Official.fm is an app which helps indie musicians publish and promote their work. This intuitive app offers every feature a band might need to transform their garages or living rooms into their own private record label. Simultaneous uploading, track management, slick marketing pages for each track or album, and collaboration spaces make Official.fm a solid tool for spreading the word, gathering fans, and directing traffic to the websites where artists are selling their work. One particularly useful feature puts users in touch with their fans by automatically collecting e-mail addresses each time a fan downloads one of the artist’s tracks for free. The marketing page that each album or track generates is also a useful marketing tool.
Oliver Rosset and Jeremie Abihssira founded Official.fm in August of 2010. The app seems to be quite popular within its niche, with tens of thousands of users and bands producing and marketing their music on the application. It seems to enjoy a good reputation within the indie music community. Official.fm received an endorsement from Billboard Magazine.
There does not seem to be another app quite like Official.fm. Though there are many apps that would make good tools for indie artists and their teams, this one fills a specific, unique niche that seems to be very good at what it does. It is possible an individual band could take the time to generate their own websites to do some of the same things that Official.fm does, but why reinvent the wheel?
The easy drag-and-drop upload interface couldn’t be simpler. This app is, in a word, slick, and bursting with useful tools. Users can manage all of their projects from a central location. They can decide whether to make their tracks public, private, or limited access. All of the metadata on each track uploads and fills in automatically, saving the musicians time. As a traffic generation tool for indie artists who are swimming uphill in the attempt to get their name out, it is a thing of beauty.
Official.fm gives users two choices for registration. Users may either sign in with Facebook, or they may provide their real name, e-mail address, and a password. Users must agree to the Official.fm terms of service, but they may opt out of receiving the Official.fm newsletter.
The app appears to be completely free, but it’s somewhat difficult to tell for sure. Artists can create 10 workspaces or upload 100 tracks for free, which would seem to imply that there should be a paid version somewhere that allows artists to add more tracks and workspaces. However a thorough tour of the site indicates that no such paid version exists. It is possible that Official.fm has plans to offer a more expansive paid version later.
This application is an excellent tool for any independent artist or band, or anyone involved in promoting or managing artists or bands. Though it has little use for anyone outside of the music industry it succeeds, rather fantastically, at fulfilling its function for its target audience.