This story was written by Tameka Kee.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about OurStage, the music discovery site that likened itself to an “online American Idol,” but the company has raised $840,000 worth of what will eventually be a $6 million second round of funding (per an SEC filing). OurStage raised over $13 million from a group of 100 angel investors last April;
Updated: The company says it has raised a total of $20 million in funding, including $3 million worth of this second round; it plans to raise the additional $3 million later this year, which CEO Ben Campbell says should be enough money to get OurStage profitable in 2010. (Campbell didn’t disclose who the site’s investors were, but a notable recent addition to its board of directors is former Sony Music CEO and Chairman Don Ienner).
The site serves three customer segments: indie artists that can upload their tracks and build a fan base; clubs and venues that promote their upcoming live shows; and users, that can find and rate new music.
This has evolved a bit from the American Idol-style setup OurStage launched with a few years ago, since there’s much more potential for e-commerce (artists can sell their tracks right from their profile pages, for example, and venues can bid for new talent). OurStage gets a rev-share on the artists’ track sales, but it’s not clear whether it also gets a cut of the venue or band representation deals.
Display ads are OurStage’s other revenue stream; the site inked a content distribution deal with AOL Music last year, which included turning over most of its ad sales to Platform-A (NYSE: TWX). Meanwhile, sponsors like JetBlue, Paste Magazine and others offer prizes to users (and sometimes the artists, when they win competitions).
By Tameka Kee