Queen once sang, “I want to break free”. They might easily have been talking about recording artists breaking free from the shackles of the traditional music business model. Headliner.FM embraces this and wants to “spread the music”, helping artists to connect with their fan base.
Facebook and Twitter users are invited to the party to swap music recommendations based on personal choice and the option of raising awareness for one of the 110 000 musicians currently registered on Headliner.fm.
Headliner.fm is a meaty concept, with plenty of sinew to chew on. Essentially a recommendation and promotion engine, Headliner.fm “lets artists market themselves through social sharing” according to CEO Mike More.
More is based in Brooklyn, New York and launched his product, which goes under the name of Headliner Exchange in March 2010. He describes it as a “web application which enables social sharing for people who use Facebook and Twitter as a marketing platform”. Funding was made possible thanks to a small angel round. More is currently in the process of closing a new round of funding.
Bill Cromie is the president of Headliner and a co-founder at Nabbr. More and Cromie began this second venture together and their service is now one of the best streaming video platforms, serving 300-million views in the US per month. Along with Chris Lee, chief technology officer and Christina Panarese, creative director, Headliner has set itself up with a strong team.
The idea was inspired by the natural behaviour of musicians. “Touring together, writing music and releasing tracks. I wanted the social networks to pick up on this and make it easy for artists to find each other,” says More. While More and his team may face competition from the likes of MyLikes and Ad.Ly, none of these allow users to work collaboratively.
More’s product has no niche market and his target market is “anyone on Facebook and Twitter”. Headliner is defined by its areas of “outside influence”. “There are many viral sharing applications for Facebook and Twitter but all of them rely on your own audience. Headliner’s platform allows new people who have similar interests to share broadly outside of their own social circles,” he says.
Headliner is “solving social sharing” for marketers on Facebook and Twitter. Sharing on these social platforms remains difficult for marketers, with Headliner being built from the ground up to solve this inherent issue.
More believes that Headliner “will enable millions of marketers to use the power of the social web to build their businesses”. Recording artists no longer rely on million-dollar studios to create their music. More wants these “bedroom artists” to deliver their music worldwide, with only a few clicks of the mouse. “This closes the loop and transforms industries”.
Headliner is local for now but later on it aims to hit the UK music scene. Eventually, Headliner wants to be the essential solution for social marketing on tablets and mobile phones. With a vision as clear as More’s, the sky’s the limit.