Topspin Platform Acquired by Cinder Block / BandMerch

After we announced last month that Beats Music acquired Topspin, we started looking for a partner to continue operating the Topspin Platform. One partner quickly emerged as a leading candidate given their strong vision and commitment to maintaining and investing in our ecommerce and marketing capabilities. Today, we are happy to announce that the platform has been acquired by Cinder Block/BandMerch, an industry leading entertainment licensing and merchandising company. We are excited to be partnering with Cinder Block/BandMerch given their deep resources and experience in the music industry.

The collective roster of the companies comprise leading sports and music entertainment artists including The Who, Manchester United, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Kid Rock, Rise Against, All Time Low, Coheed and Cambria, Death Cab for Cutie, Misfits, Postal Service, The National, Flogging Molly and many others. The combined companies will operate out of BandMerch’s headquarters in Burbank, CA.

For Topspin Platform customers there will not be any changes or interrupted service. You can continue using the Topspin Platform for selling, emailing, and fan-base management. In the coming months, we expect to add several new features and services to the platform to make it even more powerful for connecting artists with their fans. For more information or if you have any questions, please visit Topspin Support.

Topspin Joins Beats Music

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Today we are excited to announce that Beats Music has acquired Topspin. Beats Music has made it a priority to empower artists within their recently launched streaming service, and they have acquired ArtistLink to continue powering the images, bios, and commerce offers on their artist profile pages. Read Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers (formerly Topspin’s CEO) blog post on the acquisition

Topspin’s earliest and most lasting mission has been to help artists make a living by connecting them with their fans and helping them make money. When we started in 2007, music fans were primarily downloading digital files and moving them manually into their iPods. The world of downloads proved valuable in acquiring fan emails for free and bundling digital albums with tickets, merchandise, or any type of direct-to-fan offer. In the 7 years since, fans have moved away from buying individual downloads and moved into accessing the world’s music from a variety of streaming services. As the era of streaming matures, new ways to connect artists and fans will evolve inside these services, and Beats Music now has a proven platform and team in Topspin’s ArtistLink to lead the industry in empowering artists in their service.

For existing Topspin customers, there will be no immediate change. We will continue to operate both ArtistLink and the Topspin Platform without any interruption to either products’ service. As Beats Music integrates ArtistLink into their service, both Topspin and Beats Music will look for a strategic partner to operate and run the popular email and commerce services in the Topspin Platform. We have a FAQ with more detail.

You can continue to use ArtistLink to manage your presence on your MTV artist page or publish your merchandise offers into Spotify. Both of these integrations will continue to operate as-is after Beats Music acquires ArtistLink. There will also be no changes to ArtistLink’s Promo Exchange or advertising service.

Topspin is proud and honored to be joining the Beats Music team. We are excited to shepherd in the next evolution of direct-to-fan for artists as members of the Beats Music team and have lots of great developments to share with you in the days and weeks ahead.

 

Sell Merch, Manage Your Profile, and More on Beats Music

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The long-anticipated Beats Music service is now live, and with it comes a massive opportunity for artists to connect with fans using Topspin’s ArtistLink platform. 

Get Your Promotions on Beats Music Now

With Ian and Trent at the helm, It’s no secret that Beats is angling to be the most artist-friendly streaming music service available. To accomplish this, the company is providing artists the ability to not only promote and sell their merch, but also have greater control of their Beats profiles. 

"We’ll allow artists to curate their own pages, and in general provide a friendly place where artists can make fans aware of T-shirts or concert tickets, and consumers can learn more about music and culture," noted Trent Reznor in this USA Today piece detailing the new service.

Beats is using Topspin’s ArtistLink platform as the underlying technology that gives this control back to artists, and it couldn’t be easier to take advantage. All you need is a free ArtistLink account. Once established, you can add personalized profile and background images to your Beats Music profile page.

To promote your merch, just add a high-res image, description, and link to the online store your merch offers can be found. No matter where your merch lives online—even if it’s not a Topspin store—you can promote these items in your Beats profile. 

Get Your Promotions on Beats Music Now

Spotify+ArtistLink Merch Offers Now Available to All Artists

In December, we started working with Spotify to let artists sell merch via their profile pages using ArtistLink. We’ve been working day and night, across many time zones with Spotify’s incredible team since that beta. Beginning today, all artists with music on Spotify will be able to use this feature. This is a huge opportunity for artists to drive more awareness and connect with fans via on-demand streaming music services.

Artists have been waiting for this moment, and we could not be more excited to help make this possible. There are some 25 million fans worldwide listening to music on Spotify. Now, there’s a direct link leading them from hearing your music, to viewing your profile, to browsing  your merch. That’s both unprecedented and powerful, and it’s free. 

We’ve made it super easy to get your offers published. The only things you’ll need are a free ArtistLink account, a URL that points to your offer and a high quality image. No matter where your merch offers live, even if it’s not a Topspin store, you can promote those offers on Spotify. If you don’t currently have a store set up to sell directly to your fans, we’re offering a 40% discount on a Topspin account for a limited time. 

This is an exciting time for artists. The ability to find new fans and present them with promotional offers at the very instant they are engaged with your music is more than just really cool (although it certainly is that). It’s an important new source of revenue  for any artist looking to make a career out of their passions. You literally have nothing to lose, so what are you waiting for? Get started now at spotify.artistlink.com.

Maximize Your Free Exposure

Start earning unlimited Promo Exchange impressions today by cross-promoting similar artists on your own site. Just embed a promo widget on your website and earn two free impressions for every three you show. It’s fast, easy, and 100% free. Here’s how to get started:

1. Sign into ArtistLink and visit your Promo Exchange dashboard.

2. Copy an embeddable Promo Widget of any size. Choose a size that looks great on your site.

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3. Embed the widget on your site. That’s it. You’ll earn two free impressions for every three shown for similar artists on your site. The more you give, the more you get!

Opt in now and starting promoting yourself for free

In the News: How Streaming Music Impacts Music Sales

Last week, Nielsen came out with a report noting that sales of digital downloads declined for the first time, while streaming activity is on the rise. Specifically, U.S. digital downloads fell 5.7% for singles and 0.1% for albums. Streaming music—including online video, Internet radio, and on-demand services—meanwhile increased 32%. 

This week, noted digital music analyst Mark Mulligan posted some additional analysis of what this means in his report How Streaming Will Impact Music Sales. It’s a pretty data-heavy piece, so be warned in advance, but it’s definitely worth a read if you’re at all concerned about this transition. Here’s a key excerpt: 

It is important to understand the appropriate context for the shift to streaming: it is fundamentally a transition of spending.  Just as the download was a transition from the CD so streaming subscriptions are a transition from the download.  This is because the majority of subscribers were already digital music buyer before becoming subscribers and the majority of those were iTunes customers.  50% of subscribers buy album downloads every month and 26% buy CDs every month (see figure).  On the one hand this can be interpreted as the fantastic capacity of streaming to drive discovery and music purchasing.  There is some truth in this, but it is an inherently temporary state of affairs.  If streaming services do their job well enough there should be little or no reason for a subscriber to additionally buy music.  They do so because consumers transition behaviour gradually not suddenly.  The fact that a third of download buyers still buy CDs illustrates the point.

Studies like these not only reinforce the need for artists to sell music in multiple formats (including vinyl, which increased 32% as well last year, by the way), but also to sell more than music. Merch, events, and experiences are all equally valid ways that fans can show their appreciation for the music they love and the artists that make it.