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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 28, 2008

trueAnthem raises $2 million, advertisers take notice

There is more going on in widgets than just content. Widget creators trueAnthem are placing music and ads in widgets and consumers are responding in droves. The company uses widgets to distribute new and established music artists through social networks; the widgets are brand-sponsored.

by Kristina Knight

In addition to releasing single songs, trueAnthem delivered their first widget concert, featuring Hootie & The Blowfish, in July.

According to company information, their widgets have increased fan exposure to new and established music artists by 500%. There are 5,000 branded widgets on display now. Advertisers sponsoring the widgets include Adidas, Paige Premium Denim, Jetset Energy Drink and Ubisoft's Haze.

"…The artist is the brand and free is the revenue model of the future," said Brad Barnes, trueAnthem CEO. "The key has been how to monetize this emerging dynamic. Our trueWidgets are directly contributing to an impressive increase in fan exposure for the band and the brand - not to mention distributing albums of "free" music for the fan."

The widgets are deployed on the social sites of the bands or artists and contain a new single or an established hit. Fans can them grab the widget, place it on their site and on and on. Friends and fans then push the band to more listeners, growing the fan base in a grassroots kind of way. As they are distributed, the widgets report metrics back to trueAnthem - demographic information, song downloads, views and listening data.

trueAnthem recently completed their Angel round of financing, which raised $2 million.

Tags: branded widgets, content widgets, widget advertising

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