RootMusic, developers of the BandPage Facebook Page tab application for musicians, today announced that it has secured $2.3 million in funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures with David Feinleib. The company’s founder J Sider says the money will go towards “hiring engineers, expanding the team, because were always looking to innovate through technology.”
As our profile of RootMusic’s BandPage shows, the company provides cheap and powerful tools for helping artists promote their music on Facebook. Since August, BandPage has exploded in popularity, jumping from 3.15 million MAU and 20,000 artists to 12.7 million MAU and 60,000 artists today according to AppData.
While Sider declined specifics, he said well over 5% of these musicians have converted into BandPage Plus customers who pay $1.99 a month for more customization options, besting the traditional freemium model goal. The new engineers will help maintain stability of the application as it scales, as well as develop frequently requested products like an improved toolset for communicating with fans.
Going forward, RootMusic hopes to convince artists to shift their attention from ailing social networks like MySpace which was previously the best place for musicians to BandPage on Facebook where fans now spend their time.
To this effect, RootMusic recently launched its “Make the Move” campaign, which provides banners pointing to an artist’s BandPage that can be placed on their other web presences. Sider told us, “bands are frustrated with continuing to update outdated places on the internet, so we wanted to create an easy way to redirect traffic from sites they’re not interested in updating anymore.”
In the past month, BandPage helped launch new singles for Lil Wayne and Avril Lavigne, the 16th and 47th largest Facebook Pages respectively according to PageData. Lil Wayne’s Digital Manager Mazy Kazerooni said, “we saw over half a million plays within a few days. We saw a noticeable increase in daily new “Likes” after installing the BandPage tab.” Avril Lavigne is currently debuting videos about the making of her new album exclusively on her BandPage.
These promotions signal a shift in the music industry, with artists giving their Facebook fans a preview of new music before releasing it on iTunes and elsewhere. Since BandPage makes it easy to share tracks to the news feed, these promotions expose the songs to the networks of fans, creating a swell of support which generates buzz and early sales.
As BandPage pulls ahead of other Facebook music services such as iLike and ReverbNation, we asked Sider why musicians are choosing RootMusic. “[Competitors] create a really great product, see it’s being used in different ways, and spread themselves to thin. We want to stay focused on music on Facebook.” For this reason, despite potential value to filmmakers and other types of artists, RootMusic won’t be developing FilmPage, nor will it be offer off-Facebook services.
The company’s dedication is paying off, as managers and record labels who’ve used BandPage with one of their artists start bringing their full roster on board. There’s still room for boutique firms like DamnTheRadio and MXP4 to create custom apps for the Pages of the most popular musicians — something BandPage doesn’t offer. Still, it’s beginning to look as if RootMusic will dominate the self-service music Page tab application market for the foreseeable future.