Foundry Is Topspin’s Latest Convert
Topspin Media has received a round of Series B funding from The Foundry Group. The venture capital firm wrote effusively, "the timing is finally right for a company like Topspin to have a major impact in the music world."
Some of this is just VC spin. But I spent time last week
talking to Ian Rogers and studying the company; and Foundry is on to something. I’ll write more extensively soon, but Topspin appears to be breaking through the clutter of disjointed widgets and apps to offer an elegant suite of solutions that get to the core of fan attraction, capture, communication and monetization.
Here’s how Foundry Group’s Ryan McIntyre describes the current state of the music industry and the tools needed to thrive in the new environment:
"The distribution of digital music has finally gone mainstream…But this shift really just sets the stage for the continued evolution of the business of being an artist in this new era….
Thanks to technology, the physical world scarcity model has
been upended. The costs of recording and producing world-class music
are nearly zero (though, arguably, talent is still required) and the
costs of distribution are also near zero, which has eroded the
traditional advantages enjoyed by the major labels: exclusive access to
high-end studios, a lock on physical distribution and marketing through
proprietary access to radio and MTV, channels which are becoming
decreasingly important. As music futurist Gerd Leonhard aptly puts it, in the broadband age, marketing is distribution.
A new, more artist-centric model will emerge, one in which the key factor for success rests completely on the ability
of artists to engage directly with their fans and to seek out and
discover new fans, something Seth Godin calls permission marketing. To
do this well, artists, or their managers, agents and record labels need
access to a platform that would be considered an "enterprise-grade"
CMS/CRM suite complete with campaign management, a flexible e-commerce
engine and deep closed-loop loop analytics, verticalized for the
special needs of recording artists, one that provides artists and their
partners with the means to conduct and grow their businesses online.
We believe Topspin is uniquely suited to deliver on this vision.
Building the technology to do this is no simple task, and Topspin is by
no means simply a marketing services play, but rather is a technology