Bandsintown_For Artist_Banner_6-11-19-01-01

THE PITCH: Twickets - A "Face-Value Or Less" Ticket Exchange
Record Exec Jason Flom Tells Renman How Lorde Became A Superstar

BandPage And How To Use Metadata To Build Your Fanbase [INTERVIEW]

BandPageLogoRecently the folks at Music Consultant sat down to have a chat with Jim Patterson, the Chief Product Officer at BandPage, to discuss the expansion the platform has experienced in recent years, and how the site's metadata can be a huge asset for artists looking to expand their fan base.

__________________________________

Guest Post by Rick Goetz on MusicConsultant 

Jim Patterson is Chief Product Officer at BandPage. Founded by J Sider, BandPage is a fully-featured application that helps musicians manage their music, tour dates, photos, bio and videos across their entire online presence including Facebook, websites and blogs. At BandPage, Jim is responsible for leading roadmap planning, product design, software development, data science and technical operations. Previously, Jim was Group Product Manager at Google for five years and at YouTube for three years. As Chief Product Officer of eHarmony, he led product management, design, and data science teams. Earlier in his career, Jim led the product team at Macrovision (now Rovi) as Senior Director of Worldwide Product Management and later Senior Director of Business Development/Corp Strategy. He was Senior Director of Global Product Management at Overture (acquired by Yahoo!), and Senior Director of Product Management at Placeware (acquired by Microsoft).

ImageJim talked to me about how BandPage has expanded during the past few years. He also shared insight into how meta data from the platform can help artists grow their fan base and make the most out of their online and offline channels. 

Music Consultant: 

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk, Jim. Can you speak in a general way about your career arc – how you got to where you are now? What did you learn in each previous roles at Google/Youtube and Rovi that applies to what you do now?

JP: 

I find it gratifying to build products and build businesses that are not only useful to users and profitable for shareholders/employees/partners–but also socially important in some way. For example, contributing to YouTube was fulfilling to me because YouTube is such a powerfully democratizing force. It gives millions of content creators an audience and a voice, like the web itself, but via a richer medium. YouTube empowers the long tail of creatives. It circumvents traditional video distribution channels that are more centrally controlled in a way that can sometimes stifle expression and innovation. BandPage is similar in my mind. Although useful to large commercial artists, BandPage also empowers emerging artists to manage their brands, find an audience and make a living. It gives them control over how the music services represent them. There are profoundly talented musicians who are slaving away at two jobs, waiting tables or whatever, when they should instead be composing and recording and performing achingly beautiful music, because they can. Think of all the incredible songs that would already exist in the world, except that some undiscovered talent was working as a barista to pay the rent instead of becoming the next Adele. We can never get those songs back, ever.

Music Consultant:

What is your current role at BandPage?

JP: 

I am leading product development, which includes product managers who conceive and define new features, designers who craft the user experience and software engineers to ultimately create the BandPage service.

Music Consultant: 

When and why did BandPage pivot to its current direction of distributing meta data and media for artists and away from being a Facebook Centric artist tool? Didn’t Rovi provide some of these functions before?

JP: 

Whereas in the past fans engaged online with artists through social networks and official artist websites, much more fan engagement with artists now happens on music streaming services. Fan engagement with artists is now highly fragmented across a hundred or more destinations. Socials and the artist website now represent only a small fraction of that engagement. MySpace long ago lost relevance as a home for musicians. Facebook hasn’t gone very deep on music, hasn’t created vertical capabilities for musicians, for example.

Some mobile messaging apps like Kik are creating vertical music experiences, and may ultimately become serious music destinations. Meanwhile, BandPage is the closest thing to a “digital home” for musicians, powering all of these disparate social networks and music services and ticketing sites and mobile messaging apps other music fan endpoints in a coordinated way.

Music Consultant:

When did BandPage become the provider of media and information the the Google knowledge graph for artists? How long does it take media to arrive to Google search results and at all of the other various destinations after uploading to bandpage?

JP:

Google started featuring BandPage events in the knowledge panel in January. We have been working with them to further improve our integration since then.

Music Consultant:

How does BandPage make money if artists are able to sign up for free to get their media and metadata distributed? Is there a B2B play here involving data collection?

JP:

BandPage drives incremental sales of concert tickets, artist merchandise, and super-fan experiences, and we earn a percentage of these incremental sales. We only make money when the artist makes even more money. In the long run, there are likely other opportunities to monetize the network on behalf of all participants–including artists, music services, and BandPage – in a way that is win-win-win for everyone.

Music Consultant:

Because you are and have been (even if it is only peripherally) involved in music and media marketing and promotion, you have multiple perspectives of the many changes that have occurred in recent years. What are the most notable ways you’ve seen the music landscape change in the past decade, and how do you think these changes have affected the way artists promote themselves and the way people listen to and find music? Where do you think it’s headed next?

JP:

Previously, artists made a living by recording their music and selling their recordings. Now they stream their music, often generating significantly less revenue in the process. So, for many artists, the business of being a musician has become one of more-or-less give away your music almost for free, build a brand, build a passionate following, build a fan base–and then monetize that fan base in other ways, by touring, selling merchandise, offering backstage VIP experiences and house concerts, etc. It is an indirect revenue model, and BandPage is a powerful tool for driving revenue under these circumstances.

Music Consultant:

What would you say are some common mistakes artists (and creatives in general) make with their online presence both in the scheme of what you do at BandPage and in their careers in general?

JP:

Artists and managers are spending a ton of effort curating their socials and merchandising their official websites. However, fans are spending relatively little time engaging with artists on social networks and official artist websites. Instead, fans are 100 times more engaged with an artist’s music and brand on the streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora, and on video streaming services like YouTube and Vevo, and on other music related apps like Shazam. That’s where the fan engagement is, so that’s where artists and managers need to be focusing more of their marketing and merchandising attention. That’s where they should be promoting their shows and selling their VIP experiences and actively managing their brands and messaging their fans.

Music Consultant: 

Is there any light you can shed on the inner workings of YouTube that you feel artists should know based on your time working there?

JP: 

I left YouTube a few years ago, so I can no longer speak authoritatively about YouTube’s inner workings, but I know that there have always been a lot of people at YouTube who care deeply, passionately and authentically about music and art in general, and about empowering creators and helping them get paid, and I know that this is still true. I personally believe that YouTube has been net hugely positive for music and for musicians, but I also think there is so much more upside potential for YouTube to help musicians build genuine businesses around their music and support their art.

Music Consultant:

Where do you think BandPage will fit into the music business in the next few years? Is the company growing and shifting in ways that you can discuss?

JP: 

Viewed through a certain lens, BandPage is a network that connects artists and fans. We now have enough scale, enough critical mass, enough liquidity in our wholesale marketplace, that there is a kind of network effect kicking in. Artists use BandPage because music services (and their fans) use BandPage; music services use BandPage because artists use BandPage, and so on. So, I think the network will continue to grow naturally. Meanwhile, I think we will enable our partners deliver increasingly well targeted offers from artists to their fans, in context, in a way that is an incredible music fan experience but also converts and monetizes efficiently and generates significant revenue for artists and music services.

Music Consultant: 

Are there any parting words of advice you have for artists looking to build a successful career in music?

JP: 

No advice, just gratitude. There are so many easier ways to make a living, so thank you for investing yourself and hopefully creating something important and beautiful.

To learn more about the work Jim Patterson does with artists and the BandPage app, visit the BandPage website.

Comments