How JamLegend could rock the world of music gaming.


jamlegendFirst there were Guitar Hero and Rock Band, two music games for almost every game console available. It was mostly a matter of time before these kind of games would make their way to the PC and Mac. It’s here now, but in an almost geeky way: with the use of a keyboard.

The game is called JamLegend and the best part is: it’s free to play and open for musicians. With the philosophies of both Jeff Jarvis in mind, this sounds like the music platform of the future. He believes that companies should make a platform for their users and then just back off. Make it work and let them have it, he says. By giving more power to the people, you’ll get more and more trust from the people. That sounds interesting, but in what way can bands and JamLegend benefit from the developed platform and what extensions can be made?

For artists and bands there are countless possibilities actually. Bands and artists can make their songs available to play with JamLegend. This gives them free exposure to people who enjoy playing JamLegend. Most bands already link their various websites at the JamLegend game page to generate traffic there. Most of the bands and artists who share their music on JamLegend are quite unknown and use this platform to find new fans. Most big artist’s contract doesn’t allow to share their music anywhere but on their own label’s platforms. Sharing your music on JamLegend is actually a good thing. A band should actually encourage to put their music on JamLegend, since it’s yet another way to get in contact with your fans. And since selling music isn’t the only way to make money in music anymore, this engagement is very important.

Bands and artists should actually promote the JamLegend-version of their songs to their fans. For instance by organizing contests via Facebook or other social networks. The person who gets the highest score for a certain song receives free tickets for an upcoming show from their tour, a free CD or a meet and greet with a band. Maybe even a master class from the band’s guitarist. Duelling the guitarist, with a pre-loaded game, on JamLegend can also be fun.

For JamLegend it’s the most important to make their platform accessible from other sites as well. Make it compatible with Facebook as an application. Or create widgets for blogs and myspaces, for both musicians and players of the game. It wouldn’t be a good idea to try to get the big music labels on board, since that would cost loads of money and it’d become yet another sell-out. Instead just stick to the niche of small bands that can use JamLegend to promote their music and making it fun for fans to interact with them. On their blog JamLegend already promotes selected bands in their Feature Friday column. Maybe a more prominent place on the homepage would give this blog an extra boost, making JamLegend looking more like a music platform instead of only a gaming site.

How is this company supposed to make money then? That’s not an easy question to answer. The game is now free and needs to be free to stay popular. At least for most people. Blogger and author Chris Anderson has introduced the so-called Freemium-model for online companies. By using this model you give away your service for free to most people and have a small percentage of them pay for extra features. This small percentage of paying customers can be enough to cover your bills, Anderson says. JamLegend already sometimes charges money for user uploads. Maybe selling merchandise can be profitable, a USB Guitar for instance. It takes away the geeky spirit of the keyboard obviously, but it’s a start.

Visit JamLegend: http://www.jamlegend.com/

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