This is Part 2 in our series looking at the leading companies offering indie and d.i.y artists the services that help them capture, communicate with and monetize their relationship with fans. You can read PART 1: INSIDE SONICBIDS: EPKs & OPPORTUNITES. Next week: OurStage, ReverbNation, Topspin.
Nimbit was among the first to create a platform for monetizing the band to fan relationship. According to CEO Patrick Faucher, the company's mission is "to enable the artist team (band, manager, label, agent, fan) to collaborate and sell virtually any product from anywhere online".
Unlike many services that offer a single solution, Nimbit users can sell CDs, DVDs, downloads, merchandise and electronic tickets directly from their own storefront; and with the use of provided widgets spread their storefront across their own or fans' social profiles, blogs and web sites. Nimbit also offers fulfillment for physical good orders.
Bundling and information capture is also part of the Nimbit offering...
"A fan could, for example, purchase an MP3 single with a t-shirt and a ticket to a show in one transaction. Soon you will be able to bundle other things like ringtones and fanclub memberships," say Faucher. "All the purchasing info and customer data goes directly to the artists and catalog owners to use however they wish in future marketing. This is a major shift from the traditional retail distribution model which takes more money out of the artist pocket and leaves them with no ownership over the customer/fan."
The artists services space is getting competitive and Nimbit is responding with new services. In June they launched an official MySpace version of their flagship widget, the nimbitOMT, enabling direct sales from the popular social networking site. They are now also working with major labels as well as indie and d.i.y. artists. Select SonyBMG artists will be first up August starting with Kings of Leon. Also in August comes a beta download card program. The cards have unique codes and can be sold or given away to drive fans to the artist's web site to be redeemed for digital products and bundles.
"This is only the beginning of a massive revolution in how artist brands are marketed and distributed to the consumer through all the discovery points now happening online," says an enthusiastic Faucher. Even as competition increases, this focus on artist empowerment from Faucher and co-founder Phil Antoniades, as well as, there early to the sector status should help keep Nimbit among the leaders.