Nimbit’s MyStore Lets Bands Tap the Power of Facebook to Promote Music and Merchandise

9/16/09Follow @wroush

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we have been building storefront tools for five years. So we know how to adapt our catalog and or commerce engine to a place like MySpace, because we did that last year.

X: Does the MyStore app in Facebook go beyond what you build for MySpace?

PF: It definitely goes beyond that. The implementation on MySpace simply allows artists to take our self-contained music widget, the Nimbit OMT, for Online Merchandising Table, and embed it wherever they want in their MySpace profile. There really isn’t any direct linking into the social networking aspects of MySpace. It just runs there as an application that fans interact with on our system. On Facebook, the fan is really interacting with the Facebook platform itself—so Facebook is aware of what that fan is doing, and we have all these hooks that go out to make sure the viral opportunities are realized. It’s a deeper integration into the social graph, as Facebook would say.

X: There are signs, here and there, of a backlash against Facebook, or the beginning of an exodus—people quitting Facebook for various reasons, whether it’s that they’re sick of the viral apps, or they just aren’t interested in getting back in touch with all their high school classmates. As you contemplated this project, did you ever worry that maybe Facebook has jumped the shark?

PF: We have seen the Facebook platform just mushroom and start to really cross a lot of demographics. When we saw that the 35- to 50-year-old group was the fastest-growing [segment] on Facebook, that’s when we said, ‘Okay, there’s really something going on here.’ Sure, there are going to be ups and downs, but overall the trend at Facebook is not slowing down. It’s very sticky. Once you have set up shop there you are not likely to reinvent your profile with all of your pictures and your social interactions somewhere else. There is a barrier to exit. There might be some pockets of the younger demographic where maybe Facebok is not hip enough for them anymore, and they’ve got disposable time to set up on other platforms. But we are not concerned that Facebook is a passing fad.

That said, all of our eggs are not in the Facebook basket. Facebook is one node on a network of venues where we allow artists to publish and do commerce. Our whole platform is based on the fact that you are going to have fans in a lot of different places. So if another Facebook comes along and has a platform for us to plug into, we’ll plug into it.

X: In your position, you must have a pretty good take on the music scene. I’ve read that there is some outrageous number of garage bands in the United States—like 2 or 3 million. Do you believe those numbers? And is that a market for you?

PF: It’s hard to pinpoint, because bands don’t typically go and register with Dun & Bradstreet, and they’re not on Lexis-Nexis. But from the research we’ve done, there are probably 4 million active bands or artists in the United States. The vast majority of those are … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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