As the war against music piracy and intellectual copyright rages on, the founders of Fanattac, a new website that features music videos, entertainment news and online audio streaming, are looking to refresh the way bands connect with their fans.
Chris Desmond and Dan Faiman, cofounders of Fanattac, are preparing the launch of a new incentive-based online platform that aims to create a mutually beneficial relationship between music lovers and recording artists. The site will allow fans to find the music they love, browse through information about both small-town and chart-topping musicians, purchase band merchandise and a chance to promote their favorite artists.
While the site will be open to the public in the upcoming months, students at Ithaca College are getting an exclusive sneak peak.
Bryan Roberts, assistant dean for student services at the Roy H. Park School of Communications, was Faiman’s roommate during their time as graduate students at the University of Connecticut. Roberts first introduced Amy Diehl ’11 to Faiman as a potential candidate for the site’s marketing manager position, which led to her being hired for the site’s team.
Fanattac is currently scheduled to launch exclusively to students at the college in the next week or two. Following the release, the Fanattac team will take feedback from students and rework some of the site’s features.
“We can make some tweaks and modify it, and then we’ll let anyone on,” Diehl said. “A solid launch won’t be for another month or so.”
Fanattac will offer incentives to students, like prepaid cards from American Express and gift cards to Orbitz and Expedia to use during spring break.
For the Ithaca College launch, students must first send a friend request to Fanattac Beta via Facebook. After they’ve been accepted, students can go to the website and then log in through Facebook.
The website will reach beyond the business models of iTunes and Facebook to develop an all-encompassing musical playground that features direct interactions between artists and their fans.
“The iTunes music experience is pretty limited,” Desmond said. “You have to wander around the web trying to find whatever it is you’re looking for. Fanattac creates a central destination for all music in a way that hasn’t been done yet.”
Fans can also help promote their favorite artists by using resources the website provides. As fans build their promotion, they can redeem the points they earn for exclusive artist content such as singles, merchandise and discounted concert tickets.
“Instead of calling the radio station and being the 103rd caller, you can do something that benefits the artist,” Faiman said. “It’s a win-win situation for the fan and the artist.”
Fanattac’s developers remain optimistic in the face of the new Spotify/Facebook partnership. This fall, Spotify, a Swedish streaming music service, teamed up with Facebook to enhance the service’s social media presence. Spotify listeners select songs on the platform that will then be listed on the user’s personal Facebook timeline.
Diehl was concerned when the partnership between Spotify and Facebook first began because the new partnership showed potential. But Fanattac’s founders said they realized their competitive advantages early in the development process since Spotify does not incorporate music news, tour information and band merchandise.
“I kind of freaked out a little bit, but Dan and Chris didn’t really seem too concerned with it,” Diehl said. “We see them as competition, but we’re also much more than what they offer.”
The website was never meant to be an alternative to streaming services, but the founders hope to incorporate free streaming into their business model.
By bringing listeners and artists closer together, Desmond and Faiman are focused on revitalizing a struggling industry by rethinking the roles of the music fan, the artist and the record labels.
“[Joining Fanattac] is not just being a fan, but being a part of music,” Faiman said. “Music is always around you. Don’t be a passive listener, be an active listener.”
Visit www.fanattac.com to sign up for an exclusive look at some of the services available from Fanattac