Last month, we wrote about Vibedeck, which had just raised $2 million in funding for its eCommerce platform for musicians. As we wrote then, though VibeDeck is still in early development (having launched in beta 2 months ago), it’s value proposition is that it’s slick and easy to use. And the startup’s goal is simple, too: To be a low-cost eCommerce resource for small to medium size bands — or musical startups or mSMBs, if you will.
VibeDeck does this by giving artists customizable landing pages, where they can add band info, images, and make use of an embeddable player to share their tunes, in which they can drag and drop tracks to reorder etc. The platform also allows musicians to export sales data and connect their account to PayPal in order to receive payments directly from fans. And the best part is, beyond PayPal fees, VibeDeck is free to use.
After our prior coverage, quite a few commenters expressed their frustration with current direct-to-fan solutions. More mature services, like Bandcamp, offer direct-to-fan merchandise sales as well, but BandCamp, in particular, is a bit more focused on adding features that will make it equivalent to a web version of a band manager, whereas VibeDeck is solely focused on becoming an eCommerce solution.
As commenters pointed out, VibeDeck has a ways to go before it has the same functionality as other music services, but in keeping it simple (and remaining free), it has some great potential. Every day fans and musicians are always looking for services that keep prices low.
And today VibeDeck added another piece of the puzzle by deploying a SoundCloud integration that will allow any SoundClouder to sell tracks directly to fans (or give away music for free in exchange for email data, if they’re cool like that). This new feature also enables fans to buy MP3s (along with metadata and artwork) as SoundCloud “sets” directly from a SoundCloud user’s page. It’s a quick, 3-step purchase process, and payments flow directly into the artist’s PayPal account. And, thankfully, VibeDeck doesn’t take a cut of those sales.
The set-up process produces a free VibeDeck page as a by-product (an example of which you can see here), and pricing is up to the user’s discretion. However, there is an email-for-media option for those musicians that would rather distribute their music for free in exchange for building an email list.
VibeDeck CEO Lior Shamir said that he sees this integration as a quick and easy way to add an eCommerce layer on top of SoundCloud’s audio foundation. This is especially relevant considering the fact that SoundRain (which offered a similar service) is no longer live. Readers can test out the SoundCloud integration here.
The fact that payments flow right into PayPal, and that bands can connect their VibeDeck accounts to Facebook and embed their VibeDeck-powered music store on any website — plus the bonus that VibeDeck standardized the download type (320kbps MP3) to meet the expectations of Amazon and iTunes consumers — the startup is beginning to look like it has some serious potential.
VibeDeck still has some work to do, but offering a solution in which artists keeping 100 percent of profits? That’s music to the ears.