BandPage on Wednesday announced that its half a million users can update some of their information simultaneously on Twitter, Pandora, SoundCloud and Facebook -- putting in place key pieces of its ambition to give musicians a central location where they can manage their myriad online presence.
"The idea is to give musicians a tool that would let them update their band information once and have it automatically appear everywhere online so they don't have to sign on to all these different accounts," said J Sider, chief executive of the San Francisco start-up.
BandPage isn't quite there, however. Only some information can be automatically downstreamed from BandPage's online dashboard, called BandPage Connect. That's because Facebook only allows third-party developers to remotely update profile pictures and a website link through its application programming interface, or API. Twitter only allows changes to the profile picture, website link and current city. SoundCloud lets artists update their profile pictures and band biographies.
"When the API opens up to allow more data to be added, we'll certainly add those," Sider said.
BandPage started in 2010 as a free application on Facebook that allowed musicians to quickly set up their pages on the social network. It quickly grew to become one of the top 5 Facebook apps the following year, as hundreds of thousands of bands adopted the app.
Last year, however, traffic to BandPage's application plummeted after Facebook migrated its users to the Timeline format. Facebook also made changes to its newsfeed algorithm that made it less likely for its 1 billion users to see updates from companies and brands. As a result, BandPage's monthly active users, which hit a peak of nearly 29 million in October 2011, is now hovering just above 3 million, according to BandPage estimates.
As a result, BandPage last year embarked on a plan to build its own platform for artists -- one that can link up to multiple online networks, not just Facebook. It started in July with BandPage Everywhere, which allowed artists to add to existing websites customized "widgets" that, say, populate a page with videos, photos or playlists. In November, it launched BandPage Connect, which built a direct "pipe" to partners such as Midem, WordPress and Pledge Music. The pipes let artists click a button to send their data to the site. The Stone Foxes used it to populate their current campaign on PledgeMusic.
BandPage is still far away from their dream of building a universal dashboard for artists, Sider acknowledged.
"Yes, it's a big job," he said. "But the picture is starting to come together as we continue to add the pieces."