Spotify wants to sell private concerts and backstage hangouts

A new partnership between Spotify and the music-monetizing force BandPage goes live today as the subscription tunes-streaming service begins rolling out ways for fans to purchase experiences in addition to the typical merch table fare of t-shirts, stickers, and vinyl. The two companies announced the collaboration this morning.

Related: Viacom enlists Spotify to bring back the ‘Music’ in MTV

So what do these “experiences” actually look like? Let’s take Ariana Grande as an example. Pull up the Hollywood-based pop singer’s Spotify page and scroll down to the “Official Merchandise” section. There you can purchase a bundle that includes Grande’s latest album, a t-shirt, bracelet, poster and more – a standard specimen of physical musician merchandise. But right there alongside the bundles is an “exclusive online concert” option: “Pre-order My Everything and get access to the iHeartRadio Concert video stream where Ariana performs songs from her new album FOR THE FIRST TIME!” (pardon the enthusiasm). Pre-order a copy of the record and you’ll receive an email with a link and unique code to access the stream when it airs.

The genius behind this sort of special event? Technically, there’s no limit —  save bandwidth —  to the amount of tickets you can sell to a concert streamed online. This can translate to a hell of a lot of pre-orders for Grande’s record, and a whole lot of dollars for Spotify and BandPage both.

Other examples of now-monetized “VIP Experiences” include a $40 meet & greet with Porter Robinson (which, bizarrely, comes with a “free【=◈︿◈=】 mask that was featured in the Lionhearted video”), a $200 chance to collaborate on a track with Tea Leaf Green drummer/producer Cochrane McMillan, and a $30 “Soundcheck” with The Stone Foxes that grants paying fans early entry to the venue to watch the band soundcheck for a sneak peak at what the band will play that night.

J Sider, founder and CEO for BandPage, said in an interview with CNET that 1,000-plus of these types of experiences are now available for purchase via Spotify.

While BandPage already has its fingers in the honeypots of other music services such as Soundcloud and Rdio, there’s no doubt the company has a lot to gain by going into business with Spotify and its 40 million-plus active users, 10 million of which are paying subscribers. Spotify stepped into the band merch arena in January with help from entertainment marketing company Topspin.

But the streaming service’s partnership with BandPage broadens its merch-selling capabilities with virtually countless new ways of making money off of unorthodox products: “experiences” that, until now, have primarily been available to those with influence, industry connections, and/or a little bit of luck.

Smart Home

Best Buy offers a slew of Black Friday deals for smart home, security, and Wi-Fi

Building the excitement for Black Friday, Best Buy released its first round of deals for smart home, security, and Wi-Fi devices from Amazon, Ring, Lenovo, Philips Hue, Arlo, and Netgear. The deals in the first round expire November 11.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Keep those albums sounding great by converting your vinyl to a digital format

There are all sorts of reasons for ripping records and storing them digitally, but what's the best way to do it? We cover the different types of equipment and software available for ripping records at any price in this guide.
Home Theater

No subscription, no problem. Free Spotify users can soon use Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect, which allows users to stream their favorite tunes to any Connect-enabled speaker, has long been one of the best premium-only features on the Swedish streaming service. Soon, free users will get it too.

A wealth of rich tunes: Cash in with the best songs about money

There may not be as many songs about money as there are songs about love, but it's a close second. If you're looking for a skrilla-inspired playlist, check out our picks for the best songs about money.
Smart Home

How’s your Spanish, Alexa? Some Amazon Echo devices pick up a new language

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and Echo devices are now available for customers in Mexico. Alexa has been customized for the Mexican market with local knowledge, a new voice, and support for the Spanish dialect spoken in Mexico.

New Tidal app will bring a wave of music to your Samsung smartwatch

Tidal fans now have another way to enjoy their music collection. The Tidal app is coming to Samsung wearables, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Gear Sport, and more. Tidal will also be bringing its wearable app to other devices.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

The best new music this week: Charles Bradley, Muse, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Charles Bradley, J Mascis, Muse, and Smino.
DT Daily

Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles may be best known for his musical endeavors, but he's looking to change that with his forthcoming animated show. On Monday's DT Daily, we discuss Miles' origins, what drives his passions, his favorite superhero, and more.

Music to our ears: Spotify at long last arrives on the Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers are now able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has finally released its official Apple Watch app.