Direct-to-fan technology company Topspin Media  is opening up its service to all comers: Next month the company will offer a new version of its service that will be open to all users starting at $9.99 per month.
The subscription service will have the same direct-to-fan software platform that is currently used by Topspin clients. In fact, the company claims it can be used by "every musician, filmmaker, author, and artist on the planet." Right now details on the new service are scarce; the company says more information will released next week.
A new, low-cost service puts Topspin squarely in competition with other direct-to-fan technology providers such as ReverbNation, Bandcamp and Moontoast. Topspin has offered direct-to-fan tools since 2008. But until now is has concentrated on business-level clients who have the resources and technological wherewithal to properly use the tools. Aimed at individuals, the new service is likely to be far more easy to use than existing Topspin tools.
In addition, the company announced on Wednesday it will award a $5,000 grant  to the best direct-to-fan business model from the past year. Submitted business plans, due March 7, will be judged by a panel of industry experts that includes Columbia Records Co-President Rick Rubin, Mark Geiger of Williams Morris Endeavor and Pixies manager Richard Jones.