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Got a band or a small business and would like to manage your brand online? Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, as Blazestage founder Chuck Baker realized, it isn’t always as simple as we’d like it to be.
While options such as Tumblr, WordPress, Myspace, Wix, Weebly, and a host of others exist, none offer the simplicity of setup, customization, updating, and tracking in an all-in-one package. So Blazestage, which launched this week, set out to do all of the above.
On Blazestage, you can create a free (or paid) account, easily design your page, embed or host different types of media, connect and integrate existing social media accounts, download analytics reports, and even send customizable emails to followers. It also wants to make updating “as easy as a tweet,” said Baker.
Baker, an entrepreneur and former music executive, saw a need for tools to help artists and professional manage their online identity and content.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Baker explained that most people don’t have the technical skills to create websites from scratch or use complex file-sharing technologies and tools. Blazestage, he said, was born out of his observations of these struggles.
Baker’s vision has been validated by investors, as well. Blazestage is launching with $1.6 million in angel funding from Malcolm Lee, Alonzo Mourning, Zappos early investor Erik Moore, and Rhahime Bell.
One of the most interesting aspect of Blazestage is that it allows for users to manage their digital content rights. Baker explains that on the platform, users and especially music or other artists can control the availability of their content to viewers.
For example, a musician can modify the available files in a particular link they’ve sent, or even make the content expire after a certain number of views or downloads or after a specific time window has closed.
“Fangating,” a feature usually only seen on Facebook, is another tool Blazestage is offering users to help increase their social media followings and manage their content. By setting “social missions,” bands can lock up certain content that fans can only access by performing social actions such as “liking” the band’s Facebook page or following them on Twitter.
Blazestage is also taking care of the the more technical aspects of online publishing for its customers: Each user gets their own private Amazon Web Services cloud library. The startup also creates a separate and fully SEO’d URLs for each post, which backlink to the artist’s branded page.
Blazestage already has a star-studded fleet of users, including Ridley Scott, Machine Gun Kelly, Lexus, and Mac Miller.
Currently, Blazestage offers three account tiers: a free version with rich design, content updating, and sharing tools; a Pro plan at $15 per month with 20GB of storage, social missions, analytics, and one downloadable report per month; and a Company tier at $99 per month which includes 150GB of storage, white label forwarding, four user accounts, and four downloadable reports per month.