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The BIG Reason

Music, opinions, and portfolio of Mark Eagleton, musician and web developer in Northern CA.

Record Bird is Shutting Down

I just received an email from Record Bird, a new release tracking app, announcing that they are shutting down due to financial difficulties.

Over time, we witnessed that it became more and more expensive for us, but also for artists to get fans to download an app. Yet scale was the only way to create a sustainable and economically profitable model.

Source: email newsletter from Record Bird not published online

Bummer. The service was a bit bloated with videos, news articles, and re-issues, but given that there are so few resources for tracking new releases, it was still useful. As someone who (sometimes) reviews new music, I am sorry to see it go.

The company is regrouping into Sendmate now.

After months of being at war with reality, we had an epiphany: Instead of getting fans to download an app, it would be much more effective to support artists in reaching their fans via a channel they already use: messaging apps. It would also be a better experience to the fan.

This simple thought was the birth of a new product: - a messenger marketing tool, now often referred to as the “MailChimp for Messenger”, which allows artists to send fans the latest releases, news, tour dates and much more, directly via Facebook Messenger.

Source: email newsletter from Record Bird not published online

As someone who plays in and handles marketing for multiple bands, I am mildly aggravated to see yet another artist service that attempts to simplify communication with fans by locking them into using Facebook (I’m looking at you Bandsintown). Anyone who has ever used social media to market their music knows that Facebook is only one part—a shrinking part, thanks to privacy concerns and political espionage—of a much larger market.

There are only so many places you can publish your tour dates before you run out of time and have to start setting up for the show. It would be nice if these startups would focus their efforts on convincing artists and management companies to embrace the open web (and embrace it themselves), and aggregate tour dates from their websites. You deal with putting my tour dates into your proprietary social media silos. I have music to write.