BandPage on Thursday announced deals to integrate its database of more than half a million artists with VEVO's video website and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox Music service.
The agreement is part of a trend among digital music services trying to prove that they want to help musicians in more ways than just paying royalties for streaming artists' content.
By integrating BandPage's artist profiles into their services, the hope is that musicians and bands will receive greater exposure among listeners who watch VEVO videos or listen to Xbox Music's service. VEVO and Microsoft, meanwhile, are able to keep their audience engaged for longer periods of time, rather than have them click away to another website to learn more about an artist.
"As these platforms grow and become places where fans interact with musicians, they’re taking a step toward empowering musicians," said J Sider, founder of BandPage, based in San Francisco. "When fans are on these platforms, they are already leaning forward, listening to your music. They're not just scrolling through a bunch of different types of content. The potential for conversion becomes much higher. At the same time, fans are also getting a richer experience."
The agreement with VEVO calls for BandPage to supply artist photos, biographies and tour dates -- information that VEVO will display on its website, but not on YouTube, where the majority of VEVO's views occur but where VEVO has less control over what types of information it can display outside of its own videos. The deal with Microsoft calls for photos and biographies only.
"These are the first steps of what we hope will become much bigger partnerships," Sider said, suggesting that BandPage is working to let artists add more information to these services, including the ability to direct fans to places where they can buy merchandise, sign up for email notifications or buy tickets.
Pressured by the need to become their own managers and marketers, artists have expressed frustration with many digital music services in recent months, demanding better ways to connect with fans who are listening to their music on these platforms and more transparency in understanding who is consuming their music and how often they are doing so.
Jimmy Iovine in February tapped into that sentiment, promising that the upcoming music service he is building with Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor and Ian Rogers, called Beats Music, will give musicians much more data and access to their fans than any other service. Just how Beats Music will do that remains to be seen as the service is not scheduled to launch until "late 2013."
For now, the integration with BandPage lets Xbox Music and VEVO take a step in the direction of being artist friendly. This is especially true because the artists themselves update their BandPage information, adding tour dates, changing their bios or updating photos in near-real time.
"Musicians lose revenue when there is a wrong ticket link to their show or when it’s not even listed. We can’t engage our fans if there’s an outdated bio or photo," said Rusko, a DJ and musician. "Now I have the ability to change or add that information and that makes a significant impact to our bottom line."