J. Sider discovered his passion for music while growing up in a small town in Virginia. “I lived in the middle of nowhere and started playing music at an early age,” he said. “I got into businesses of music, managing small and medium-sized venues and started thinking about the artist’s connections with their fans: how do they keep in touch with them? Invite them to the next show? Get a new song in front of them?” The answer to those questions at the time was, ‘not easily.’
Many artists have fans in multiple countries and across numerous social platforms. Sider saw this as an opportunity to bring powerful technology to the music industry: he wanted to take his experience working with bands, musicians and venues to create solutions for the inefficiencies in band marketing. “I just wanted to easily connect people who make music with people who love music.”
Out of that vision, Sider eventually founded Bandpage.com, a three-year old online resource for fans and musicians that has over half a million bands registered on the site, including the likes of Rihanna and 50 Cent. The site helps centralize the band’s marketing process by allowing artists to showcase who they are, how they sound, when and where their upcoming shows will be and how fans can connect directly with them, all in one place. Skype plays a big role in helping with the site’s direct fan-to-artist connections.
“Many of the artists I work with have specifically asked me how they could have these personal experiences with their fans from all over the world,” said Shaun Edison, a member of the artist relations team at BandPage. “Skype does a great job of breaking down geographical barriers, and the artists immediately recognized that it would open up their offers to a much broader audience and allow them to be much more flexible with their own schedule. It easily scales and is a win-win for everyone, especially for those fans who may not have the opportunity to ever see their favorite artists live.”
BandPage is betting on premium content like these personal fan-to-artist sessions to be a big profit maker for individual artists. Their assertion is backed by a recent study from Nielsen, which predicts that the music industry could add between $450 million and $2.6 billion in incremental revenue by offering more premium artist content. The latest offering on their site – “Experiences” – caters to this notion by providing paid opportunities for unique fan-to-artist interactions.
“Time zones and physical location create distance, and travel is expensive. But technology enables artists to be able to create direct fan connections easily, which bring happiness and joy – it’s a fan’s dream come true,” said Sider. “The technology that Skype built is the enabler of those experiences. So many fans already know what Skype is, and understand how to use it…so when Ryan from Sleeping at Last begins working on his next album, he can talk to them right from where he is and make a substantial living.”
Check out just a few currently available Skype video call experiences with artists available now: