J Sider, our CEO, recently wrote this article for Music Ally about how RootMusic was started, his inspiration behind RootMusic, and how musicians can make the most out of the Internet. We wanted to share it with you guys – take a peek!
I got into the music business as a musician. Music truly makes me move my feet, my soul, my mind. I started out booking bands for a coffee shop in my hometown of Harrisburg, Virginia. From there, I started bookingbigger venues and managing bigger bands. Eventually, I wound up booking shows for a venue that held 4,000 folks, as well as managing bands who were playing at the Sundance Film Festival.
It was this experience that made me realize that there had to be a better way to do music online. There are so many amazing bands around, but they’re not being heard because they don’t know what the next step is. Too many musicians were wasting time on dated social networks and ineffectively communicating to fans. Those fans were eager to hear new music and go to shows but didn’t know where to find that information. A lot of the available tools required at least a basic knowledge of HTML, while others required hiring an engineer to build the desired product. But how many musicians do you know that could build a custom music player on Facebook? Or can afford to hire one?….eh? Not many.
So I moved to San Francisco, where RootMusic was born. When we were first building the company, we wanted to build a tool that would not only simplify musicians’ experience online but also be a great experience for fans. When we looked at Facebook, we saw the opportunity. Having a presence on Facebook is important to any artist’s success. As the face of the music community changes rapidly, it’s becoming more and more important for musicians to effectively reach their fans, and Facebook is the perfect platform for doing just that. With that in mind, we released BandPage in March of 2010.
Fast forward to today, a year after we launched: BandPage is the #1 music app on Facebook with over 21 million fans using it every month to check out musicians. With BandPage, musicians can upload music, videos, Twitter feed, blog feed, photos, bio and more – all in one place on Facebook. BandPage lets fans and musicians share songs, shows and pages to their wall or directly to their friend’s wall. We’re always innovating, listening to what customers want and building tools that help demystify the music industry for everyday musicians.It’s critical for bands to have an online presence – the Internet has revolutionized the way that bands and fans interact. Musicians are using new tools like BandPage to reach out to their fans and build a global audience. Not only is it easier to communicate with fans but, with the right tools, it’s more personal, more meaningful and more productive. The fans are the soul of the music industry. They always have been, and they always will be – they’re the ones who trek across town in the pouring rain to go to shows, scrape up money to buy the latest album, and, most importantly, they’re the ones who tell their friends to check out the newest awesome band. That’s why it’s so important to listen to what fans want, to engage them and talk to them.
The Internet has only empowered fans, and it’s clear what they want: an experience driven by the music. They’re here for the music, to listen to it, to share it, to dance to it, to live it. There’s no reason not to give them what they want. It’s important to take every opportunity to build a relationship, to cultivate it – treat your fans right, and they will be loyal. This means giving them a good place to listen to the music, somewhere they can go to to find the tour dates, making it easy for fans to find updates and share with friends. It’s time to put some real effort and creativity into your fans. Put yourself in their shoes.
At the end of the day, after all the mp3’s and wav files have been uploaded, and everything has been tweeted and blogged and updated on Facebook, it’s about the effort you put behind it, how you use the tools, the fans and, above all else, the music.