Many music tech startups are wrestling with the issue of how to make money online and a number are doing so by helping artists make money, often by getting a cut of digital music sales. ChatWithTheBand, an emerging Facebook app for video events with fans, has added virtual goods to the mix with digital items that fans can give to artists. After free credits are used fans can buy more and artists get a cut of fees paid for the sale of credits used as virtual currency within the app.
ChatWithTheBand Tutorial - Manage Gifts
ChatWithTheBand's streaming video app for Facebook facilitates live artist appearances including one on one chats that are broadcast to viewers. You can get a pretty good look at how it works via this video.
ChatWithTheBand launched with the option to sell tracks being played during online listening parties. They're now adding virtual goods in the form of gifts, small digital items shown in the above video that allow one to send a kiss, buy a drink or share some healing energy.
Fans are given free credits to spend on such items during events. They then have the option to buy more free credits. Artist receive 60% of the revenue generated by such sales.
Fans are rewarded for gift giving by an increased fan score which ups their chances of being chosen for random video chats with the artist. ChatWithTheBand is planning additional enticements for fans to up their fan scores such as VIP chat sessions and unlocked content.
Though not direct competitors, the closest comparison could be found in the monetization activities at live streaming event services previously covered at Hypebot such as backBEAT, StageIt and StreamJam. Though StreamJam launched with virtual goods, most monetization involving artists has been via ticket sales and tipping. Virtual goods have huge potential in this space especially given the possibility of branded items.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.