Early Look: RootMusic Adds Like-Gating, Email Capture and More to BandPage

RootMusic’s BandPage, the most popular musician profile Facebook Page tab application, has just announced an update with new features for both free and paid clients. The new options will allow artists to customize their app, and gate music streams and downloads behind actions including Likes, email signups, and tweets. This lets musicians properly brand themselves, collect valuable contact information, and gain viral exposure through their BandPage.

RootMusic launched BandPage in February 2010 and it has since grown steadily to provide profiles for over 150,000 artists. Now with a total daily active user count of 1.2 million and a monthly active user count of 22.7 million, BandPage is the fifth largest application on Facebook behind several Zynga games and a rather spammy quiz app, according to our application traffic growth tracking service AppData.

The company raised a $2.3 million funding round in January and another $800,000 round in March to help it hire engineers and scale to accomodate its massive traffic. While still the frontrunner in the space, ReverbNation’s Band Profile added Like-gating and custom design options to its free Facebook app in in March, which made it a slightly more powerful option than BandPage for those unwilling to pay, until now.

With this update, musicians with a free BandPage Basic account can use the “Tools” button on the right of the app editor to require users to Like their Page to download or stream music. This can be an effective fan acquisition strategy for artists with a strong existing brand or valuable content to offer in exchange for a subscription to their news feed updates.

BandPage Basic account holders can also add an image as the banner of their app and use simple color sliders to control the look of the skeleton of their app — two options that were previously reserved for paying BandPage clients. They can also link their banner to a URL, and add a “Join mailing list” button to the banner. BandPage is now a better free option for managing a Facebook presence than ReverbNation’s Band Profile, which doesn’t have as sophisticated of gating tools and clutters its interface with too many options.

BandPage Plus clients now have access to these Like-gating and customization options and more. They can require users to sign up for their email list or send a tweet in order to unlock song streams and downloads. This means bands with email or Twitter at the core of their marketing plan can use their Facebook Page to drive engagement through these other mediums instead of worrying about their Like count.

A re-sizeable video player can be made a BandPage Plus client’s banner, and two different banners can be shown to fans and non-fans. Musicians could therefore use their non-fan banner to explain that visitors must Like their Page to access their new music video, then reveal the video front and center via the banner to those who choose to become fans.

These updates strengthen BandPage’s position as the replacement for MySpace music and the destination for learning about a musician on Facebook. However, many Facebook Pages find that the majority of their engagement occurs through the news feed, not on their Page’s tabs. Therefore, going forward RootMusic may need to focus less on the Page and more on its widgets that can be shared to the news feed if it wants to retain its supremacy on Facebook.

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