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ArtistEcard gives musicians a one-stop social marketing platform
I’m not a music buff by any stretch and I don’t spend my time canvasing Chicago’s underground band scene to hear the next thing, but once upon a time, I saw The Winter Sounds at Martyrs’. A friend of a friend was the drummer and they were promoting their just released album at the time, Church of The Haunted South. Diehard fans attended, but the venue wasn’t packed. I know how that feels because I’ve done enough bar-prov and theater shows to know how difficult it is to build and keep an audience. That’s why I found ArtistEcard so intriguing.
The site is basically a one-stop web platform for garage bands to build, maintain and run their online marketing.
We spoke with Ivan Buryadnyk, the co-founder and CEO of ArtistEcard, to learn more about the platform, what he has planned for the future and some of his early entrepreneurial ventures.
Where did you get the idea for ArtistECard?
The idea started in 2009. I was working for a local record label designing electronic press kits, a media kit prepackaged with promotional materials for bands to distribute to talent buyers. Artists would go and print materials, pictures, press releases and burn CDs and then send that package to talent buyers. Back then, electronic press kits were $500 to $1000 to produce and it took a week to develop. The artists needed a server to host it and coding experience, so we decided to develop an easy to use technology platform to create your own electronic press kit. Artists could build and host pictures, videos, news, etc. A couple clicks and they had an electronic kit.
Our clients wanted more options and services, so we went from electronic press kits to having the entire, fully functional marketing platform.
Why do musicians use ArtistEcard?
Our goal is to assist bands, artists and DJ’s to promote themselves by providing a number of tools for engagement. ArtistEcard saves time and money by giving them the ability to control their content and auto update across their social media platform without having to code.
The music business is really changing. It used to be linear. A record label would sign artists and then work to promote them. Today, artists don’t need middlemen. They’re going direct to fans and those fans are willing to directly buy from artists. The big digital music stores take 60-70 percent of the band’s sales, so artists are just selling their songs directly to fans. With ArtistEcard, you can be your own label. You don’t need to hire a publicist or marketing company and you don’t have to know how to code or maintain your own server.
What services do you offer?
We basically allow bands, musicians and DJs to be their own label. With ArtistEcard, bands can create electronic press kits, mobile apps, facebook apps, a website, database/email marketing platform, e-commerce platform, basic video production, a tour manager/calendar app and push information across your social network. We also offer SEO and analytics.
With a couple clicks, a band can build everything in 20 minutes. It all works from one profile so you don’t have to build everything from scratch, have multiple accounts and try to connect it. You don’t need to know how to code.
Pricing plans from free to $25.95 a month depending on desired capabilities and functionality.
Who’s your target audience?
We concentrate on garage bands, small local bands – diy artists. We have more than 50,000 artists using the service.
We’ve also streamlined the process for record labels by help them manage artist accounts from one account so they don’t have to bounce around their system. So, for example, if they represented 10 artists and needed to pay them, they could do it from one account.
While the platform was built with musicians in mind, any entertainment professional, including actors, photographers, models and other creative talent could benefit form the platform.
We’ve received a lot of emails thanking us. Some bands have told us the site they built has really changed their career.
What makes ArtistEcard different?
First, we are cost effective. Second, technology and design – we pay attention to design. We want it to look beautiful. Even if you have a free account and you don’t know how to have a cool background, you can speak with one of our designers for help.
More technology and more apps. We are adding more products. We should have double the products/services in the next year.
We’re also expanding internationally, so now we’re in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain with different language platforms. And within the next year, we’re adding new markets in South America.
We’re working with big company in digital distribution to provide application for their clients. I can’t tell you more about it until the deal is signed.
We’ll be in LA in May for a music conference and all the major players will be there. We have a couple meetings there.
We’re also starting to work with a local university on a strategic partnership to provide real life experience to music marketing students on how the business works.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs?
One thing – if you fail, don’t give up.
I came to the United States 12 years ago and graduated from Loyola University with an MBA with a concentration in finance and marketing classes.
My friends were always into something. And failing. We built a business listing social network for the Ukrainian community that didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t scalable. We also had a business that placed advertisements on in-store plasma TVs. Also failed.
We learned a lot and applied those lessons to ArtistEcard.
What keeps you up at night?
When you’re leaving your office, you don’t forget the day. You’re always thinking how to do this or how to do that. Because we’re international, we’re also working different time zones, so sometimes they keep me awake at night. Sometimes I stay up all night working with them and sleep all day.
What advice would you give Ivan?
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