Bkstg Raises $20 Million For Free Direct To Fan App That Let’s Artists Keep Their Data
Connecting artists to fans without the middlemen has long been holy grail of the new music industry. Last week, Bkstg, a new player with a substantial pedigree, powerful backers and a major war chest entered the race.
Former AOL video executive Ran Harnevo has raised $20 for digital fan hub Bkstg from an impressive list of backers including Global Group, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Mark Cuban, Deep Fork Capital, Gordy Crawford, Scooter Braun and Live Nation.
Artist Direct then MySpace and now Facebook, alongside a plethora of less popular players including Apple Music's new Connect, have all worked to become the place where fans connect with their favorite musicians and other celebrities.
Unlike most social media where artists can build and talk to their fanbase, Bkstg promises to add commerce and information capture. Uniquely, artists will be able to keep any data they generate there and even take it with them if they leave the service. The service will be free to use, according to re/code, but will take a percentage of any transactions like tickets, music sales, live steams or merchandise that generate revenue.
Backstage is being built based on lesson learned from Fahlo.me. That app never gained traction after launching with $3 million in backing last year. Harnevo was brought in as CEO; and he renamed the company, began rebuilding the app from the ground up and raised the new funding.