Nugs.net Appetizer Puts Direct-to-Fan Download Sales In Facebook Newsfeed
Nugs.net dates back to the early days of the Internet with inspiration going back even further. Nugs.net offers a variety of services but it's core mission is to provide live recordings of shows by such bands as Phish and Metallica the day after they occur. Recently they added Appetizer which offers direct-to-fan music sales in Facebook's newsfeed, bringing the music to the fans where they already congregate.
Speaking with Nugs.net's founder and CEO, Brad Serling, was a real pleasure both due to the well thought out nature of the business and the connection to the history of both music on the Web and the live taping traditions of the Deadheads who spread the cult of the Grateful Dead.
I learned way more than I can share here but, for those interested in hearing more of the history, you can check the NY Times for a profile from 2004 and the Nugs.net About page for additional coverage.
The short version is that a teenage boy started following and taping the Dead, eventually turning to the Internet to share his cassette collection. This desire to share led to a fan site that morphed into web services for a wide range of bands that tape their shows live and then distribute them online. Some bands have only a few concerts available while a few bands such as Phish, via LivePhish.com, are attempting to offer every show they play.
Though it is a paid service, Nugs.net continues to provide regular free downloads and also provides cloud storage for all purchases which one hopes will eventually become a standard practice.
Nugs.net's Appetizer is intended to give fans a taste of the most recent live show and to offer it as a paid download. You can check out examples for Phish and Metallica. Though there are some quirks involving https which will be offputting for some, those with Nugs.net accounts will be able purchase shows with one click.
The shift from direct-to-fan Facebook apps on fan pages is significant in that it moves the exchange into the heart of fan activity rather than requiring a visit to a separate location of the site. The next step will be to tailor the offerings to each unique user based on their likes as well as the likes of their friends. Once that step is in place, the bumper sticker slogan, "Who Are The Grateful Dead And Why Do They Keep Following Me?", will take on new dimensions!
Nugs.net is also working on such features as album sales in the FB newsfeed and are discussing that possibility with music labels. In addition, they provide webcasts of live shows that include Facebook comments on the right side of the player that have driven both FB Likes and sales.
The company services both bands and labels, from arena acts to smaller club acts. There's no set up fee and artists earn a revenue share from the very first sale. Serling makes the final call on who's a good fit and you can reach him via Nugs.net's feedback form.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance: World Dance News is his primary web project. To suggest websites and related topics for review, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.