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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You’re on tour, and you get an angry email or text from Jessica, a fan in the last city you played. Turns out, even though you emailed her (and all of your list), you Tweeted about the concert, and you set up a Facebook event, she catch that you were playing there last night. You see, Jen’s party was moved, Alex doesn’t need help moving until tomorrow, and our pal Jessica found herself with nothing to do, so she opened up Bandsintown to search for a concert to go to. She got a slew of listings of independent and major artists playing near her location, clicked “Get Tickets,” and just like that, she had a great night…with another band!
Why wasn’t your band on there? If it had been, not only would Jessica have seen your show listing, she would have gotten a push notification alerting her that your band was playing, and at which venue, because your songs are in her Spotify playlists, and she loves your first EP that she downloaded on her iTunes.▼ Article continues below ▼
Bandsintown has 11 million registered “concert goers,” and over 65% of all touring acts use it. Now you, as an independent artist, can (AND SHOULD) get involved, too. I spoke with Bandsintown’s CEO, Julien Mitelberg, to get the inside scoop on this growing app, and more importantly, how it can benefit the independent music community.
Bandsintown is putting up some impressive numbers; how does it work, what’s the magic behind the app?
A great team, for one. Basically, we take the work out of concert discovery, so that your fans never miss another show. The Bandsintown app syncs with a user’s Facebook music activity and iTunes, as well as connected services like Google Play, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, etc. Using all of that data we’re able to craft a personalized music cloud called “Music DNA.” We take those results and deliver real-time alerts and push notifications when new concerts or shows are announced based on favorite artists.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the “Push Notification” economy lately in the app world. How does your company handle the risk of spamming or bothering your fans?
Interestingly, we did a survey on that very issue with Insight Strategy Group. Out of 1,800 music enthusiasts, ages 16-59 in the U.S, 80% of respondents want concert dates pushed to them as opposed to searching for them. So, it turns out, in this area at least, your fans really want that reminder delivered. They don’t want to miss your band ever again. With Bandsintown, you can deliver that promise to them in whatever city they may happen to be in.
Is this only for the big concert, major labels artists?
Absolutely not. We intend to show the fan every concert near them, and provide an easy way to buy tickets instantly. But, with a lot of independent bands, the situation is different. We may not have worked with that particular venue, or ticketing agency. So, we started the Artist Platform. This is a way for independent artists to join our platform, edit their own information, and let us know of those venues and shows we may not have caught automatically.
So, any artist can use it?
Yes, just download the app to see how it works for concert fans, free of course. Then, either the manager or artist can go right to www.artists.bandsintown.com on their computer or tablet to get started customizing their profile. And it is free for Performer readers who have not signed up yet.
Excellent, thanks for the hook-up. So, what can artists do to make the platform work best for them?
Being on the Artist Platform allows you to control the content, what information to disseminate, what to post. We pre-populate the events synced with your social media channels (especially Facebook events) and those can be displayed via a simple widget on any of your sites. We can pre-populate posts for you to send. You can also use the platform to schedules posts and push notifications for things such as show announcements, tickets on sale, etc. We can send these out a month before the show, week before, even the day of.
So, does this take a lot monthly maintenance?
No, not at all. As an artist, once you’re set up and you’ve added dates, we’ll start tracking your shows. In fact, you might be on there and being tracked by fans already. And once your fan is tracking you, they can request you in their town, and…the next time, they will absolutely know you are coming.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-Michael St. James is the founder and creative director of St. James Media, specializing in music licensing, publishing, production and artist development.