In the last few weeks, fans of Britney Spears have gotten a sneak peek at a more private side of the pop star. Tech-savvy Spears joined the mobile social network Path while touring the start-up's headquarters in San Francisco on March 14th.
"That's the great thing about mobile – I use the same iPhone as Britney Spears," Path co-founder and CEO Dave Morin told Rolling Stone. The founder of the network, which is built to share intimate personal posts with up to 150 people, has a longstanding relationship with the Spears team; he first worked with the pop star to create customized Britney gifts while he was still employed at Facebook.
According to Morin, the Spears machine is working with Path to create a branded experience exclusively for Britney fans. "We want to make something magical happen whenever her fans interact with a Britney song," Morin revealed, although the partnership is still in its nascent stage. "Path users share a song per second, and music has always been a very central part of what we do."
Indeed, Path was built by music lovers. It was co-founded by Shawn Fanning, the man behind Napster, and recently, Path lured Shakil Khan away from Spotify to work on special projects like the integration of the Britney brand.
As one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Spears certainly has more than 150 fans. Still, Path is not concerned with becoming another medium for celebrity mass broadcasting.
"It's like a backstage pass," Morin said. "Not everyone can get it, but for those 150 fans who care about the craft, to go 'Behind the Music' as Vh1 used to say, it's a great reward. And Britney recognizes that."
Instead of creating one-size-fits-all applications, Path is working individually with each brand to create a customized sponsorship. For Nike, the social network created an application that tracks a user's daily activity via a wearable FuelBand.
Although songs on Path can only be streamed for 30 seconds, in accordance with iTunes, the company has considered teaming up with streaming sites like Spotify to get access to full songs.