Beyond the grave: Could the alternative streaming site Fanburst fill the void in a looming SoundCloud demise?
What if they burn up their most recent investment? Does someone else bail them out? What about the previous CEO or all of the talented employees that left or were let go recently? Is SoundCloud full of B and C players now?
SoundCloud remains an undoubtedly important entity, and after its recent doubling down on analytics and mobile private streaming, the streaming giant is continually propelling itself forward in the fight for longevity. While many large companies fight for market share in music — ones like Apple, Amazon, Google, Spotify, Pandora, and more — SoundCloud too will push towards their slot at the leading edge. But, so will artists, who are each aiming to build an audience and be heard.
Surely, the service has allowed artists across the world to do just that thus far — that’s how it attained its place in the streaming market in the first place. But what will we miss most if it disappears? Or rather, how could an alternative combat the void it would likely leave in the streaming realm?
Filling The Void
A relatively new service, Fanburst, believes it can fill this gap. Their methodology is geared towards artists and their fans, with an ultimate goal of being a more artist-friendly platform among its competitors. That means making sure the platform is free for all artists and creators, building out monetization tools for creators, and building a platform where there is an optimization for connecting fans and artists. Whatever is better for artists, they believe to be better for fans — an opposing view to what manifests as the status quo in today’s climate. Artists simply wish to share their music and make more of it, so more fans can hear it and enjoy it.
For example, providing amazing analytics and statistics on users should be an ubiquitous standard, but it’s not — or rather, it’s not yet. Knowing and owning information about one’s audience would be ideal for a growing independent artist, especially when paired with monetization tools. The Fanburst assert that they believe all of the tools of a streaming service should help leverage commerce channels that exist or will exist for an artist — things like merchandise, concert tickets, and digital goods. But by doing this, fans are now happy too in knowing a concrete way of supporting their favorite acts.
Fanburst intends to maintain a genre-agnostic approach; but, as with all internet platforms, whatever genres are most culturally relevant is what will likely dominate. Of course, this also depends on which artists individual fans curate and listen too — similar to Soundcloud or YouTube. The key with Fanburst, however, is that the service is more similar to SoundCloud in that it focuses solely on music rather than covering other things like podcasts or cat videos. For now, it seems to cover all genres, including a wide breadth of electronic music.
Risk and Payoff of Early Adoption
The phenomena happens on every new platform. It happened with Twitter and its first users, the YouTube Music channels that began as hobbies, SoundCloud rappers who built their audience on the platform, and even the DJ/Producers that have fans because they were early and first. One can even consider the early Snapchat stars, Vine heroes, and early Instagram influencers that rose up in embracing a new platform. This phenomenon has utterly repeated on every platform: be an early adopter of a new platform, subsequently become a “big fish” by doing so, and own it.
We discovered a few of our favorite artists here at Dancing Astronaut that are already active on Fanburst— artists like Bonobo, ODESZA, Snails, Kill Paris, JackLNDN, TACHES, and Bro Safari, to name a few.
The previously mentioned idea of initial pursuit is the argument that Fanburst is using, too. The service is a free, simple music sharing platform that includes unlimited uploads for artists, as well as fan analytics. In a sense, it’s quite reminiscent of Soundcloud and YouTube’s early days. The vision for the future is even greater though, as Fanburst aims to make sharing music to fans easier for artists using a more simplistic approach.While this is a big goal, it’s a refreshing one nonetheless.
Ultimately, what’s the most telling about Fanburst’s potential is how successful the service has been in just a year of operation. In a recent inquiry by DA, Fanburst unveiled that they had added 50,000 artist profiles within the first year of business. The company was founded at the end of 2016, and with their innovative interest in both users and artists alike, Fanburst seems to be a sound solution if push came to shove. Regardless, it’s an interface worth exploring, and in an age of streaming giant uncertainty, it’s certainly one worth familiarizing oneself with.