personalized ditty for any occasion. (Price $100)
Will this change things?
Written while listening to Dead Prez, appearing at SXSW on Wednesday at Antone’s and Thursday at the VEVO TV Control Room.