Facebook’s No. 1 music app raises $16 mln

Rihanna is one of BandPage's most popular artists

RootMusic is not one of the better known names in the digital music business, but in just 18 months  it has built the most popular music app on the world’s largest social networking platform, Facebook.

That service is called BandPage and allows artists’ to post their video, sell  songs and promote their tours on Facebook.

Though this might seem like a service with a  relatively low barrier to entry — it is free and up to the artists or their representatives to post their videos — RootMusic has done a quietly efficient job of achieving scale and now claims some 250,000 musicians using BandPage.

That scale has helped to raise $16 million in Series B funding to expand its service, the start-up said on Wednesday. It said the round was led by GGV Capital with new investor Northgate Capital and existing investor Mohr Davidow Ventures. GGV Partner Hany Nada is set to join the board  that already  includes Bill Ericson from Mohr Davidow.

RootMusic will undoubtedly feature on Facebook’s planned music service which is expected to launch later next month at the Facebook Developer Conference.

Universal Music: We’re doing great thanks v.much.

The big dog in the music pound, Universal Music Group, says rather than feeling sorry for itself as the music industry’s woes spiral out of control, it has managed to have a good 2008 so far.

Universal’s parent, Vivendi, the French telecoms and media conglomerate, said on Thursday that the world’s largest music company had actually grown revenue by 3.5 percent in the first nine months of 2008 on a constant currency basis to 3.14 billion euros. Though this is a 3.8 percent decline in actual currency.

The company was boosted by growth in music publishing and merchandising following the acquisitions of BMG Music Publishing and Sanctuary in 2007. The company also highlighted a 33 percent increase at constant currency in digital sales and higher license income.  These all helped offset tumbling CD sales, says Universal.