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« Music Career Interviews: Brian Thompson | Main | Episode 7: The Music Biz Weekly Podcast E-Commerce Solutions For Bands »
Saturday
Apr302011

Comparing Music Marketing Platforms/Services

PodCamp2011A few weeks ago I got to present at PodCamp Nashville. The topic - comparing three different music marketing platforms. Bandcamp, Reverbnation and TopSpin. They’re summarized below.

Going by the Twitter stream and this blog post, the biggest take home most of the audience apparently got from my presentation was:

1) “As a musician, your biggest competition is porn. And if you’re paying for porn, you’re doing it wrong.”

2) “Have A Plan.”

Well, one out of two ain’t bad….

The first bit of wisdom was based on an Ars Technica Bit Torrent downloads graphic I had in my slides:

BiTorrent

Without further ado, the highlights:

BC

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Key Features

  • High Quality Audio Formats
  • Name Your Own Pricing
  • Real Time Stats (Fan Engagement, Songs)
  • SEO optimized
  • Store - Physical/Digital ie. Bundles
  • Download Codes
  • Fan Acquisition (Email Adds, FB, Share)
  • Easy To “Skin”
  • Free SoundScan reporting

Limitations

  • No Email Application
  • Lack of Integration with Other apps for Download Codes.
  • Pay for Free Downloads after Free Allotment
    (1.5 cents to 3 cents per download)
  • Very Basic Fan Tracking

 

BC

Difficulty Level: Very Easy to Moderate

Key Features

  • Easiest To Set Up
  • The New MySpace?
  • Charts/How Popular Are You?
  • Nice Mailing List Tool (FanReach & FanReach Pro)
  • Embeddable Widgets - Collect Emails, Music Player, Show Listings
  • Fan Acquisition (Email Adds, FB, Share)
  • Analytics/Stats
  • Street Team Support
  • SEO optimized
  • Store - Flat Fee - Physical/Digital ie. Bundles
  • Reverb Press Kits (RPKs)
  • Easy Integration with Social Media especially FaceBook.
  • TunePaks
  • Gig Finder
  • ReverbRadio - Music Discovery Radio Stream
  • Partnerships & Opportunities – BandZoogle, Audiolife,
    Promotions & Some Cash & Ad Share
  • Digital Distribution Aggregator – iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody etc.
  • The FaceBook Reverbnation App, now called Band Profile, is easier to customize and modify compared to the older My Band app. (added 04/17/11)

Limitations

  • Widgets sometimes difficult to create and embed.
  • Difficult to “skin” and customize your profile.
  • TunePak sometimes behaves strangely.
  • Analytics very limited. Doesn’t integrate with GA.
  • Fans sometimes are just other artists who are trying to “juice” or “fluff.”
  • MySpace Spam.
  • Band Equity Score (BES) a mess!

I made some pointed comments about BES which is a metric to measure how popular you are. It’s based on RN’s prediction/estimation of your:

  • Reach - Number of unique people
  • Influence - How much those people like your content
  • Access - Fan conversion
  • “Recency” - A 2 week window of activity on your Reverbnation profile.

You can add new fans and still drop in BES. You can send mail out and still drop in BES. The “Cap” limits your BES score.

BES Cap

  • New fans more important than old fans.
  • My new contacts weighted more heavily than old contacts.
  • New activity more important than old activity even if old activity reflects better conversion.

You can also “game” the system.

A further resource from Evolvor.com:

http://evolvor.com/services/label-20/a-complete-guide-to-reverbnation/understanding-the-reverbnation-stats-analytics/

 

BC

Difficulty Level: Easy to Challenging

In depth review here.

Key Features

  • Sophisticated Sales Store (Bundles etc.)
  • Fan Acquisition (Email Adds, FB, Share)
  • Sophisticated Fan Tracking
  • High Resolution Analytics
  • Facebook Store Integration
  • Ticket Sales
  • VIP Membership
  • Download Codes
  • Convert at Point of Contact
  • Almost Real Time Stats
  • Fulfillment

Limitations

  • Steep learning curve
  • Facebook integration complicated
  • Email application awful.
  • No Street Team support
  • Widgets sometimes buggy.
  • Functionality over ease of use.
  • SoundScan reporting only available at $999 Enterprise option.
  • Highest cost of all MMP platforms

Summary:

  • Works best if you have a large fan base. > 1000-2000 fans
  • You can afford to offer different merch and product tiers.
  • You can throttle supply and demand ie. Limited Editions etc.
  • People actually care about who and what you are.
  • Newer artists are better served using TopSpin as a fan acquisition device.
  • It is an excellent fan acquisition and conversion platform.
  • Incredible fan commerce platform if you have some programming skills.

Here’s are some of the key features:

features

Finally a comparison box:

features

By no means do I think this is a definitive or complete comparison study. I’m sure some of you marketing ninjas out there know about some unique feature set on one of these platforms that I may have missed. If so, please feel free to comment below. Or just feel free to continue the conversation below. Also, if you were actually at the talk, I would appreciate any thoughts or comments you may have.

My heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the PodCamp organizing committee for once again planning and launching an amazing “un-conference.” Special thanks to David Beronja of The Nashville Feed for having me on his podcast.

Download the presentation here:

Till next time. Peace.

Reader Comments (1)

Glad to read more stuff about this. I can choose the best for my music.

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