See Things Differently
If you want to see some cool Flash used to great effect on an artist site, check out Stereophonics.com. The navigation is superb with all the content presented within the main frame. All the official information, such as history, discography, photos, audio and video, is thoughtfully presented and fans are encouraged to sign-up in order to access the exclusive material. The shop is powered by Recordstore and has music, books, merchandise and downloads available.
Stereophonics recently ran a promotion which allowed fans to download a free track from the album when they purchased a ticket to see the band live in November. Over 50,000 fans downloaded the new track.
The band’s label, V2, have also invited to their offices the forum moderators and top posters to listen to a preview of the album – a fantastic idea that we think should be done more often, instead of the tried and tired routine of inviting journalists.
However, our one criticism is the site doesn’t appear to take advantage of the new websites so popular at the moment, such as music discovery, online radio, social networks and video sharing. Do fans still want everything in one place, or would they rather be pointed to the places where they can get all the information they want? We think Sterophonics.com is one of the best artist sites of its kind, but perhaps represents the old-skool of web design which will become less prevalent as agencies take on board new methods of web publishing.