PledgeMusic is becoming the go-to platform for reaching superfans. The six-year-old company, an e-commerce platform that allows artists to connect with fans and sell both music and experiences in a type of "subscription," announced on Tuesday that it had acquired two more direct-to-fan platforms, NoiseTrade and Set.fm.
The deals give PledgeMusic additional services for its artist customers while increasing its user base to over 3 million. CEO Benji Rogers explained in a statement the combined company can now offer services for "the lifecycle of recordings, tours and the constantly-changing forms of artistic output" under one roof.
NoiseTrade provides free downloads of music and audiobooks in exchange for an artist donation and an email address. It's used by independent artists and authors that make money outside of traditional retail channels while gathering email addresses of downloaders. Rogers is an advisor to the company.
Set.fm has a unique approach to live records. The Set.fm app allows artists to record a concert by uploading the recording in real time. The music can be recorded through either a sound board or a stereo mic. It currently has concerts by over 2,000 artists performing at more than 700 venues, according to its website.
Direct-to-fan platforms are taking on greater important in the streaming era. Superfans are big spenders. PledgeMusic claims its average transaction is $55. That's the equivalent to at least 5 album downloads and five and a half months of a $9.99-per-month subscription service.
A 2013 study by Nielsen, with PledgeMusic's involvement, found the most valuable customer segment spent an average of $402 and accounted for 14 percent of all music fans. These are the PledgeMusic customers. All other consumer segments averaged $68 a year in recorded music spending.
Another of the study's relates to Set.fm; nearly seven out of 10 PledgeMusic customers had listened to a concert live stream in the previous 12 months and said they would pay up to $27 to view a live performance. Live streaming would be a natural extension of the PledgeMusic product offering.