Business News Deals Digital

YouTube buys BandPage

By | Published on Monday 15 February 2016


If streaming services can’t afford to pay high enough royalties to satisfy the wider music industry, then why not use those platforms to upsell, upsell, upsell? Let the streaming platforms keep their £10 a month price points, but boost income for the music community by upselling tickets, t-shirts, VIP experiences and other gubbins right there alongside the streaming tunes.

It’s a logic that has been expressed multiple times in recent years as the streaming services have gained momentum, and most platforms have tried to incorporate some kind of upsell element to benefit artists, though with mixed success. One issue is that streaming services primarily have relationships with labels and publishers, which do not usually have access to – or an incentive to sell – artists’ other products and services.

One company that has endeavoured to provide the missing link in all this is BandPage, which transformed itself from a service that gave artists more control over their Facebook pages into a direct-to-fan platform plugged into streaming services. It has partnerships in place with various streaming firms including, as of 2014, Spotify, which switched to BandPage after previous D2F upsell partner Topspin got bought by rival Beats Music.

Which makes you wonder whether Spotify and all those other streaming services will now need a new D2F upsell partner, with BandPage going to rival YouTube. The Google-owned video platform has talked up its potential as an upsell platform before, but this could be seen as an attempt by YouTube to really boost the services it offers creators in this regard, and not necessarily just music creators either.

Details of the deal and what it means for BandPage are sketchy just now, but the direct-to-fan firm said in a blog post on Friday: “We are very excited to announce that BandPage is joining YouTube, a move which dramatically accelerates our shared goal of helping musicians everywhere thrive. BandPage is dedicated to helping musicians build their careers by growing their fanbases and increasing their revenue on the largest digital music services in the world. By joining forces with the team at YouTube, we can help artists reach their fans in more powerful ways than ever before”.

The post went on: “We are extremely excited about this because we believe YouTube truly shares our commitment to musicians. YouTube already offers a global distribution platform for any artist to be discovered and some of the best self-publishing tools for musicians and other creators. The team has a lot of things planned to help musicians succeed on the platform, and more broadly across the BandPage network”.

Talk of the wider “BandPage network” suggests that the company hopes to keep its partnerships with other streaming services in place, and the post adds: “Our collective goal remains the same – to grow an open network of digital music services, develop intelligent new tools for managing/distributing artist content and commerce, and create new revenue opportunities for all musicians, on YouTube and beyond”. Though whether the YouTube competitors in that open network still share that vision remains to be seen.