When Beats Music launched two months ago, their press release made mention of creating a platform of artist and fan interaction. But, when we reviewed the service, this connection seemed not all different than what was already out there.
This week Beats Music announced that they’ve acquired Topspin, a software company that provides marketing and promotional platforms to artists who want to leverage online fan networks to promote their music. And it appears they’re looking to fulfill on that commitment to better the connection between fans and artists.
While the details are still a bit vague, Beats Music’s acquisition seemed to primarily be about the ArtistLink service offered by Topspin. Essentially ArtistLink allows musicians to promote their music, sell merchandise, target new fans and have a vital presence on Spotify and either MTV’s or CMT’s websites.
ArtistLink will continue to offer such services, but will now also leverage the network of Beats Music subscribers and their traffic to enable artists to find new fans and sell music, tickets and merchandise directly to them.
This seems to be a step toward making Beats Music more of a social network between artists and fans and less of a standalone streaming service, which if executed well, could be the next generation music marketplace.
As of their launch, the killer app of Beats Music has been its curation features. Having those features now tied to a purchasing venue within the app could mean a bump in sales for indie artists from fans who may have otherwise not found their music.
For artists already signed up for Topspin’s ArtistLink service, nothing will change with the platforms they are already engaging. However, it’s easy to imagine that ArtistLink will eventually offer some type of extra fan interaction and marketing features exclusively on the Beats Music platform to drive the social interaction aspect of Beats Music. While it’s speculation how it will play out at this point, what is certain is that indie artists will now have another new platform to market and sell their music And that seems to be a good thing.