Why Aren’t There Any Band Pages on Foursquare?

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

On Tuesday, Foursquare rolled out a new self-serve platform for creating business “pages” on Foursquare. Previously, the company had only been working privately with bigger brands to create these pages. Over the last 18 months, according to a post on their blog, Foursquare has created about 3,000 business pages.

Now anyone with a Foursquare account and a Twitter account can create a business page – though the company lists “brands, organizations, and publications” as the intended recipients. Similar to Facebook pages, multiple people in an organization can access and have admin over a Foursquare business page.

While Foursquare usage has been slow and steady (a recent survey at a Cubs game showed a less than 1% adoption rate with a few hundred people checked-in at Wrigley), the company is poised to profit on the rise in mobile location-based deals.

Foursquare users follow other users, check-in at venues, and leave tips for friends about various locations where they’ve checked-in. Now, with Foursquare pages, brands can do the same.

Media brands like The New York Times and The New Yorker are able to recommend places and link to articles that are relevant. (For a Penn Station tip, The New Yorker digs up a 1948 “Talk of the Town” piece. Zing!)

While some brand pages are more naturally focused on leaving tips than checking-in, brands like Pepsi check-in to events they sponsor, such as the X Factor Live USA Auditions. (Are airlines like Lufthansa, with only one check-in at Frankfurt International Airport, missing some opportunities here?)

Live Nation uses their Foursquare page to promote their own venues, such as the Roseland Ballroom in New York and The Hollywood Palladium in L.A., while Bonnaroo lists all the stages and tents in their festival compound.

Like Twitter, you can even sort the Foursquare business pages by what is “popular” and “trending,” though no other stats or info are provided. Brands are a relatively new feature for Foursquare and, wisely, they’re keeping it simple.

But out of all the new business and brand pages, none seem to represent musicians or artists, though there are clearly music-centric brands like Spin, Rolling Stone, and Live Nation, and plenty of artists do utilize Foursquare user profiles.

When you go to create a free Foursquare page, you’ll find that if your personal Twitter profile is already linked to your Foursquare user profile, you won’t be able to create a Foursquare page with that Twitter handle. In this case, you would need both a personal Twitter profile and a Twitter profile for your brand or small business. (You can also disconnect your personal Twitter profile from your Foursquare account, then proceed with this Twitter personality to create your “personal brand” page on Foursquare. Why does the the social graph have to be so complicated?)

Pages are not intended for individuals, though “personalities” like Paula Dean and Ellen DeGeneres have pages.

With the self-serve option now on the table, we’ll likely soon see many Internet-savvy musicians sign up for pages for their band. When bands go on tour, it will be easy for them to check-in at venues and leave tips, or even recount anecdotes about what happened at the show.

For promoters like Live Nation, Foursquare is a great place to present an aggregate listing of all their venues. For each venue itself, which has its own Foursquare venue listing, having a brand page may not be so simple. (Currently, neither Roseland or the Palladium has their own brand page, though music festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella seem to be getting away with being both a venue and brand.) The question also seems to arise of whether Foursquare should list individual shows – as does the concert listing site Songkick – for users to check-in to.

While the road is still largely unpaved, Foursquare is clearly leading the way in location-based media, presenting many exciting opportunities to come for musicians and their live entertainment partners.

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