YouTube has acquired BandPage, a startup designed to help musicians make money.
YouTube has always been a popular place for musicians to share their work, thanks to the site’s high reach and ability to generate revenue from views. (Adele’s Hello, released last October, has already received 1.17 billion views on YouTube.) But competition is fierce in the streaming world, as we found out last week, when OK Go – a band famous for its viral, one-take music videos, jumped ship and released a video exclusively on Facebook.
It comes as no surprise, then, that YouTube is upping the ante. How? BandPage. The startup, which began back in 2009, allows artists to sell things directly to fans online, whether that’s merchandise or concert tickets.
“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,” wrote BandPage on the company’s website.
The deal totalled a reported $8 million, according to TechCrunch, which would present a marked step down from the company’s $27.6 million it raised in funding. Indeed, BandPage struggled after it initially launched on Facebook as a page app – only for the social network to close those in 2012, causing the startup to lose 90 per cent of its traffic in three months. Since then, it has teamed up with other services, such as Spotify.
The YouTube deal marks a positive step, as YouTube has just launched its new YouTube Red subscription service and dedicated Music app – a rival to Spotify and Apple Music, which emphasises just how highly YouTube values music. (Several years ago, OK Go were reported as saying that the revenue from the site was like picking up pennies in the street, which would make the BandPage acquisition a useful incentive for YouTube to attract and retain artists.)
“By joining forces with the team at YouTube, we can help artists reach their fans in more powerful ways than ever before,” BandPage added in its statement.
“We are extremely excited about this because we believe YouTube truly shares our commitment to musicians.”