Startups

YouTube Acquires BandPage For $8M To Attract Musicians With Money-Making Tools

Comment

Image Credits:

YouTube wants to win the love of musicians by solving their biggest problem: how to turn popularity into cash. So today it announced it’s acquired BandPage, a startup that helps artists show off and sell concert tickets, merchandise, and exclusive fan experiences.

BandPage founder and CEO J Sider
BandPage founder and CEO J Sider

[Update: According to a source familiar with what BandPage shareholders were sent about the terms of the deal, the financial documents say that the acquisition price was $8 million. Only preferred stock will be converted into cash, and common stock will be cancelled with no payment. A second source later confirmed the deal was for around $8 million.

Since that $8 million is much less than the $27.6 million in funding BandPage raised, the deal appears to be a firesale and few will see any significant payout. Several sources I contacted refused to speak due to strict orders not to discuss the financial terms. It makes sense that the company would try to keep it under wraps since the price was so low. YouTube declined to comment.]

Founded in 2009, BandPage began as an app that let musicians create a special Music tab on their Facebook Page. But after Facebook shut down these Page apps in 2012, it lost 90% of its traffic in three months. It went from 32 million monthly users and being the second most popular Facebook developer behind Zynga, to just a few million.

It was a grim moment, as BandPage had just raised a big $16 million Series B from GGV Capital a few months prior. It eventually had a to raise a smaller $9.3 million Series C in 2014 to stay afloat.

When Facebook banned Page landing tabs in 2012, BandPage lost 90% of its traffic
When Facebook banned Page landing tabs in 2012, BandPage lost 90% of its traffic

 

Luckily, BandPage quickly realized it couldn’t stay on Facebook and unshackled itself. Now its swift pivot seems to have paid off, or at least earned it a soft landing at YouTube. BandPage created a platform that artists could update with their tour dates and t-shirts, and have them appear in tons of places through integrations with Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Shazam, Rhapsody, StubHub, and more, as well as Google and YouTube.

This BandPage Everywhere platform was initially free with a $2 a month subscription fee for extra features. But least year BandPage ditched its Plus tier, made everything free, and instead began relaying on a 15% transaction fee for anything sold through its ecommerce integrations.

spotify_profile_miranda_v03-1
BandPage’s Spotify integration

BandPage writes that “BandPage is dedicated to helping musicians build their careers by growing their fan bases and increasing their revenue on the largest digital music services in the world. By joining forces with the team at YouTube, we can help artists reach their fans in more powerful ways than ever before.”

BandPage CEO J Sider referred me to this blog post when I requested comment. One big question is whether BandPage will keep working with some of YouTube’s biggest competitors.

Bandpage Editor
BandPage’s backend editor for musicians

But Sider did highlight that the blog posts insists that “Our collective goal remains the same: to grow an open network of digital music services, develop intelligent new tools for managing/distributing artist content and commerce, and create new revenue opportunities for all musicians, on YouTube and beyond.” That makes it sound like it will remain platform agnostic, though its non-YouTube partners might feel a little uneasy about it now.

YouTube recently launched its ad-free Red subscription service and dedicated Music app. If it can use BandPage’s money-making tools to curry favor with artists, they might be more likely to promote their YouTube presence and give it early or exclusive content. That could push consumers to subscribe to YouTube Red for $9.99 and get all of YouTube ad-free.

Other steaming services, especially Apple Music, have leaned on promotional opportunities for artists to recruit them, and exclusive content to lure subscribers. But at the end of the day, artists want revenue, and streaming listeners don’t earn them much. The trick is pairing attention pulled in through cheap or free streaming music with things fans can buy like clothing, posters, box sets, concert tickets, or even signed memorabilia and chances to meet their heroes.

Spotify Vs YouTube
Spotify’s artist pages show BandPage Offers that earn musicians revenue. Right now, YouTube’s Music app lacks these money-making tools

 

As you can see above, BandPage’s Offers are integrated into Spotify artist pages but not the YouTube Music app’s musician profiles. When artists consider where to direct their fans, they’ll prioritize ones that make them more money. The BandPage acquisition could get more revenue opportunities into YouTube’s properties so artists push traffic there.

Music is a cut-throat business. Artists feel underpaid while the tech giants compete to offer similar streaming music services that force them to pay out almost all their earnings to record labels. BandPage could make YouTube different — a place where artists and the platform capitalize on the attention music draws by selling everything surrounding it.

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo