As Spotify reportedly inches closer to an IPO, the company continues to build out its presence as an e-commerce platform for artists to market themselves and generate revenue beyond basic music royalties. Today, it is turning on an integration and partnership with BandPage, a company that lets musicians create profiles for themselves and then sell merchandise, tickets to secret shows, experiences and other products to their fans.
Before today, BandPage — which was originally built as a Facebook-only merchandising platform called RootMusic — already integrated with a bunch of other platforms like Rdio, Soundcloud, YouTube and so on — but given that Spotify‘s audience size today of over 40 million active users is heads and shoulders above most of the other pure-music streaming companies, it is a big step forward for the startup to add the Swedish-based company into the mix.
Spotify’s merchandising efforts were kickstarted at the end of last year, and were opened to all artists in January 2014 with a commission-free service, meaning artists, and whatever e-commerce backend services they are using, divvy up the takings.
Spotify currently works with companies like TopSpin to power sales for artists. But from what we’ve heard through the grapevine, now that Apple has bought Beats (and by association TopSpin), the deal with Artist Link (TopSpin’s direct to consumer merchandising service) and the relationship with TopSpin will be phased out.
BandPage, therefore, will be one step to replacing that. Today, BandPage’s services include all kinds of “products” (merchandise + VIP experiences) plus additional data for 500,000 artists. They include Iggy Azalea, Rihanna, Beyonce, Miranda Lambert, Maroon 5, and George Clinton, who, for $250, will call you and set your voicemail message.
(I’ll do it for $50 by the way, and I’m really witty.)
As with the other merchandising integrations, Spotify will take no cuts or fees for products that are sold via its platform. Nor are there any financial terms to this deal between BandPage and Spotify — and no investments, either. (San Francisco-based BandPage has to date raised some $27.6 million from VCs that include Mohr Davidow, GGV Capital and Northgate.)
“For Spotify, this partnership is all about delivering additional opportunities for artists to engage with their fans and followers on Spotify. We don’t take any commissions or fees from artists of BandPage,” says Mark Williamson, director of artists services for Spotify. “For BandPage, Spotify represents a huge audience for their customers to syndicate their merch too. It’s mutually beneficial for us and great for artists and fans.”
Indeed, while Spotify continues to test out the waters for what kinds of ventures may do best on its music distribution platform — there is also the matter of Spotify for Business, another B2B-style effort for offering Spotify streaming in public venues, where Spotify also doesn’t get a cut of anything — it will be interesting to see whether it eventually decides to take some of this kind of activity, and the money to be made from it, into its own hands down the line.
A look of how the offers will appear is below: