Nimbit’s Artist Website on Steroids

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Not seeing the value of a controlled, hosted artist website?

Well, the arguments against a website are a bit shaky, especially given the presence of a number of free website-building partners.  But certain early-stage artists are happy with simple setups on MySpace Music, Facebook, and a few other easy spots.

Fair enough, but those dialed into the benefits of controlling their page might want to take a glance over at Nimbit.  The direct-to-fan platform is now releasing a website concept that blows the simple profile away – and interacts with the broader number of digital distribution endpoints.

The platform expansion, launched Wednesday morning, is a WordPress plug-in called Instant Band Site.  At a top level, Instant Band Site takes distributed assets – like downloads, tour dates, and images – and slots them squarely back into the artist site.  So, that way, the entire network of distributed assets update at the same time – at home (website) and abroad (MySpace Music, for example).

The list of features is exhaustive, and includes standard elements like tour dates, email collection, photo galleries, and control over branding.  On the critical ecommerce side, it also includes the ability to direct-sell downloads, physical goods, and merchandise – all of which means more money for the artist.  And, this platform also plugs into various social networks, part of a broader approach that gives-and-takes with other sites where fans of an artist congregate.

Artists can start at free, though Nimbit starts charging for bells-and-whistles – as you would expect.  In a discussion with Digital Music News on Tuesday evening, Nimbit CEO Bob Cramer noted that most artists go with Indie or Pro distribution packages, instead of just free-loading.  That seems to contradict information from other direct-to-fan entrepreneurs, many of whom point to penny-pinching artists.  But Cramer pointed to an artist base that is mostly professional and quite serious – ie, not the hobbyist or digitally-disinterested performer.