Can Personalization Save the Indie Artist? BandPage Is Betting On It…

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:

  • 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)

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.

10 Responses

  1. Visitor

    “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”

    Hm… in my experience, that’s exactly what fans want.

    “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.”

    Yes, some fans want to sleep with you if you’re any good. That doesn’t mean you should become a whore.

    • hehea

      That doesn’t mean you should become a whore.

      And this is especially true when you realized it is usually the other way around (whore become singers/show biz stars – well, they try, sometimes it works).

  2. Music Tech Guy


    1. what % does bandpage take from the artist?

    2. Couldn’t (shouldn’t) artists just make these offers to their fans on their webpage, facebook page, twitter? Why give bandpage a cut? gets less traffic than (an artist-only site) according to Alexa. What are the advantages (for the artist) of directing all of their fan traffic to bandpage where fans might find competing offers for similar things? Seems like this might be good for bandpage, but not sure why artists would want to use this platform to carry out this objective.

    3. Why would an artist choose this method over facebook offers? And if it is successful, won’t facebook (with their new music feed) just copy this model?

    4. Do you think this will create a race to the bottom as prices get pushed down due to artist’s being willing to take less and less in order to compete with others (like the drummer offering lessons), or do you think that fans want to get a specific lesson from a specific drummer, and prices will hold up over time?

    5. Does this represent a pivot for BandPage? Are they betting the company on this? Is this in reaction to investor agitas?

    6. Do you think this is a direct threat to kickstarter (or at least a challege in music category), and will kickstarter or the like respond?

  3. Music apps on FB...


    BandPage (root music) is not even close on facebook anymore, which was their whole focus just a little while ago…

    Hope this works!

  4. Josh Grostein

    This is a direct copy of platforms like and…so lame

    • Visitor

      And the ipod was a direct rip off of my Diamond Rio Digital Player, that still worked out ok for apple, right?

  5. Just saying

    Practical questions:

    When the drummer of a band gives lessons, or the guitarist performs in your living room, does the rest of the band get a cut of that?

    Shouldn’t they? Isn’t the individual using the likeness of the band to drive personal wealth in that case?

    And what if the label they signed with has a 360 deal with them? Do they deserve a piece of the action on it too?

    My guess is that if this is successful, this is going to create a lot of infighting amongst bands, unless they can figure out a successful way to split these profits.

    • Visitor

      This does have potential for creating many legal headaches and personnel dysfunction.

      These types of problems are not new however, it’s just that the internet once again makes it easier to connect, make money and make problems.

      I wonder how the artists handle the uncomfortable part that occurs right after the meet and greet when they ask the customer to sign a lengthy contract in which the customer agrees not to record, re-broadcast, distribute etc. etc…….

  6. Tiredandhungry

    I don’t get what this has to do with Tunecore. They weren’t the first and as you rightly said, they only do one thing and they’re not interesting any more.

    Isn’t this supposed to be about Bandpage?