Topspin’s on the Road

by Ryan McIntyre

We invested in Topspin Media last summer, and they’ve been busy cranking out multiple releases of their Artist Manager platform while simultaneously supporting numerous album releases from established and new artists who have adopted Topspin’s technology to enable them to release their music direct-to-fan. As a reminder, Topspin provides advanced marketing tools and services to enable recording artists to build successful brands and businesses online.

Many musicians chose to release their music using Topspin’s platform in 2008.   The two highest-profile releases to date have been David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today and Paul McCartney’s The Fireman. The Fireman’s Electric Arguments made The AMG Top 50 Album list for 2008, while the Byrne/Eno album (one of my personal favorites of the year) wound up on a boatload of year’s best lists, published by the likes of AMG, Sound Opinions, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Uncut and the NPR Listeners.

Of course, Topspin’s platform is not just for established artists — some great new artists chose to release their music on Topspin in 2008, including White Denim, Spinnerette and Imaad Wasif. Yet another release worthy of mention (because it was a first) was Arcade Fire’s release of their documentary, the first direct-to-fan video release and the first-ever better-than-DVD-quality direct-to-fan release as well. If you want to dig deeper, see Topspin’s blog for a more detailed rundown of their 2008 activities.

There’s a long list of artists launching their music via Topspin in 2009 that we’d love to talk about, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy until each one goes live. Watch the Topspin blog for the release announcements when they happen.

In the meantime, Topspin is going out on the road in January, and may be coming to a city near you. If you’ll be in Vegas attending CES this week, Topspin’s CEO Ian Rogers will be on Billboard’s Digital Music Live Music 2.0 panel on Wednesday morning and on a CES Issues and Attitudes Session Panel on technology and independent musicians on Thursday afternoon. And since it wouldn’t be Vegas without a party, Topspin is hosting a meetup at T&T’s in the Luxor on Wednesday evening, so come join the fun and meet the Topspin crew as well as several of Foundry Group’s partners, who will be in attendance. Finally, if you can’t make it to Sin City in January, but you happen to be in Europe, Topspin is hosting a meetup in Cannes during the MIDEM conference.