More Research On The Importance Of Connecting With Fans

from the truly-connect,-and-the-revenue-follows dept

Dave Carter writes in to share some recent research that he was involved in, examining how well different promotions strategies worked for 99 different independent musicians in Australia. All the typical caveats apply -- including that this was just limited to Australian artists, and plenty more research needs to be done to show a causal relationship -- but the initial results certainly support the view that many of us have been espousing: that bands who really connect with their fans get a real boost in actual revenue. And, really connecting means actually doing some work -- not just tossing up a MySpace page. Some summaries of the findings:
  • The highest proportional returns to artists corresponded with the use of multiple inter-linked sites, including a dedicated website or blog as well the use of mailing lists and the provision of free content. Of the artists studied, few had developed this type of integrated or strategic web presence and many of the artists studied could be making more effective use of the tools available to them.
  • When viewed in isolation, the use of popular web services such as Myspace, Facebook and YouTube to promote an artists music did not correspond to a dramatic increase in artist earnings. In fact, as a whole, users of Myspace or Triple J's popular Unearthed website actually received proportionally lower returns than the median. However higher levels of fan or audience engagement -- for example in the form of Blog coverage, YouTube views, Facebook fans or Myspace friends -- tended to correspond to proportionally higher artist earnings inclusive of services whose users tended receive lower returns overall.
  • Finally, the level to which higher earnings corresponded to online activity appears relative to artists off-line profile. That is, artists who perform and tour regularly, receive radio airplay and off-line press and media coverage tend to receive significantly higher returns and appear more likely to benefit from online promotional activities.
Most of this should be pretty obvious -- the more you connect with fans, and the more you do to get heard, the better off you're likely to be -- but it's amazing that so many musicians still don't bother with putting in the necessary effort.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Shawn (profile), Sep 16th, 2009 @ 10:16pm

    They left out looooooooooooooots of tshirts :o

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    fogbugzd, Sep 16th, 2009 @ 11:16pm

    Does this count?

    Does serving your fans with cease and desist orders count as "connecting?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Michael Long, Sep 16th, 2009 @ 11:23pm

    Translation

    Summary says, "That is, artists who perform and tour regularly, receive radio airplay and off-line press and media coverage tend to receive significantly higher returns and appear more likely to benefit from online promotional activities."

    So if you're already a popular, touring band, connecting can make you more popular.

    Continuing on, "...Blog coverage, YouTube views, Facebook fans or Myspace friends..." Which again reinforces the point. If you're popular, then you have lots of friends and lots of coverage.

    But... "When viewed in isolation, the use of popular web services such as Myspace, Facebook and YouTube to promote an artists music did not correspond to a dramatic increase in artist earnings."

    Which again reads to me that if you're not popular, then simply trying to connect for the sake of connecting isn't going to make you popular.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 2:48am

    Re: Translation

    I believe you are reading it wrong. Yes, it's absolutely true that if you are already popular, you can more easily leverage tools to increase the value of that fame. But that's sort of tautological, isn't it?

    But your final point is just wrong:

    Which again reads to me that if you're not popular, then simply trying to connect for the sake of connecting isn't going to make you popular.

    That's not how I read it at all. I read it as saying if you just do something *superficial* such as putting up a site like that and don't do anything else to REALLY connect, then you won't connect. That makes sense. But if you actually work at connecting with your fans (which means more than putting up a MySpace page) you can do better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 3:31am

    Marketing - but

    of course there is an important factor missing here - the quality of the music.

    If the music is good then a small web presence may be all that's needed to get it going - and then all the other stuff will follow fairly effortlessly.

    To do a proper experiment here would be very difficult as you can't really "normalise" for the music itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Michael Long, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Translation

    Still a bit tautological, don't you think? After all, one can only work with connecting with fans if one has fans to connect with.

    Which leads us to a causality issue, to boot. Are popular bands who use many means of connection more popular because of it? Or do popular bands simply have the resources to maintain and support multiple connection strategies?

    But as someone else said below, it really comes down to the music. If your band sucks then you're probably not going to have a great deal of success no matter how hard you play the networking game.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    And Enzyte, really connecting means actually doing some work -- not just tossing up a MySpace page. Some summaries of the findings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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