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

9/16/09Follow @wroush

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garage-band level. But we do see a growing middle class of artists, because of the lowered barriers to entry. Theoretically, anyone can get together and record an album and have it come out fairly decent. The question is whether they are going to take it to the next level and go out there and gig and promote and cultivate a fan base that could possibly sustain a career for them.

And what we’re seeing is that there are quite a few more bands dipping their toes into that pond. There have been 100,000 new releases reported in the last year, and that’s up significantly over the last two years. This ‘upwardly mobile middle class,’ if you will, probably numbers around 500,000 artists. The other thing is that there is a drop-down from the established acts and the major-label acts. They are actually coming down off the labels and looking for a business platform to operate on. So that is also inflating the middle tier. We think that this growing middle segment, at some point in the next five years, is going to be producing and selling the majority of music. And our platform is something that lets them try that out in a scalable way for very little up-front cost.

X: So, let’s say I have a band. What’s the minimum amount of music I need to have recorded, or the minimum number of fans I need, in order to set up a credible Nimbit MyStore on Facebook?

PF: If you’re asking me what defines a successful act, that’s a broader question. But if you’re asking what constitutes a viable install of the Nimbit MyStore, it can be at a very low level. If you have an album of material that you’ve recorded that people are into, and you have some type of a following—it doesn’t have to be thousands of fans, but if you have a few hundred fans who would come out to see you on a Friday night—then you can definitely leverage Facebook and expand that community. The cost of entry is so low that it’s very easy for an artist to try that out and to generate some revenue. The question is are they going to sustain it and continue to actively produce products that fans are interested in and give them compelling reasons to buy.

X: So it sounds like the quest for musical fame on Facebook is like everything else—you only get as much out of it as you put into it.

PF: Absolutely. We say to every one of our clients that it doesn’t matter who you are or what level of success you’re at, if you just put up a store and you don’t do anything more, then you aren’t going to get great results. You definitely have to engage the fan and remind them that you’re there and give them new and interesting things to check out. And if you do that and if you’ve got some level of talent and quality, then the fans are going to respond, and they’re going to tell their friends, too.

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

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