Spreading the Wealth with Widgets

Reverbnation has been consistently ahead of the curve on thinking about how online band promotion needs to be easily distributable amongst different sites and platforms. I’ve written about their “spread and track” philosophy here, their street team organizing tools here, and their Facebook application here. All of these are at the forefront of a business model based on giving musicians portable promotional tools that both they and their fans can embed all over the place and taking a cut of the profits the bands get, so they don’t make any money unless the bands do.

They’ve now let me know about a shiny new widget they’re calling TuneWidget, that does a heck of a lot of things in one: lets you play a band’s songs, videos, get info on them, sign up for their mailing list, see what other bands they recommend, gives the bands tracking feedback so they know how and where it gets engaged, and last but never least — lets you share the widget, so fans can put it on their own sites. Plus it’s free! Brilliant!


They claim that in beta testing:

• Fans played the music at double the rate of other music widgets

• Fans stayed engaged longer with TuneWidget than other music widgets

• Fans switched to view recommended artists almost 50% of the time if they had played the primary artist’s music

• Fans tended to listen to a significant portion of the song from the recommended artist when they switched to them

The use of recommendations as part of this has tremendous potential for music discovery. There is nothing like getting a recommendation FROM A BAND. (Says she who ran straight to Theoretical Girl when The Fine Arts Showcase‘s Gustaf Kjellvander raved about her — have I mentioned how much I am loving my current project interviewing people involved in the Swedish music scene? More on that another day.)

They are adding lots of bands and songs (1500 they say) each day. I have yet to hear from any musicians using their tools, and suspect their name recognition is nowhere near what it should be, so if you’re playing around with what they offer, please let me know.

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