Earbits Makes Noise With #SXSW Channel, Babygrande’s 10th Anniversary
(UPDATED) The small team behind Earbits, the buzz-worthy Y Combinator startup that offers feature-rich interactive music streaming, is working almost 24/7 to get above the noise at both SXSW Interactive and Music. Later today, they're launching a SXSW channel that includes music, showcase info and more. If you've got a band at SXSW, email them music at email@example.com for review. But that's just a small part of the Earbits story.
Why Earbits Is Worth Watching:
Instead of putting themselves through the pain of major label licensing, Earbits is working with indie bands and labels. To date, Earbits has direct deals with 90 labels and 1300 artists including hip hop pwerhouse Babygrande Records.
Earbits knows that success follows engagement; so their doing a test with Babygrande that includes giving away "thousands in merchandise and music" to learn what "moves the dial" for artists. Eventually, Earbits wants to start billing for airplay, but for now it's free. "We won't start charging for the service until we feel like we can deliver ROI-positive airplay," Earbits CEO Joey Flores told Hypebot.
Earbits is also working to be artist friendly. For example, to share a song with friends, fans have to ‘Like’ the artist’s Facebook Page. Future plans include automatically pulling in dates, ticket information and other key contents from MySpace and elsewhere.
Music discovery is a crowded space and pay for play will always have detractors. But if Earbits can fit together the right pieces of both the engagement and sales puzzles, they could become a very useful weapon in the music marketing arsenal.