Boston: The Hidden Hub of Music and Technology

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Headquarters: Framingham, MA
Year Launched: 2005
CEO: Patrick Faucher
Funding: Backed by Common Angels

Nimbit offers a number of automated services to help bands promote themselves, including the Nimbit Online Merch Table or “OMT.” It’s a software widget designed to be embedded in blogs or other sites, where it functions as an online storefront and information desk. Artists can use the OMT to upload MP3s, album art, and performance schedules, and sell MP3 downloads directly to listeners. Nimbit takes a 20 percent cut of music sales.

“A great many of our clients are independent artists acting as their own label, if you will,” says Patrick Faucher, CEO of Nimbit. “A certain number of them are coming to us because they’ve exited a label contract and have decided that they want to sell on their own, self-publish, self-promote, and sell direct because there’s more control and much more upside for them.”

To Faucher, part of the reason for the flowering of new Web-basic music distribution in Boston and other areas is the breakdown of the traditional relationship between bands and record labels. “The role of the label is transforming from one of being the owner and controller of the distribution mechanism—where the artist essentially worked for the label—to being a partnership with the artist, where the [label] is an investor and a marketing partner,” says Faucher, who last March wrote a controversial CNET editorial article entitled “Where Did the Music Industry Go Wrong?” He adds, “The artist is the brand, and they have the means to go directly to fans, and the smart labels are figuring out that that’s actually all good, and what they need to do is leverage the value of the relationship the artists have with their fans and help them to monetize those relationships.”

The online marketing tools at the heart of Nimbit have been available since 2002, but Nimbit itself was formed only in 2005 when CDFreedom, a CD publishing house for independent bands, merged with Artist Development Associates and Trilby Systems. … Next Page »

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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14 responses to “Boston: The Hidden Hub of Music and Technology”

  1. This is all true, as a Boston area musician, I can say that there are much more opportunities here for musicians than most anywhere else. I believe Boston has the most shows than any other city on any given night. The technology is also very true, with MIT, etc. however, it is a very tough business to be in. I own a record label and just released an album for the band theINFORMATI And we believe it will explode because of the Boston/Cambridge scene.

  2. Don’t forget Tourfilter, the most popular concert notification service:

  3. gary says:

    In addition to Tourfilter, there’s also and Boston appears to be a concert tracking hub!

  4. Kyle says:

    In terms of local area software companies with some sort of music/media technology, there also is Peermeta ( in Acton with a mobile content / Web 2.0 twist.

  5. So it seem like after Venue Czar conquers Vermont, they should target Boston? Venue Czar is the ultimate localized online booking platform.

  6. You could add us to this list as soon as we’re out of stealth mode. (

  7. Paul Kamp says:

    Backbone Networks is another local company in this space. We provide internet radio automation systems and is the system behind the IBS Student Radio Network. There are over 30 station on the network and a number of them are local including:

    Simmons College
    New England Art Institute
    Babson College

    Separately, a non-profit start up is the Public Radio Exchange in Cambridge. They are the online clearinghouse for Public Radio content.

  8. New England has a great recource of musicians who have many opportunites and folks who are ready to help them with their careers. The cites Boston, Providence & Worcester all offer great venues and support services.

  9. Derek says:

    I’m from the Boston area and am in the process of creating a music promotion website, Artistir. It’s not just for local musicians or bands either, but we’re steadily getting more and more.

  10. Mason says:

    Thanks for this, I just finished my AD in programming after working as a sound engineer for the last 7-8 years so I really appreciate the compilation of these companies because I want to eventually work writing audio software.