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« MAKING MYSPACE INTO A TOOL THAT MATTERS | Main | 5 Tips to Increase Sales in this Failing Music Industry »
Sunday
Jun132010

'BandPage' On Facebook; Is This What Will Replace MySpace?!

MySpace, once the best place for anything music related. If you wanted to hear audio from your favourite musician or discover up and coming talent, MySpace was the place to go.

These days however, MySpace is full of musicians promoting to each other. And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it led more sales, but the truth is most of the people on MySpace are only in it for themselves. The ‘real people’, the potential fans, have more or less all left, choosing to instead use the multimillion pound social networking website Facebook.

Those forward thinking musicians instantly jumped onto the Facebook train, hoping to pick up fans with their newly set up ‘Facebook fan page’. But while Facebook has allowed musicians to create their own fan pages from near the beginning, it’s never been a complete music solution… That is until now!

Enter RootMusic, a company that provides digital solutions for musicians. RootMusic has gone ahead and created the ‘BandPage’ application, an app that allows you to put all your material and information on your Facebook fan page. You can upload and stream music, add an eye catching banner at the top of your page, list your tour dates, provide links to where people can buy your music (It’s in the Facebook rules that you’re not allowed to directly sell off Facebook, so you have to provide links to external sales pages instead), and much much more.

Sound like the best parts of MySpace anyone? Well, that’s because it is, but without all the annoying fluff that came with it.

Musicians such as Snoop Dogg, Drake, Oona, Josh Ritta and many more already use Band Page, and more will no doubt follow suit as BandPage’s popularity continues to take off.


So what do you think, does BandPage spell the end for MySpace? Or is there still some use for MySpace in terms of gaining and maintaining fans? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post and want to create your own BandPage page, check out the step by step guide to doing this in the following post: How To Stream Promote And Sell Your Music On Facebook (A Bandpage Guide).

This article was written by Shaun Letang of the Independent Music Advice website, a website dedicated to helping musicians learn the business side of the music industry, and in turn make money from their audio.

References (2)

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Reader Comments (14)

I know we've had this discussion before... lol.
Personally, I like Bandpage because while you can customize it.. you're limited to exactly how much customization you can do.

If i'm visiting someone's page I don't have to wait for 300 videos and animated gifs to download before I can get to the content.

BTW: You can see my page here:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Universal-Indie-Records/352251637417?ref=ts

Shameless self promotion I know.. lol

Agreed, I feel part of the reason MySpace died out is because the slow loading time and annoying 'extras' you had to swim through to get to the main content. While I feel one or two more things could be added to BandPage to make it the ultimate MySpace replacement, it's defiantly on the right tracks...

Plus it being on Facebook (Which could allow your page to go viral) is a big plus!

June 14 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

Hey Shaun,

Thanks for the support, glad you like it so far, we have built this simply to help! ;)

what would those one or two things be that you feel we could do better? Would love any feedback, it helps us to make it even better!

Cheers,

J

June 14 | Unregistered CommenterRootMusic

"The ‘real people’, the potential fans, have more or less all left, choosing to instead use the multimillion pound social networking website Facebook."

Boy, good thing you didn't do any research on that claim, otherwise you would have had to re-write it and stuff.

Myspace is absolutely a worthless piece of shit nightmare failure, yes. But don't parrot conventional wisdom, it's bad for the species. Myspace's business model is failing and their overhead is stupid huge because they expected further growth -- there's a lot more to Myspace than what goes on in Murdoch's boardrooms though. Myspace obviously and transparently still gets massive traffic DESPITE headlines and reduced ad revenues.

Most importantly, depending on your market Myspace might actually still be a viable and useful place to be. If you're doing hip hop in Atlanta, you'd be out of your mind to ignore Myspace right now. That's not a timewarp, that's just market research @ work. "The future is here, but it's not evenly distributed yet."

I definitely second Bandcamp. I'm baffled by the fact it's still free. It's clean, embeddable and does a LOT of valuable shit for DIY musicians: collecting money and emails and metrics, especially. Apparently they're having security problems right now (Download Manager allows people to DL the "paid" tracks for free due to code being a little too open) but as someone who came up in the tech bubble, everyone has a hacker problem in the world and that's just the cost of doing business -- like the IRS.

But the best part? No social networking. That stuff is only fun for the first few months, after that it's pretty much pathology. The only "social networking" that musicians need to really think about and strategize and put work into is communicating with their people, their tribe, their fanbase...their loving herd.

The rest is just a matter of being yourself...not being too much of an asshole...and remembering that 99% of the work you put in should never be a status update, anywhere. Even the porn industry is like 1% actual sex.

(Thanks for the creative stimulus this morning!)

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

@RootMusic

An awesome perspective and a good example of making follow-up comments count. I dig where you're coming from.

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

I'm baffled by the fact it's still free.

@Justin - SHHHH!! Don't give them any bright ideas.... :)

June 15 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

For what it is worth, I will not accept any outside applications on Facebook. I'm sure I am not the only one.

I don't really trust Facebook, so I tend to keep tight control over what I do there.

Hi RootMusic. To be honest there's not a lot I can recommend as you currently offer a good service (Unless you want to branch out into providing other services such as an opt in forms / mailing list service incorporated into RM). It's more down to Facebook making their site more catered for musicians as the way the current fan page works doesn't make it that easy to network or gain new fans.

One of the things that would make RootMusic better would be allowing musician to sell digital downloads directly from their page, but last time I checked that was against the Facebook terms of service? So maybe not something you could directly influence...

If I have any ideas I'll be sure to let you know, but the things I feel would make the RootMusic experience really take off are probably beyond your control... The service is a good how it is though, I hope it continues to grow. :)

And Suzanna, it may be worth making a separate FB page if you don't want applications having access to your personal information? Treat one as your personal page and one as a business / music one...

June 15 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

Why is Bandpage unable to link to my FB profile? So someone has to specifically hunt for it? Useless!!! In all honesty, this service isn't worth the $2 a month...

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterKai

Yes, I have given some thought to setting up a separate Facebook page for business. I originally started to use Facebook to connect/reconnect with professional contacts. Now I am more inclined to use Twitter for professional reasons.

That leaves me with Facebook that is a mix of professional and personal contacts. I've been pulling some personal info out of that page, but so far I haven't felt like trying to get personal contacts to a new page or business contacts to a new page.

To tell you the truth, I haven't seen much on Facebook that is all that compelling in terms of marketing. I voted in the Lilith Fair competition for OurStage and just went to the website rather than doing it via Facebook application. I've voted for some Pepsi Refresh projects and have gone directly to the Pepsi Refresh site rather than doing it through the Facebook application.

Quite honestly, I'm not sure I like Facebook trying to be the central point in my life, which appears to be the company's goal. It hasn't been a great place to promote bands and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

As the direct-to-fan folks have been pointing out, it's better to maintain your own website and then perhaps drop widgets on other websites rather than trying to do much on those websites. Don't invest too much in any site that has the potential to disappear someday.

We already seen the disappearance of mp3.com. And MySpace isn't what it once was. So why should we assume Facebook will have staying power?

And even if you convince me to use outside Facebook applications, what about all the other people who refuse to do so? They aren't going to go to the trouble of setting up two pages just so they can use outside applications on one of them.

Also, I get so many event notices and messages related to events sent to me by Facebook contacts that I delete virtually all of them without reading them.

It's MySpace all over again. Once bands start using any promotional tool, they all do and you just end up ignoring them all.

And, to tell you the truth, I'm doing that now with email newsletters, too. I used to only subscribe to a limited number of band newsletters. Then, to get some free MP3s, I must have signed up for more newsletters because I'm getting them from artists/bands I don't even remember requesting. So other than the 5-10 or so bands I've always closely followed, I'm ignoring all the stuff I'm getting via email, too.

Hi Suzanne. I agree with some of what you're saying, I don't think people should make Facebook the central point of their lives. As I've stated in a recent post on my website musicians should use Facebook and other social networking websites as a means to gain awareness then drive traffic to your own website where you can get them on your mailing list etc (Post in question is Why All Musicians Need A .com Website). Like you said Facebook and any other external website can disappear without warning, so it's best to get people to a place which you have more control over.

Having said that, Facebook can be a good tool if used correctly. While it takes a lot of know how and often luck, your material could potentially go viral allowing you access to 100s or 1000s of fans over night! Admittedly this isn't something that can b achieved by everyone (You need the right marketing knowledge / it takes time to put everything in place for this to happen / you need the right material and spreadable story for people to want to talk about you) but it is possible and very beneficial.

If you're willing to put the work in FB can be a powerful tool. And while it may disappear someday, the uses you can get out of it today are very helpful.

June 17 | Registered CommenterShaun Letang

maybe it's just me but facebook is trying a bit too hard... yes, i am all for "evolving" and "adapting to changing needs" but quite frankly, facebook is NOT COOL and it never will be. the essence of facebook is "exclusivity". you only really communicate with those you know and apart from the few friends that i found on facebook after many years of having lost them, i don't remember EVER having MET someone (and i don't mean it in a dating context), so the whole point about facebook as always been that you interact with your friends and keep everyone else out. that seems to be pretty much a total contrast to what they are now trying to encourage with bandpages... where does that fit in?? to be honest, i think all these large media conglomerates seem to forget their strengths and weaknesses. as opposed to turn around your weaknesses (ie. facebook missing the music element), just focus on your strengths and stop dilluting what people liked you for. i left myspace years ago because of all the promo stuff i ended up getting that i had never signed up for. already for the past half a year i have stopped reading the event invitations on facebook, i just ignore them all. there are too many! everyone and their brother feel like they have to suddenly send you 5 reminders for a cake party. i mean: what the heck? so if bandpages now take over, i will get invitations to cake parties AND the very messages i ran away from years ago on myspace.

to be honest, i'm getting bored of facebook. same old, same old. yeah, great tool and almost everyone i know is on it but there are only SO many comments one can leave on the wall. i miss differentiation, external input, coming across stuff randomly that i did NOT look for. as of today, unless i search, i don't find. and yes, i agree with Suzanne: i don't trust facebook and i trust these application makers even less. most of the applications are built with the sole purpose to get your information, it's large corporations that give some game programmers a little side job to come up with something that people will like, pay them a lousy little fee and then plug those applications on facebook to phish your data. that's the pretty little loophole on facebook. no, they are NOT selling your data but they are also letting every corporation get the info through the backdoor.

can someone please come up with something else? after staring at a blue/white profile for three years i'm ready to move on to more colour, diversity, inspiration and creative expression beyond the biggest fad word of 2009 "applications"... seriously. so much for teaching kids to "think outside the box". all we do is stay IN a box when we're on facebook. lame.

June 21 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

"it may be worth making a separate FB page if you don't want applications having access to your personal information?"

I wouldn't recommend doing this since it's against Facebook's policy to have a business account. (Stupid, I agree) Even though a lot of companies are doing this, you run the risk of investing a lot of time and effort into creating an account and building a fan base, only to get everything taken away by FB overnight and lose everything you worked so hard to build up.

I'm not necessarily a huge FB fan, but whether you like it or not, you can't run from the fact that it has 400+ million users, many of them checking in at least once a day. By ignoring a presence on FB you are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. If you one day choose to switch social networks to whatever the new hyped social network will be (perhaps it will be this one? : http://tinyurl.se/62tfwe), you can just send out a PM to your FB fans that they can follow you in this new network going forward. Give it a few months before terminating your FB account and before you know it your fan base will have made the switch. Complement your social network with a personal website so that those FB fans that don't wind up making the switch still can follow your blog via RSS or some other way.

I don't agree that Facebook is becoming like Myspace... sure, the shameless self promotion is all there, but a user on FB at least has the option of hiding these spammers from their newsfeed if they so wish. The messages you receive from businesses/musicians are in a separate inbox from your FB inbox, called 'Updates', which you can just regard as your junk mail folder. And it is your choice in the first place what bands/businesses you are connected to, no one is forcing you to join groups and follow bands.

I do agree though that there are plenty of improvements that need to be made if FB is here for the longrun. One thing that would make it better is if FB implemented newsfeed filters so that you could filter out certain kind of news items from your feed, such as Foresquare check-ins, new friendships (since bands are always adding new fans which I have to witness on a daily basis) etc.

"i miss differentiation, external input, coming across stuff randomly that i did NOT look for."

Just go to whatever websites you usually go to for entertainment (Collegehumor.com, NY Times etc) and see if they have a FB Page. 'Like' their page and wallah - you will get your entertainment right in your newsfeed on FB. Pretty smooth!

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterElodie

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