Musicians’ Services Review:

MMunite is a social networking website for musicians fashioning itself as the website bridging the gap between local talent and global takeover. Munite’s repertoire includes a web service to encourage musical collaboration across the world.

In times gone by, such words would refer to an exceptionally busy A&R division or a hands-on industry executive, but the inexorable advance of the digital revolution dictates social networking play a role in the way aspiring musicians go about their business.

Signing up to Munite is a routinely swift process, but the real crux of the matter is whether the website stands up to its promise to connect with fellow musicians in a matter of ‘a few clicks’.

The numerous options available after sign-up belie the simplistic layout of the page; it is all rather too congested for what is meant to be a base from which the musician must act. I found myself having to increase the size of the page so as to distinguish the different hotlinks, whilst it is not immediately intuitive exactly where to click. Munite’s promise of networking with fellow musicians in a matter of clicks is often a true, but the time spent gazing at all of the available options is a bulwark against making the clicks.

But Munite’s real battles can be found hidden in Alexa’s statistics. The US-based internet information provider shows that Munite’s daily traffic trend (DTRT) over a three month period is well below the DTRT of popular music websites, such as Bandcamp and Reverbnation.

However, in the past three months, Munite’s traffic rank has risen from 888,407 to 595,319. Over the same time period, the number of global internet users who visited increase 200 per cent. Although the trends show Munite’s online significance to be increasing, concerns remain over the long term sustainability of the current trends.

Part of Munite’s problem is its youth – having only recently entered the scene there is still a lot of work to do in order to convince visitors that the website does offer an online environment in which they can collaborate with other artists. Whereas websites such as actively advertise successful artists on their main page, Munite does not.

Although Munite’s framework has not yet resulted in the mass flocking of users, the framework for success is there. With some tweaking, Munite could be onto something; whereas in the days of old finding a manager or agent was a matter of luck or employing a friend, Munite has several members perturbing to be managers or agents. If Munite can bridge the gap between musician and manager, then the organization is onto something. Should Munite recruit independent record labels to the site, the website’s own profile will gain credibility.

The real question at hand is whether there is room for a website that encourages online collaborations. Whereas Reverbnation and Bandcamp focus their respective energies on promoting the work of musicians across the world, Munite makes the bolder claim that it can help to facilitate the creation of ‘web-bands’.

Meanwhile, the ‘band in a garage’ paradigm is challenged by new media like Munite.

– Samuel Agini