J Sider, CEO, BandPage
Today BandPage and Rhapsody announced a partnership. This isn’t, however, like any other partnership that has existed in the music industry up until this point.
Over the past few years, the musician central profile hub, BandPage, has been rapidly striking deals with as many platforms that use musicians’ content to help their network of 500,000+ musicians monetize and engage. BandPage has successfully gotten musician’s merch, meet and greet VIP packages and other special offers along with profile info like photos, bio, and tour dates onto platforms like Spotify, Xbox, Lyric Find, Google, Rdio, Facebook, StubHub and now Rhapsody.
The deal with Rhapsody isn’t like the Spotify/BandPage deal where a merch item just sits on the musician’s profile (on mobile it’s actually allllllllllllllllllll the way at the bottom) or like the StubHub/BandPage deal where a VIP meet and greet offer is displayed alongside ticket offers.
Rhapsody and BandPage have dug into the millions of points of data to customize a notification experience unique to every single user.
“We’ve known that we were sitting on a goldmine of information about music fans and have been looking for ways to help drive revenue for musicians while improving the user experience,” said Greg Spils, Director, Traffic & Demand at Rhapsody International. “By partnering with BandPage, we’ve lit upon a solution to create the full music service experience: one place where fans can listen to music, get updates and special offers from their favorite bands, and learn about new bands.”
I spoke with BandPage CEO and Founder, J Sider on the phone yesterday where he explained how this works. “Fans are giving off very powerful signals on streaming services. All you have to do is analyze the data and see who they love,” he professed. Just because you listened to one artist one time does not mean you’re ready to buy a ticket to their show let alone a VIP meet and greet package. However, if the band has been on heavy rotation in your Rhapsody library for the past 6 months, chances are you would LOVE to be notified when they announce a concert in your area (and even browse VIP packages). Sider explained, “This will show the perfect package to each fan.”
“This is the new era of the music business.” J Sider, CEO, BandPage
BandPage’s data reveals that there is 10x more traffic on streaming sites than artist’s websites. And with Facebook Page’s reach pathetically sitting at around 3%, musicians need to find alternative ways to reach their fans.
“For the first time ever, we can help musicians reach their fans where they are spending the most time in a highly targeted way which also creates a great user experience for the fan. The fan never gets anything that feels like spam, they will only see offers for their favorite bands. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ where the fan gets what they want, which, in turn, drives more revenue for musicians,” Sider said.
BandPage is helping artists reach their fans – wherever they are.
The debate is over. Streaming is the future. Just because you aren’t a streaming user, over 80 million others are. Who will win the streaming war? No one knows. Apple is set to announce their streaming service next week. Will they crush Spotify? I’m not so certain. Everyone thought iTunes radio was going to kill Pandora. It didn’t. Time will tell. But one thing is certain, streaming services need to innovate better user experiences. Spotify recently integrated video, customized playlists and a Running app, but why not make the user experiences beneficial to artists as well?
Individualized push notifications is definitely a start.
Rhapsody (working under the Napster name everywhere outside the US) is the first streaming service to bring a better experience to their users that also financially benefits artists.
It’s in the very beginning stages and there are some major wrinkles that need to get worked out. Currently, if a Rhapsody user gets a push notification for, say, tickets to an upcoming show, but doesn’t interact with it in that exact moment (like open the notification and click “Get Tickets”), the notification disappears and can’t be found anywhere ever again. Not on the artist’s profile. Not on the user’s inbox. Rhapsody should include all offers and tour dates on the artists profiles so fans can seek them out if they choose (in addition to these customized notifications). I get push notifications all the time from NPR, Facebook, Instagram, CNN, what have you. And most of the time I make a mental note of it to go dig in deeper to that notification later. Just because I didn’t interact with the notification in this moment, doesn’t mean I’m not interested in it. It just means I can’t deal with it right now.
Hopefully all other streaming services like Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, YouTube and Apple join Rhapsody in innovating new ways for artists to reach (and monetize) their fans. With the abysmal streaming royalty rates (and massive advances paid to labels which never make their way back to the artists), it would be to the streaming services best interests to find ways to HELP artists first hand (not via their label) monetize their biggest fans. And of course, take a cut of this! Get some skin in the game. There are literally billions of dollars of potential revenue in VIP offers and ticket sales not being realized because fans who’d like to buy, currently can’t (or don’t know how or where to buy).
“From where we sit, this is a fundamental shift in the way we run our business,” said Tim Hunkele, manager of digital strategy for Wiz Khalifa. “We used to reach our fans on our website and social media. But now our fans are spending far more time actually consuming music on streaming services, so that’s where we need to reach them. And instead of posting the same thing to everyone like we do on Facebook, BandPage and Rhapsody help me show the right offers at the right time to the right fan. Musicians have been looking for ways that streaming services can help them drive more revenue, well this is it. I see this as a major part of what will drive our revenue moving forward.”
All artists need to do to be included in these Rhapsody promotions and notifications is get their tour dates, merch and “experiences” packages updated on their BandPage profiles. So do this now!
From now on, your biggest fans will be encouraged to buy right from within Rhapsody (and hopefully soon all the other streaming services).