BandPage: For the Love of Music and Artists!
Nothing had ever felt as important to James ‘J’ Sider as marching to the beat of his own drum, for his career or otherwise. Betrothed to music as a way of life, James knows no other way to be - or needs to for that matter.
A born and bred lisztomaniac, James combines the best of both worlds and transcends his musical flair and professional devotion into creating the kind of platform that makes room for aspiring stars and promising new bands - BandPage.
Out of all noteworthy apps, BandPage does creative music the biggest justice, and it is all due to the man behind the curtain, James Sider. A striving musician and an eager deliverer of greatness, James is currently enjoying the fruits of his own labor and takes pride in the way his platform serves others - creatively and professionally.
It all sounds heavenly now, but a decade ago, James had to overcome one obstacle after the other to ultimately design BandPage the way he always envisioned it.
Humble, with a Hint of Character
Founder, entrepreneur, and businessman James Sider comes from a small mountainside town near Virginia, called Harrisonburg. Born in 1984, James grew up in a small neighborhood, surrounded with positive energy and the sounds of music his parents played on a loop.
James had a knack for musicality himself and had always dreamed of turning this talent into a profitable career. Initially, he dreamt about becoming a famous rockstar, but after being faced with life’s reality, he’d soon find his dream juvenile and unripe.
For a while, James was playing his music, rehearsing with his friends, and enjoying musical gatherings where he’d create songs, write its lyrics and even orchestrate basement gigs. As he got older, James still found the time to play and write, but he also began collaborating with bands and booked bar performances on their behalf.
At first, everything went smoothly, and James believed he had found his place within the professional world of tunes. However, life happens whether you plan it or not, and James was soon faced with a major drawback.
After graduating high school in 2003, and at just 19 years old, James was diagnosed with lymphoma. This diagnosis turned his life upside-down, and it all took a turn for the worse when the doctors told James he only had a few months to live. Torn apart, James decided not to quit on life and decided to fight the disease with all he had.
When the time came for James to upgrade his education, he decided on joining Goshen College, not because of their academic reputation, but mostly because the college was located near IU Health Goshen Hospital, where James received the necessary medical treatment. The rounds of chemotherapy exhausted James to the bone, but even so, he still found the time to play football, learn business, and attend musical events close to campus.
Fresh Start, Fresher Ideas
The time James spent at Goshen College helped him perceive many things from a different perspective. In the beginning, when he was given only a few months to live, James realized that there was so much more to life than worrying, failing, and dreading over money. To him, what mattered the most in life was having a purpose, building a dream to work towards, and bringing a vision that fulfilled his creative urges to life. In other words, James found music as much as it found him.
James beat cancer in 2005 and went into remission feeling like he had triumphed over life and was given a second chance to do things right. Intending to accomplish his childhood dreams and boasting a renewed spirit, James decided to pursue his career in the music industry and part ways with Goshen College for good. For the next six years, James spent his time in-between cities and worked just about everything he could get his hands on. He mopped floors, wrote music, and occasionally managed gigs but did it so well that, one day, he was basically selling out 4,000-seat arenas.
Although he spent a couple of years in the industry, James was struggling to find an easy way to help musicians and artists earn more money online. He was also figuring out how to engage prominent artists to promote themselves. It bothered him that he couldn’t unleash his full potential of managing bands and reaching out to fans in the rapidly growing digital era.
Out of his worries and considerations came out a superb idea. James would create an online platform that could manage the online presence of artists with the help of platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
The Game-Changing Platform
The winning battle with cancer and the fascinating eagerness for music made an impact on James’ life so much so that he decided to chase after his dream as if he had nothing more to lose.
He immediately booked a ticket to San Francisco, and in 2009, while still adapting and finding his place, James began visiting bars, talking to people, and finding ties within the music industry.
After many sleepless nights, James asked his engineer friends as well as a few designers to help him build a unique music platform. With their help and great plans on his mind, James founded BandPage in 2009.
At first glance, BandPage was an ordinary platform, but in the next two years, it would become one of the top apps for musicians and artists who wanted to gain more popularity, fame, and connect to fans via social media.
BandPage was a marketplace for over 500,000 musicians who used the app to sell their products to millions of fans worldwide. The platform was powering artists’ content and storing it across many platforms, like Shazam, Xbox Music, LyricFind, StubHub, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google, VEVO, Rhapsody, Radio, and others.
The app presented artists with a smart infrastructure that allowed performers to present their artwork to targeted fans. Musician merchandise, VIPs, tickets for concerts - Bandpage did it all and on the most cost-friendly terms.
But, in 2012, Facebook did something no one expected. It introduced the Timeline format, which then made James’ invention appear outdated, ultimately causing him to lose 90% of traffic. This setback made James dive into a different direction, putting Facebook aside and instead, improving the company by integrating multitasking music app platforms.
The new and improved application led to massive positive feedback and drove the kind of traffic James had hoped for. The reimagined platform allowed musicians to update their bio and feature professional information, such as promo videos, tour dates, and music materials, all synced online with just a click of the mouse.
The company’s main office is in San Francisco. Over the years, BandPage was noticed by many influential and powerful figures, and yet, none of them stood out or helped James to break onto the scene.
Well, not until Larry Marcus came along as one of the company’s first investors! Since its launch, BandPage has raised a funding amount of $27.6 million from 9 investors. Most notably, in 2016, YouTube showed high interest in acquiring the platform, thus acknowledging James’ efforts and overall mission. BandPage was successfully acquired by the streaming giant under a deal worth $8 million.
Today, when clicking on the platform’s official site, you are automatically transferred to YouTube’s official artist channels, where you can find James’ one-stop-shop, designed to help struggling artists worldwide.
The dreams of the modest man were more than fulfilled. James received 15% of every deal he struck, and collaborated with household music names, like Rihanna, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, and others. James was also named Inc. Magazine’s and Billboard’s 30 Under 30, and won the same award by Forbes - twice.
No broken records in James’ story - he’s but a man, carrying plain old love for music and turning his childhood dream into a real-life jam session!