Bebo users feel the beat

28 Mar 2007

Bebo today announced its exclusive partnership with 7Digital’s indiestore which will allow Bebo bands to sell their music directly through the site.

After signing up to indiestore and uploading their songs, the 450,000 plus bands registered on Bebo can use the unique indiestore widget to add music for sale from their Bebo page with one click.

The widget lists the band’s available back catalogue and gives Bebo members the option to listen to a 30-second sample of the track before they decide to download.

On clicking the ‘Download’ button, the user is taken directly to the band’s homepage on 7Digital’s indiestore where they can buy the music.

Users pay for this service using PayPal and Click & Buy. SMS purchasing is also available, allowing consumers without credit cards to download too.

Bands already using this new service include Muse and The Killers. Over 4,000 record labels, including major players like Warner Brothers, will also be able to use this service.

Members of Bebo Bands can opt for the free starter account that allows them to sell four tracks or they can sign up for a pro account and get 20 tracks.

The widget, embedded on the Band profile page can be shared with any other band that visits the site by clicking on ‘Share this Widget’, allowing for what Bebo calls “truly viral distribution”.

“Artists can be successful and break into the charts now with minimum outlay; they just need a reasonable audience. The partnership with Bebo brings the functionality of the 7Digital platform to millions and gives artists mass exposure,” said Ben Drury, managing director of 7Digital.

Bebo, which announced on 17 March that it was the most popular website in Ireland, now looks set to rival MySpace’s popularity as a portal for music fans.

“We’re adding more than 3,000 new bands and artists each day. Music remains a defining part of the Bebo network experience and our partnership with 7Digital will present additional value to our users allowing them to not only discover, but also purchase music on Bebo,” said Joanna Shields, president international of Bebo.

MySpace, which currently has a ban on the uploading of outside widgets, already has an option for artists to sell downloads from their MySpace page but many top-listed artists such as U2 and Snow Patrol don’t avail of this service.

By Marie Boran