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Mobile Backstage Gets Bands Closer to Fans

David Murphy

Finnish mobile technology firm Steam Republic has launched Mobile Backstage, a social music iPhone app that enables record labels and musicians to build vibrant communities around their fans’ smartphones.

The app helps artists to quickly and easily create a mobile presence that fans can download for free from a website or mobile app store. Once loaded, fans can begin communicating directly with the artist and other fans, sharing their experiences by uploading content and checking in to gigs using GPS. Mobile Backstage also integrates with major social networks and digital music stores.

“Rather than merely aggregating passive content from third party websites, Mobile Backstage facilitates real social interactions between artists and fans,” says Steam Republic CEO, Janne Airo. “Our recent trials have generated data that clearly demonstrates that fans visit and interact with (the) app vastly more often than the artist ‘s own website or social page. In some cases hundreds of times more often.”

At €990, Mobile Backstage is not cheap but it is a b2b proposition, and Steam Republic says it has recently completed successful trials with several major acts, including Dizzee Rascal, You Me At Six, and Enter Shikari. 

Josh Saunders, technical & creative projects manager at EMI UK says: “Mobile Backstage offers a powerful and seductive communication and community tool for artist and fan communication, with great usability on the iPhone. Furthermore, its Java support takes us beyond the so-called smartphone markets, giving our artists extended reach.”

The app is managed though a central dashboard that can be accessed from either a website or mobile phone. It integrates with social media services such as Facebook and Twitter, reducing the overheads required associated with maintaining a cross-platform digital presence. Mobile Backstage also generates demographic and analytical data that provides insights into how fans are interacting with the artist, the content and each other.
Steam Republic says it will add support for Android and Blackberry handsets later this year, along with support for in-app ticket and merchandise sales.