Dave Matthews Band Unveil New Website, Me Likey Very Much!
Checking my email this morning I got my monthly Dave Matthews Band email (which I normally don’t read – while I’m a fan, I’m not the kind who cares about every single Live Trax CD they put out.), and noticed they mentioned having a new website design completed, so I eagerly checked it out.
It was juts a week ago that I noticed Dave was on Twitter (with most of the Tweets I’ve seen involving Whiskey, which is just phenomenal!), so I was anxious to see if their new site was a flash-driven mess or if it was just a splash for the new album. To my surprise was a very well put together design combined with lots of easy-to-navigate content that could keep any potential DMB fan entertained for hours (but, still relying on lost of flash to make it possible!)
What I Like
It’s obvious I’m a fan of the site so let’s take a look at what DMB is doing right. Main navigation was the first thing I discovered, right there along the top – sweet, seems pretty self-explanatory which is supposed to be the point of it. To the right I see a music player asking me to pick a song. Hmmm, I wondered. What songs would they have? Knowing most bands, I’ll get a few tracks to listen to.
NOT! At first I was confused as to where to find the songs until clicking the little music button dropped down to reveal – get this – the entire Dave Matthews Band catalog, right there, streaming for you to listen to.
This is so super badass! Understand, I’m an older DMB fan, and haven’t really spent a lot of time in the past 5 years really giving a shit. My old CD’s are all over the place, and I have only a random selection on my iPod.
But now I’m listening to “Jimi Thing” off the album Under The Table and Dreaming and I’m suddenly in a much better mood.
Next is “So Right” from Everyday. Streaming is a bit choppy here and there but I do have a slow connection so I’m not concerned. I am, how, wondering how many tracks they’ll let me play before asking me to buy something.
The rest of the main page is broken up into big squares, each featuring links to places on the site such as touring information, the Warehouse merch store, and to external destinations like Facebook and Dave or Stephan’s Twitter feed. (Note: these are not silly “official band twitter feeds”; these the Dave and Stephan’s actual Tweets folks!)
I head back up to the top navigation to see what else the site has to offer. Each link provides a creative and introspective look at different aspects of the band, from the history to pics and video. What I really like is the bios of each member, which includes their side projects and even what kind of equipment they use.
This is the kind of stuff the fan wants to know! Usually someone has to dig deep into some fan forum to find it – DMB is putting it all right where it belongs.
I’m now on to “Some Devil” from Dave’s solo album. Still streaming. Did I mention they also have like every single live album ever also available for streaming here? There’s literally HOURS of music!
What I Don’t Like:
Site is still flash-intensive; obviously this is a no-no for getting pages indexed in the serps and for browser loading-time reasons. I’d like to see major bands sites’ to stray away from the flash in the future for a more CSS-driven site instead.
Click on the “road” link, and you get a new window with what seems to be a road blog. Understandably the band is just getting back to touring so I’d expect this to be up-to-date soon; hopefully down the road it will be incorporated into the rest of the site.
The only downside to having all this music around (and this is just me nitpicking), is the ability to create a playlist. I’m probably going to be spending a lot of time streaming music from here in the next few months (and they’ll have a chance to sell me merch and stuff in the meantime!)
When you click the “Bamaworks” link, you get a bunch of DMB’s charities, I guess? how about giving us a little “about” before the links describing DMB’s contributions (which I know are a lot.)
DMB Live, the Warehouse, and the Store are all separate domains – these really all need to be co-branded and put under one roof. I shouldn’t have to buy three different things from three different merchants. I know MusicToday handles the merch but perhaps the fan club and LiveTrax can somehow be integrated into one store to maximize your ecommerce potential.
Other then a few things that here and there, the DMB site is an wonderful experience. I’m still jamming out to some tunes I haven’t heard in years, and to be honest, might just keep the site open in my browser for the rest of the day. If you’re looking for some ideas to improve your site, head over to davematthewsband.com now and check it out!