TheHub.fm is an ecommerce music merch startup featuring a mobile app that will be available in beta on March 8th. Bands can use the app to manage their merch inventory and create an ecommerce store for both web and mobile sales. However the most interesting aspect is the ability to offer fans the option of buying merch at a live show using the app which can then be picked up at the show via an expedited process or delivered to a physical address.
I spoke with founder Jonathan Block yesterday about how TheHub.fm is addressing multiple music merch pain points. In addition to eliminating long lines that move slowly due to check out procedures and expediting pick up or delivery, out-of-stock items can be also be ordered at the show.
So instead of waiting in line while the band's playing the fan's favorite song only to discover that his or her size just sold out, out-of-stock items can be ordered for home delivery. It's a smart idea that will help differentiate TheHub.fm at a time when the music merch space is beginning to heat up.
Apparently TheHub.fm can be used for all music merch sales but the focus is on problems raised by dealing with merch at live shows while on tour, an issue Jonathan Block dealt with over many years in the music industry.
TheHub.fm is Part of the Kansas City Startup/Google Fiber Scene
TheHub.fm is the latest project for Block who is also a partner at Adva Mobile. He made the interesting decision to join the Think Big Partners Accelerator in Kansas City to develop TheHub.fm taking advantage of both Think Big's entrepreneurial resources as well as Google Fiber's recently launched low cost gigabit internet service.
Though certainly not the first such service given that Chattanooga Gig beat them to it, Google's service is cheaply priced and comes with all the energy of Silicon Valley credibility. In fact, many tech writers seem unaware of Chattanooga Gig's existence, the municipal broadband movement or the fact that small towns in the U.S. have led this movement even as big telecom and cable companies have attempted, in some cases successfully, to squash it at every turn.
That said, TheHub.fm is benefitting from the extra energy now present in Kansas City and by their association with Think Big Partners. In fact, Jonathan Block told me yesterday that, after over 30 years in the music business beginning with a label he launched while still in college, he's found his first mentor in Think Big's Herb Sih.
Participate in TheHub.fm's Beta Launch
TheHub.fm becomes available in beta on March 8th in conjunction with the first day of SXSW. At this stage the merch management features will be available. These will be followed by direct sales to fans later in the spring with a full public launch this summer.
Jonathan Block will be meeting with bands and managers at SXSW who wish to find out more or participate in the beta phase of TheHub.fm's development. He'll be there for the whole thing, March 8th through 17th, and if you wish to connect you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.