Each week Topspin’s CEO, Ian Rogers, and VP of Product Marketing, Bob Moczydlowsky (Bob Moz), have been doing live webcasts with interactive chat for current and prospective Topspin users. Usually it is the ‘Ian and Bob Show’, but they often have guest hosts or others making quick appearances. It is a great way to get to virtually meet the Topspin team. They even had one broadcast from their San Francisco office where we got to meet Bill Thompson, who among other things, manages Topspin’s Community Forum and Fan/Customer Services.
Since I’ve been watching each week and taking notes as news items are announced and the usual Q&A takes place, it made sense to share my notes and thoughts with the Topspin community to give a user’s perspective on what transpires each week during the webcast. So here’s the first post based on this past Friday’s webcast with Ian and Jason Spitz.
Friday April 22, 2011 11a PT
Broadcasting from Topspin HQ in Santa Monica, CA
Ian Rogers (C.E.O.) w/Jason Spitz (Director of Marketing)
Watch the webcast via the archive.
News & Announcements
Major Updates to Streaming Player Coming Soon
Ian discussed a recent Topspin blog post written by one of Topspin’s newest development team members, Greg Ipp. Greg’s post went into great detail about the background of the old Flash-based streaming player and the new i-device compatible streaming player. The user community has been slightly frustrated about the new streaming player’s lack of configurability. It was great to hear, from Greg and Topspin, that this is being addressed and Ian mentioned things are “really close”, targeting a release in early May. Future updates beyond this next release may include “full skin-ability”. Ian encouraged users to comment, either on Greg’s blog post or in the Topspin Community Forums, if they had any further questions or comments. (After you read the blog post, check out Tricil. He’s the artist featured in all the player images. Power Topspin user, active community member, and all-around cool guy.)
Upcoming Feature: Spinshop Store Offer Items to Be Embeddable
Ian discussed an upcoming feature that will enable Topspin users to “grab code” from elements within their Spinshop store and embed those elements anywhere on the web. So you could grab a single offer or the entire page of offers and embed it into a page on your web site, a page on a label’s web site, even on a tab/page in Facebook. Your fans/consumers or people blogging about your band can even grab the code an embed it in their sites, essentially extending the reach of an artist’s store beyond just what they specifically do themselves – similar to what one can do with Amazon products.
Label (Bulk) Pricing
During the webcast Topspin announced that they had just launched label (bulk) pricing. You can now buy Topspin Plus or Enterprise in 10 blocks. For labels, management companies, or Topspin marketing services companies this enables you to buy the accounts in bulk and either pass along the savings directly to your customers or even mark them up, still providing enough of a discount over regular Topspin pricing, capitalizing on your position of directing multiple Topspin account purchases. The pricing was very attractive, with 10 Topspin Plus accounts for $1,500 (vs. ~$5,000 when purchased separately) or 10 Topspin Enterprise accounts for $2,500 (vs. ~$10,000). The codes never expire, so even smaller labels or firms could buy the 10-pack in advance even if they only needed to use some of them immediately. Knowing they never expire, at worst you could use a left over code to renew an expiring account for an artist. $150 vs. $500, or $250 vs. $1,000 — sounds like a great deal to me.
Topspin Community Q&A
Q: Is there a video streaming player private to Topspin, not public like YouTube?
A: Ian responded that while only Topspin platform users can create the players, but they are fully embeddable/share-able around the web by your fans.
Q: Can I have an offer with a line of text, in the Topspin store, without an image?
A: No, currently all offers must have a related image. But you would need to grab the buy button, grab that code, turn that code into a line of text and then put it where you want it to go.
Q: Can you embed the Spinshop offer “grab a code” embed and use it on Facebook?
A: Parker Todd Brooks (Topspin, Artist Services) looked into this and was able to demonstrate it during the webcast as possible within Facebook.
Q: What is the latest status with the email functionality revamp?
A: Going really well. The developers are actively working on it and will take a little bit of time to get right, but good stuff is coming.
Submit Your Questions for Next Week’s Webcast
Artists Using Topspin / New Releases
- Beastie Boys
- DJ Quik
- Widespread Panic – (great live HD video)
- Gomez – (great offer page created by fellow Chicagoans, Eyes and Ears Entertainment)
- Malajube – Yes, that’s right, cassettes are still a viable merch item!
Upcoming Music-Related Conferences and Events
- Rethink Music – Boston – 4/25-27/2001 – Ian plans to represent Topspin at this conference being put on by MIDEM and Berklee – , if you are going look him up.
- Muse Expo – Los Angeles – 5/1-4/2011
- Great Escape – Brighton, UK – Ian plans to be there with Topspin co-founder Shamal Ranasinghe, Co-founder of Topspin.
Music Geek Services is an artist services company based in Chicago and Nashville. Headed by brothers Jay and Chandler Coyle, Music Geek Services is a Topspin-certified marketer that specializes in helping artists achieve deeper connections with their fans through digital media. We provide a full suite of artist services including web development and design, Topspin platform consulting and execution, social media consulting, project management, and full-service artist management.
We have worked with Sloan, Barenaked Ladies, The Zambonis, The Odds, The Movings Label, Walter & Wendell, Dick Prall, Mike Evin, Dolly Varden, Steve Dawson, The Carter Administration, Broken: a Musical, and Callann Lane.