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Topspin recruits lesser-known musicians, writers and filmmakers

February 16, 2011 |  2:40 pm

Topspin Logo Topspin, a digital marketing and distribution firm that has helped big-name acts including Arcade Fire and Linkin Park build their online businesses, announced at the New Music Seminar in Los Angeles that it is now reaching out to garage bands, unpublished writers and indie filmmakers.

The company, which is so low-profile that it doesn't even have a sign on its offices in Santa Monica, will be throwing a coming-out party at next month's South by Southwest indie music festival in Austin, Texas, with a splashy contest to give away $5,000 to the best business plan.

"For as little as $10 a month you'll be able to use the same tool set that artists like Eminem and others are using," said Topspin Chief Executive Ian Rogers.

But the company is not recruiting just musicians, who currently make up nearly all its customers. Topspin plans to expand its pitch to writers and independent filmmakers.

Its software lets bands sell tickets and merchandise online, as well as manage their digital and online social marketing. Aside from its monthly service fee, Topspin takes a 10% cut for tickets and 15% for other products, such as song downloads, CDs, clothing.

Topspin will be diving into a crowded space filled with dozens of technology companies vying to sell services to artists, including e-mail marketing, Facebook fan pages and helping them sell songs and T-shirts online.

Rogers said his company planned to distinguish itself as a service that the pros use to manage millions of transactions and large marketing campaigns. "We'll be available to everyone, but it's a deep tool set for professionals," Rogers said.

-- Alex Pham

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