Music industry mainstay Billboard recently announced the launch of Billboard Pro, a paid service for up-and-coming bands and those who work with them.
The service, which has been in beta since January, lets artists track their fan activity (both online and off), sales and other metrics, as well as provides them with relevant editorial content.
When it comes to charting activity, the service will feature Billboard “Uncharted,” a recently introduced ranking of bands that have not yet appeared on one of the site’s many other charts.
This chart provides bands with a Heat Score, which is calculated using online sources such as MySpace Music and Next Big Sound. Billboard launched the “Social 50″ chart in December. It also uses Next Big Sound to measure online buzz.
What’s particularly interesting about this service is that it also hopes to give new artists a boost when it comes to exposure. Bands will get the chance to be mentioned in the Billboard Bulletin, could have their music featured on a weekly playlist on the Billboard website, and could even be selected to play at events and conferences such as SXSW.
Right now, interested parties can sign up for a four-week free trial, after which it costs $99 per year.
What do you think of this new service? Will Billboard‘s cache as a brand help unknown artists get their names out there?
For everything that Billboard Pro offers up and coming artists, $99 is cheap! This will really help new artists really know how their music is doing. Sometimes it is difficult for an artist to really know how they stand. With Billboard Pro it makes it easy. Although this will make it easier for artists and band to see how they are doing, I’m not sure that it will help get an unknown’s name out there. There is a chance that it will happen at billboard.com, but I think that it will only happen if that artist or group has prior popularity. They should not only rely on this to get their name out there.