Ahead of Timeline, Facebook Artist Apps Are Officially Plunging

Timeline becomes a mandatory switch on Facebook in a matter of days (more on that here).

But ahead of that forced conversion, lots of folks (including artists) have already made the transition.  Which would explain why traffic to customized Facebook artist page apps is plunging.

The reason is simple: Timeline erases the ability to make a customized artist page the default landing spot.  Which means that artists can only position these customized pages as tabs or links within the Timeline layout, or direct-link from the outside.  Which also spells a huge opportunity for anyone that can figure out how to adapt to this abrupt change.

Here’s some information from AppData, which shows precipitous declines for the leading providers of Facebook artist page apps.  In fact, three of the largest providers of dedicated Facebook artist page apps – BandPageReverbNation, and BandRx – are now on AppData’s ‘biggest losers’ list (MAU = monthly active users).

BandPage (RootMusic).

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Artist Page (ReverbNation).

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18 Responses

  1. Tone

    Not surprising at all. Is this the beginning of the end for RootMusic?

    • not exactly

      The beginning of the end was when they based their entire business on facebook, and had no revenue model.

      The middle of the end was when facebook made them pay for this bad decision and announced the changeover to timeline.

      The end of the end comes when the VC’s decide not to make their next installment payment and Root gets picked up by someone else in a fire sale.

  2. Visitor

    This article’s title is confusing. Is traffic to artist pages declining or is traffic to the apps within the artist pages declining? After reading the article it sounds like the later but this article’s title suggests the former.

    • paul

      You’re right, the terminology’s getting too foggy. It’s artist page apps we’re talking about, not the broader FB pages. Changing to hopefully clear any confusion.


  3. WILL

    This article is extremely misleading. AppData tracks (poorly) the traffic to Facebook APPLICATIONS, not to Facebook pages. Declining traffic to apps is a much different story than declining traffic to pages.

    It’s been a known fact for a long time that 90% of the amount of people who ‘Like’ a page on Facebook never go to the page. The lion’s share of traffic to stories that are posted on pages comes from the newsfeed, and in most cases more than 95% of the interactions on stories and content posted by pages come directly from the newsfeed.

    Many of band page’s features are still valid from a publishing perspective, and as Rootmusic continues to build out how their application works with Facebook’s open graph they are certainly going toremain an important way for artists to make sure the content they post shows up in newsfeeds.

    • brooklyn habitat

      Root Music never made sense for this very reason. Why do you need a Facebook page like that, this isn’t MySpace plus artists can easily do this themselves. Then Facebook changes everything upside down every two years?

      • Visitor

        I love BandPage – it’s the preferred music app for my clients. However, I don’t see how their business model can pay off in the long run. Are they making a profit? If they haven’t already, it seems highly unlikely that they will in the future with news like this.

  4. nathanJE

    Facebook sucks basically! THere’s no way to direct people to a great artist page now easily — so instead it’s all half-baked this and that and blaaahh. So RootMusic can handle all my feeds and feeds but my page is in the backwater.

  5. jw

    Seems like you’d just want content that links out to a website (that you have full control over) showing up in people’s facebook & twitter feeds. I have a feeling that these apps are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of music-related interaction on Facebook, & that the majority of it occurs in the feed or through notifications. These graphs aren’t telling the whole story.

    Trying to recreate MySpace on Facebook via apps was never the point, otherwise Facebook would’ve just done that themselves.

    • brooklyn habitat

      “Seems like you’d just want content that links out to a website (that you have full control over) showing up in people’s facebook & twitter feeds.”


      Own your website and make Facebook subservient.

  6. Carl [Nimbit]

    It’s true that the switch to Timeline eliminates the need for dedicated “profile page” tab/apps like the ones mentioned. That being said, this switch to Timeline presents an awesome opportunity for artists to present themselves and engage with fans.

    If you’re interested, I gave a talk on How to Win & Engage Fans on Facebook at SXSW, with the opening 1/3 dedicated toward simple things you can do to optimize Timeline.

    You can check it out here, and let me know what you think:

    • Gold Dust Lounge

      Carl, I’d like to check out your slideshow talk however, I’m not so enthused about having to create a slideshow account to do that. Any alternatives? I’m curious to hear what you have to say. Thanks!

      • Carl [Nimbit]

        Thanks Goldust,

        That slideshow is embedded on our blog. You should be able to view it simply by hitting the arrow buttons, without creating an account. Are you seeing something different?

  7. brononymous

    if it’s any consolation for root music, we’ll all be relieved when facebook is dead too. the only reason to be on facebook (like myspace before it) is because everyone’s there at the moment. i will gladly make the switch to less invasive services like twitter, tumblr and pinterest once people start to filter out of facebook.

  8. @albinserviant

    There’s a need for better engagement apps!

    • ghettogandy

      Just talk to people, tell them what you’re up to, ask them what they’re up to. They’ll respond if you don’t suck.