Steam Republic, a Finnish startup in the mobile space, is focusing on digital fan oriented marketing. They are big in mobile and want to enable bands to control the relationship with their own fans and consequentially make money through that.
Steam Republic was previously called Backstage Alliance. The company has participated and won several competitions under both names. Latest is the Appsfire App Star Awards where they were a finalist (see video below). They have also landed their first international agreement with EMI record label (UK) and are pushing out their first international pilot with You Me At Six already at the end of this week if all goes as planned.
What the mobile enabled digital fan oriented marketing means in practice is that every band gets its own mobile applications through which the band can directly communicate with the fan base and manage what marketing messages their fans will see and in what quantity. Currently Steam Republic supports Jave and iPhone apps, but Android and other platforms are on the road map.
Steam Republic’s other product is still kept tightly under the lid, but we know its a type of a data mining tool for people working in the music business, where much of the data is gathered from different social media channels.
Their business model in the case of the direct-to-fan marketing is based on affiliate sales in which they act as a sales channel for everything the band, or a related party, might want to offer to the fan base. I’m guessing revenue is split between the band, Stream Republic and the actual merchandise provider. Same goes for songs at iTunes, concert tickets and everything else you can think of that has to do with bands that their fans might want to buy. In effect Stream Republic will provide the platform for the music brands to directly communicate with the fan base.
The company has raised between €1m and €1.5m in seed financing. Along with a group of angel investors the investment has come from Veraventure Ltd, Koppicatch Inc., Palmén & Charpentier and Geniem Ltd. They have also received R&D funding from Tekes.
The Steam Republic team consists of Paavo Bäckman, Janne Airo and Jussi Ruusila in addition to some three other in-house employees. In addition to this the company aims to outsource much of its operations and production.
The company’s goal is to have 1000 artists using their solution by 2012 and later on do the same sports and film industry.