by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
concerts, musicians, text messaging

Musicians Leveraging Mobile Phones To Communicate With Fans... But Need To Be Careful With Ads

from the communication,-not-advertising dept

The most powerful uses of new technologies are when they allow someone to do something that couldn't have been done before, rather than just doing the same old thing in a different way. That's why it's interesting to see how some musicians are embracing the fact that nearly everyone these days has a mobile phone by offering mobile-based services that increase the value of attending concerts. The article includes examples of a text message to Lollapalooza attendees offering them a chance to enter a guitar-playing contest that gave the winner a new guitar and a chance to play on stage with a band. Some musicians have competitions where they can win better seats via a text message. Prince asked fans leaving a concert to send a text message to his website, where the messages were displayed.

The article then goes on to talk about the marketing potential of all of this -- where these musicians can supposedly now market to these fans, but that's the wrong way to look at it. Fortunately, even those marketers quoted in the article admit that they need to tread carefully when it comes to marketing, admitting that the mobile phone is "sacred." However, the temptation will probably be too strong for some to overcome -- and that's going to be risky. Those who are embracing text messaging with those attending concerts should recognize that text messaging is simply a completely new way to communicate and interact with fans -- rather than just a one-way street to pitch them. The good news is that many of the experiments described recognize exactly that. However, the musicians should realize that this increased communication will pay benefits in a different way -- making more loyal fans, more willing to go to more shows (and potentially even pay more for those shows). Greedily spamming someone's phone with a pitch risks losing all of that benefit, for a very minor short-term return.

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